It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Coat of Many Colors - and my first Style Arc Pattern!

Style Arc patterns are receiving rave reviews from bloggists & Pattern Reviewers, and finally, given last month's sale,  I joined the bandwagon & placed a nice hefty order.   Hey, they're coming all the way from Oz (aka Australia), so I figured I might as well make it worthwhile for the post carriers, right?  I feel for the Ausies and the amount of postage they have to pay on a regular basis if they're ordering anything from elsewhere - that postage cost was a bit painful on the wallet!

I was THIS delighted when my patterns arrived, and dove right into the patterns & my fabric stash to see what paired up.  This Fabric Mart rayon stripe (which I originally had other, far different, plans for) practically jumped right on top of the Bella wrap, & it was love at first sight.   Who can argue with that?


=  Meant to Be!

Besides that, life has been a bit chaotically busy lately, & the sewing projects I've been working on are either rife with head-scratching decision-making, lots of guess-work figuring out how to ensure something will fit someone who isn't available for fittings, &/or loaded with a steep learning curve.   Fun & exciting?  Yes!  Relaxing & quick?   This explains my recent absence from blogland, but really, I was ready for something to be finished - a nice quick fix, & this looked like it would fill the bill perfectly.

First off, some notes about Style Arc.  Apparently each pattern is hand drafted, and done beautifully, with RTW industry standards in drafting.   Nice paper, lovely print.  The Bella Wrap is one size only, but if a pattern comes in several sizes, you'll only get one size in your envelope.    You need to look at their measurement/size chart to figure out what you need, but if you are at all confused, they are extremely helpful & right there with personal service, answering questions - great service!  My emails were all answered promptly.    I joined the Professional Pattern Club, because of some fantastic discounts available last month, & ordered....well.....I ordered a bunch!  :D

Now then, about those instructions..... reviewers have said they were minimal.   How about mini-minimal?   Maybe even ultra-mini-minimal?  Not to mention the language barrier. think Ausies speak English?   Think again!  (& my ex was an Ausie....I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the language!)  The Bella Wrap is super simple; no problems with this one at all, but I looked through a couple of the more complex patterns I ordered, and I've no doubt I'll be e-mailing for help!    I understand that they are planning on adding more detailed instructions to some of the patterns.   After all,  not all of us are industry-savvy when it comes to reading patterns.

Ahh...but back to Bella.    There are 6 steps.   Step 1 is lay out & cut the pattern.  Step 5 is to press the piece when you're done.   Step 6 is to think about personalizing it with embellishments.   That leaves 3 construction steps.    Which are, basically, sew up the seam & turn & sew the edges.    There is one pattern piece.   A simple rectangle.    Now, one could think "I paid money for this?"  But here's the thing.  It's brilliant!   I loves me my simple shawls & wraps, & I made (& really like) the dkny knock-off cardi-wraps, but the simplicity of this rectangle, with its one seam, the dimensions & seam cut & sewn just is now my all-time bar none favorite wrap!   I will be making more!  Here's just a sampling of the many ways it can be worn:

LOTS of wrapping options!   This is really only a smattering.  It could definitely be improved by using a yarn-dyed fabric, or something that is equally beautiful on both sides, but I'll really enjoy wearing this one as is.    And since we (still) haven't had any summer to speak of (everyone else seems to be sweltering....can we have a few of those degrees here????) I'm actually wearing it already *sigh*

I'm still open for doing a house trade with someone in the tropics...... ;-D

Other notes on the pattern:  Although it calls for a knit, I think that any drapey woven should work nicely.  I cut the pattern straight from the package, so it hangs a little long on me, but I'm fine with the length.  It's SO simple that it would, of course, be very easy to shorten or lengthen.

I can't wait to dive into my next Style Arc pattern - indies rock, once again :) :) :)  First, though, it's back to one of those more challenging, half-done projects......

Which makes me wonder, do you sneak an easy snack in the middle of something that's taking forever?   Are you like me - just such a slow sewer that I need something quick just to feel like I'm accomplishing SOMEthing after all that time in the sewing room?  Or do you just dive in & whip 'em out, without really needing a simple little snack?


shams said...

I love your ruana, JillyBe! This is a pattern I haven't bought. :) It looks great in "our" fabric. :)

Well, I don't feel like I am a slow sewer, in particular, but I sometimes have to shelve a project to work on another. If I need supplies, or have a deadline, for example. I do try to mix it up, intermixing easy and challenging projects.

Handmade said...

Yes a great wrap - I find the more I wear mine the more ways I find to wrap it. Thanks for understanding how us Aussies feel with the shipping costs - our dollar has been trading very well lately, so the shipping costs have been bearable (well...?) you are so lucky to have very well priced patterns and fabrics. And that's one reason why I am happy to support Style Arc - little Aussies havin a go!!! And I have been enjoying them very much. Anyway, nice to meet you!

Jilly Be said...

Hmmm occurs to me that, by the time I've sewn up some of my other fabrics that I know you also have (& have made're definitely NOT the slow sewer I am!), we may need to do an outfit check before we show up somewhere wearing the same thing! ;D

Handmade it's nice to 'meet' you too! Good on ya (said with my best Aussie accent) for giving the world Style Arc!

Lynne Williams said...

Its so fantastic!!! The color is ....joyous now I want to see the rest of the pattern and fabric options.....a photo spread please:)

I usually have a least one tedious project going with easier ones filling my sewing time while I am thinking about design options, or the "mood" to take me for quiet hand work, detailed pattern making, hand basting know the drill-lol Right now I am making a pair of jeans to recover from sewing silk velvet for a client....

gwensews said...

That's a cute little wrap thingie and look how many waysyou can wear it! Taht is a great piece for fall.

Jilly Be said...

Lynne - I'm giggling at the concept that a pair of jeans is a 'recovery break' project :D I suppose for someone who delves into the intricacies of the amazing costumes you make, jeans WOULD be a break!

hmmm it would hardly be a "photo spread" - I really should take a shot of the back of the pattern though, just to show how utterly simple it all is! Everything is right there - the pattern piece drawing, the instructions, & a sample swatch of recommended fabric. All on one piece of paper. Maybe 100 words total. Maybe.

gwen thank you - it's a great piece for this ridiculously cool California summer!

Martha said...

Gorgeous and cheerful! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Great wrap- the fabric is wonderful. Maybe I can help with the translating. We do speak sort of English down here. Postage kills at the moment- no more eBay!

Jilly Be said...

Thanks Martha!
Don...I'll keep your translation services in mind - a man of many talents; love it! ;D