some like it hot. really hot.

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It was fairly recently that I discovered that Style Arc now has an Etsy shop where you can purchase PDF versions of many of their patterns. I stalked it for awhile. I mean, I actually have several of their patterns that I’ve ordered and have the printed paper copy of (their official webstore is located here). Having only heard good things about Style Arc – especially as concerns fit – I’ve long wanted to try one. Why I couldn’t just settle for using one that I’ve already purchased I don’t know. I have that squirrel disease. “Oh look, SQUIRREL!!!!!!!” In other words, my attention span has been fairly short lately.

KATE-DRESS

It only got shorter when I saw a few versions of the Kate wrap dress. If there’s one thing that I know about myself, it’s this. I love wrap dresses, but never make them. Yet, whenever I’m pattern perusing/shopping, guess what pattern I always end up purchasing? Some sort of wrap dress. Always. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many I have. Another disease, I’m certain, but I have a lot of them. Wrap dress patterns, I mean. Not diseases. So the Kate dress. This one somehow, jumped into my Etsy shopping cart and was downloaded and printed before I could even mouth the words Kate in my half-crazed-Kate-Dress-looking-up-everything-and-every-image/review-internet-vortex-stupor.

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I cut out and stitched up, what was supposed to be, a wearable muslin. That didn’t turn out. I mean they never do for me because I’m such a picky thing. I think I might finally be cured of the idea that I can make a wearable muslin. Ha. Anyway, the muslin told me a few things that I needed to fix and most importantly it told me that fabric choice in this dress is key. Non of that slinky, show-every-lump-and-bump kind of rayon jersey that I used in my muslin. I needed to use something beefier. So I decided to splurge on a stash piece of wool knit. It’s a pretty nice wool knit and it was perfect for the job.

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All in all, I made very few alterations to the pattern, which I found impressive (and which then prompted me to go right ahead and purchase a couple more downloadables from the Etsy shop, but hey who’s keeping tabs on that kind of thing?). I opted to use the left front for both front wrap pieces – wasn’t wild about the tucks on the right front for me (even though yes, I tried them). I lowered the waistline to where my waistline actually is which was about 1 1/2″ down from the original pattern. I chopped about 2 1/2″ off the hem (after lowering the waist). I took 1/2″ off of the neckline all the way around because, hey I’m up for a little sex appeal here and there and a little more skin was just the ticket. I got rid of the tucks in the sleeve (personal preference) and shortened it a mite. Lengthened the tie about 15 inches (wanted to be able to tie in the front) and Voila! done. These are pretty minor tweaks if you ask me – most of which are purely aesthetic. I mean usually I have to do a major forward shoulder adjustment on the bodice coupled with a broad upper back adjustment. Add in a sway back, plus a serious side seam take-in at hips and waist even though my measurements are a whole inch bigger than the size chart measurements on the back of the pattern envelope (I’m sure y’all have no idea which pattern companies these might be, right? Right???)

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Some construction deets. These Style Arc patterns come with a few lines of written instruction at best. I’m totally fine with this as I usually have a better construction method than the directions offer anyway. I opted to do a turned under neckline binding and I did the binding out of cotton/lycra jersey, for comfort. I applied it just like bias tape, due to the bulk, and then shortened it so that it hugged the neck. No gaping here! I used SewKeyZ woven stay tape for the shoulders and the knit stay tape for the hem of the dress. Used my coverstitch for the sleeve hem and dress hem and well, there’s not much more to say. This dress is easy peasy. Would even recommend to a beginner.

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Wearing one of my Gertie slips underneath this dress and it works out wonderfully! Works well and makes it nice and comfortable against the itch factor of the wool – though the wool isn’t that itchy, slips or linings always help, in my opinion. Plus, in the event that our Utah wind flips the wrap flaps open, I’m covered, literally!

Expect more Kate Wraps in my future. I’m on the lookout for a printy ponte as I feel the print would hide some of those lumps and bumps better (I know, we all have them, well at least I do). This thing is just the ticket for a working girl. Secret pajamas I’m telling you. Plus, once I find the right silk jersey for the job, it’s full blown DVF territory – if I haven’t hit that already. For those interested, here’s my full review of this pattern. Cheers and here’s to a happy October!

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39 thoughts on “some like it hot. really hot.

  1. What a fabulous dress. A perfect fit. I’ve been reading a lot about Style Arc patterns recently and I did spend quite a long time on their website recently trying to make a decision about what to buy!

  2. It is so lovely to see you! Glad you are not going to be a stranger. This is a great dress on you! Great color, great fit, great style! I have several wrap dress patterns as well, but haven’t made any of them. What’s up with that? I will have to re-evaluate my stash. Have a great October.

  3. I’ve been sewing these patterns for about a year and a half since I saw them advertised in Threads magazine. At first I ordered from AU and paid $25 in shipping so would order 4-5 patterns at a time. I love this line. They go together very nicely and although the instructions are sparse they are easy th follow.
    Linda

  4. gorgeous on you Sunni. I must pull this pattern out of the box and get it made. Mine will be heavily tweaked too, I like the sexier neckline you designed. I kinda always vow to use certified muslin-ing fabric for muslin/toiles because otherwise I notice it puts me off making another because the first looks blah!

  5. This looks so great on you! I have never considered myself a wrap dress person, but now I am feeling very much like I need to make this. It is so flattering and looks so comfortable!

  6. The wrap dress looks fab on you! I love the dark grey wool. It’s always interesting to read what alterations other people make to patterns. I like Style Arc patterns and made the Trixi wrap dress in purple ponte for last Christmas. I know what you mean about the scant instructions!! Luckily I go to a sewing class where i can get help! I don’t think I have commented before on your blog, but have been reading it. Popping in as part of my 300 comments in 30 days challenge.

  7. Sunni, we all have lumps and bumps but spanx hides them all …
    Great dress!!! I, too, have a lot of Style Arcs patterns that I haven’t used and always wanting to buy more …

  8. This looks great – sort of slinky but not OTT. I’m off to investigate wool jersey (why I hadn’t considered this before, I will never know…)

  9. Great dress! Could you explain a bit more how you faced the neck, shortened the facing etc? I’d like to try this.

  10. HOW have I only just found you?!!! Love this dress, I was dreaming of a wrap PDF pattern recently. So glad to have stumbled on your blog. Your alteration info is great, as I will probably have to chop a mill inches off the hemline.
    Fabulous in wool knit. 😉

  11. Absolutely lovely. You shaped it perfectly, and I love the lower neckline! You might find a nice rayon jersey too. I have a fake wrap dress I love, with an underarm zipper, in wool paisley. They are really versatile. So glad to see you are are still posting!
    Nancy N

  12. Wowza! This looks fantastic. I’ve been dreaming of wrap dresses myself… Personally I’ve got my eye on the Named wrap dress pattern. Now if only I could find the right fabric!

  13. Here, you touched a very sensitive issue: wrap dresses. Like you, I’ve been attracted to wrap dresses forever, but I’ve never bought or sewed one. I’ve pinned over 30 wrap dresses, but still can’t decided which one is the ONE! So far, I narrowed my choice down to the burgundy one from BurdaStyle, the Olivia dress by Named and any of the Style Arc (the Kate and the Lea look pretty similar with minor design differences). Your variation of the Kate dress looks very nice and cozy (wool!!!!) For you next Kate dress, would you keep the same length? Do you find the knee length comfortable?

  14. Love this! I love wrap dresses! I think they are so flattering! (and I see no lumps and bumps, btw!) And in a sumptuous wool jersey there is really nothing better for a cozy, professional yet sexy look. I love the changes you made to the pattern – makes it a more classic wrap dress. This is always my pet peeve with wrap dress patterns, I feel like they’re always trying to ‘snazz’ it up in some way when really all I want is the classic wrap dress!!

  15. Great dress! I love the wrap dress style myself and have millions of patterns, but have found fit to be challenging (front gapes…too big at the waist etc.) But you’ve inspired me to try again! I agree that the weight of the knit is key and yours looks perfect! Great length too….

  16. Hi Sunni, this looks lovely on you – make more! The olive wool jersey you chose looks great. I know exactly what you mean about rayon jersey, although printed ones can be more forgiving!

  17. I love Kate Dress. I made it 4 times and it’s now become my favorite wrap dress and knit pattern hack! Could I ask you how you lowered the waistline? I need to do that too on the front.

  18. Welcome back! Great dress and congratulations on getting the neckline in exactly the right place. Personally I can’t standing the cami under the wrap dress look.

  19. That dress looks great on you. I’m hearing lots of chatter on the blogs about Style Arc now that they have an Etsy shop. I think beginners could use a book like Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time to use as detailed sewing instructions and then figure out the rest. Lauren from Lladybird.com made the Stacie jacket and there’s no way I’d even attempt that.

    So the shoulder adjustment isn’t me??? Interesting. I spent 10 of my formative years in dance so my shoulders are always back and my spine is straight. That causes extra fabric across the back neckline and the shoulder seams ride to the front. I’ve taken to leaving an extra 2″ on the top of each shoulder pattern piece to customize the seam so it fits correctly. However, I hardly ever have that problem in RTW. I wonder why?

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