Wednesday, September 19, 2012

StyleArc Ada Top

During my quest for comfortable warm weather tops earlier this summer, I pulled out my pattern for the Ada Knit Top from StyleArc.

Interesting boxy knit top with side pockets

I thought this looked perfect for my needs--a looser fit, but with unique design lines to add some interest and make it not be just another t-shirt.  My only concern was whether what appears to be a looser, comfortable fit in the design drawing would, in reality, simply be baggy and unattractive.

I ordered the pattern in size 18, which corresponds to my full bust measurement.  The only alteration I made to the pattern when tracing it was to slash the sleeve piece from hem to shoulder point and spread a bit to add about one inch extra width at the hem, tapering to nothing at the shoulder point.  I probably could have gotten away without this alteration, but I would rather have a sleeve on a summer top be a bit too loose than too constricting.

For my first attempt, I pulled out a rayon/lycra knit in a kind of tribal print which I recently obtained from  The cutting process was a little more difficult than usual with this fabric, because not only is it quite lightweight, the print is slightly off-grain.  Because of the off-grain print, I decided not to worry about any matching of the pattern across seam lines and just let the chips fall where they may.  Because of this and the busyness of the print itself, it is rather difficult to see the design lines in the finished top.  I am pleased with the outcome, however, and have worn the top a number of times this summer with enjoyment.  The fit is just what I had hoped for--loose, but not baggy.

Here's a bit better look at the pocket, which is a little droopy in this lightweight knit--

For my second attempt, I used another rayon/lycra knit, this one from EmmaOneSock.  This knit was even lighter in weight than the tribal print knit and the resulting garment is less successful than the first one.  This knit seemed almost to grow while I was sewing it up and I suspect that the pressing process during construction caused the knit to relax more than expected (even though I ironed the fabric prior to cutting).  As a result, the final top is a little looser (read "baggy") and less flattering over all, and the pockets droop a bit more than I would like.  But I do enjoy wearing this second version as well.

With the lighter colors of this print, it's a little easier to see the style lines of the pattern--

All in all, I would recommend this pattern.  The pattern is well drafted, the construction process is simple and quick, and the resulting garment is fun and flattering to wear.  I'll definitely be pulling this pattern out again next year when the warm weather hits again.

1 comment: