Style Arc Ginger Twist Top

Um, did I say in my last post that I wouldn’t actually use presets myself? I stand corrected. I had these lackluster photos sitting around for weeks, and when I finally sat down to edit them, I thought, “Ok, let’s see if a preset can help!”

Style Arc Olivia

Top left is my original photo – I’d tweaked the colour and exposure a bit, but it seems a bit flat. Everything else: a whole bunch of presets! I can’t actually tell which is the one I picked to apply to the other pictures… I think it might be the top right?

I ended up choosing a preset called “High Contrast” which literally just adds more contrast! When I edit photos, I might put the contrast up to 5 or 10, but this set it much higher at 50. That means the lights are lighter, the darks darker, and the mid tones are less prominent. It did wash out my skin tone and jeans a bit, so I used the brush tool to lighten and warm those areas a bit after.

Style Arc Olivia

This is the Style Arc Ginger top, which lured me in with its interesting twist effect! Which is, of course, totally lost in this print. Oh well! I’ve seen nice versions of this pattern by Jean Margaret and Thornberry, and 110 Creations did a version without the twist. I enjoyed the mental aerobics of making something unintuitive, with only Style Arc’s limited instructions for help.

Style Arc Olivia

Basically, the pattern pieces are the same triangle shape you’d expect from any cross-over blouse… but then the diagonal  edged are seams together vertically for a few inches at bust height! That creates the neckline, and the excess fabric drapes in a twisted effect. The overlapping front hems are then sewn together in a (confusing) right-side to wrong-side way. I found the inner layer sagged out from under the outer layer, so I ended up topstitching a hem to make everything stay put.

In fact, the hem and finishing are my biggest beef with this pattern. The back is hemmed separately, the front hem hangs funny, and when the two are combined it just feels inelegant. There must be a better way to do this, right? (I’m wondering if a hem band would just be the simplest option?) I also need a bit more width across the back. Ideally, I’d love a back shirt-tail hem like most of the rtw versions of this style that I’ve seen, but that would complicate the hem even more!

Style Arc Olivia

I made a few adjustments along the way, and I few I’d make next time:

  • shortened and angled the dolman sleeves
  • stitched the neckline closed an extra inch. I still need a cami under it for work (if I’m every going to bend forward, that is!) so maybe next time I’ll just leave it open?
  • the pattern has you turn and stitch the neckline, THEN sew the two sides together through the finished edges. I chose to sew the pieces together first on the sewing machine, then coverstitch the seam allowance back to finished the edge. I think that made it much cleaner!
  • Next time, I’ll figure out how to remove the two pleats at the shoulder. I really don’t need extra fabric hanging down over my armpits and side bust!

Style Arc Olivia

You can probably tell I’m not enamoured with the pattern… but I am happy I made it! I wanted to try this chartreuse green for my fall Pantone capsule, and I think this top is as good a use of that ITY as I could have come up with. It’s a perfectly nice little top, and I could see it being very chic with a few tweaks.

Style Arc Olivia

I recorded an episode of the Love To Sew podcast recently, and one of the things we talked about was how valuable it is to take risks with sewing projects sometimes! This is a new colour for me, a new design, and a pattern company I don’t sew often… so it’s much more about the sewing process than the finished product for me! Now I can go back to my trusty TNTs for a while, until it’s time to experiment again!

On the podcast, I suggested that maybe 1 in 10 projects should be an experiment in some way – what is the right ratio for you? 1 in 5? 1 in 100? Every single time, or never?


14 thoughts on “Style Arc Ginger Twist Top

  1. I love the fabric you chose! Perfect color and print. The shape of the top is very nice too. Burda has really helped me become more experimental. There’s something about not purchasing the individual patterns that helps me get over the over-analyzing hump! Once in a while it doesn’t work, but I’m usually so pleased with the results.

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    1. Ooh, that’s a great recommendation for Burda! I definitely overanalyse buying any new pattern, because I’m so in my TNT ways!

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  2. I love the color; chartreuse is one of my favorites, but never for fall! In terms of sewing risks, very few of my makes are. For me ,with my limited time, if I can’t salvage a project then that’s a relatively larger percent of time/money/fabric I’ve lost. I’d rather sew patterns where I know I have easy adjustments and easy techniques. But that’s just me on a student’s budget and a veeeerrrry low amount of time!

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    1. That totally makes sense! When I’m stressed, I go for TNTs. It’s one of the things I love about summer holidays – I make more adventurous stuff when i have all the time in the world!

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  3. I like this top on you, the twistiness and fabric are great! It’s nice to see an experiment that has a positive result, if not perfect. I don’t take a lot of risks in my sewing, because I’m pretty set in my style ways, but I love a technical challenge. That’s part of what I enjoy about pattern testing – the garments may or may not turn out to be wearable, but I think about them differently and have more fun sewing them!

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    1. I like that about pattern testing too! It’s fun to see if a style will work or not – thought I admit, I say no to pattern testing button up or other stuff that I don’t think I’ll enjoy sewing OR wearing! 😉

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  4. Of the nine pictures at the top, the one on the lower left is the one that looks best to me. I know it’s my hp monitor that produces the one I like best. Other monitors, other results.

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  5. I’ve either made this (or I planned to make it before I turned into an interim non-sewist). Lord knows, I own 3 RTW tops that look exactly the same. I do like the style but I find it hard to get the drape such that the fabric doesn’t pool at the stomach area (a place I’m not trying to call attention to). The reason why I want to make it, rather than buy it, is so that I can tailor the drape (because I need the cross over piece to be much shorter than it usually is).

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  6. Also, these tops are ridiculous re: showing your boobs to everyone. Thank god I have gorgeous bras that fit well. One day, I was walking down University Avenue and realized that my ENTIRE left boob was hanging out for all to see. And, can’t tell you how many times I’ve bent over in a meeting and someone says – Kristin, your top! Fortunately I really don’t care. But I don’t wear this style to brief the ministers 🙂

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  7. I love your top. The fabric is lovely. Chartreuse green is one of my favourite colours (I don’t have a single garment in it though). It is good to try something different once in a while. Saying that I would love to have a few TNT patterns but having such limited sewing time these days. I like the pre-set. Xx

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  8. I’ve learned so much from reading your blog, Gillian! I wondered if you’d ever considered a run-down of your favourite Canadian fabric sources or stores. I’d love to expand my horizons beyond the local Fabricland.

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  9. I enjoyed listening to you on the Love to Sew podcast Gillian – so good to put a voice to a face! Sew2pro once described Style Arc as the type of parent that just sends their kid across the busy freeway for life experience, or something similar anyway, I agree. They are not patterns for the feint hearted! I totally agree with your assertion that some makes have to be experiments, but also warn that constantly experimenting doesn’t put clothes on one’s back! I possibly went too deep into experimentation and it can be quite demotivating – as you say, moderation may be the key. About 1 in 3 for me!

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