Long Leopard Armidale - Style Arc

So here's a new one. The Armidale dress by Style Arc.

New to me for sure, and new to the Style Arc collection at the time I made it! So new in fact there was very little on the interweb that I could stalk for inspiration.

Inspiration came from a different source this time. I remember my Nan had an amazing red leopard shirt dress that she had made herself. As I kid I loved it, it was glamorous lovely Nan. As the leopard trend came about I was hoping I'd find a perfect leopard shirt dress that was similar but it was not to be. For ages the fabric was not available either but then..... this amazing 'ruby leopard' viscose from Sewisfaction appeared!

It was just calling out to be something elegant and gorgeous and fulfill its destiny. As if by fate, the next day this amazing pattern by Stle Arc was released! As a big fan of the shirt dress, this pattern really stood out to me. It is simple in its design but flowed in all the right places.

I've never made a Style Arc pattern before and heard rumours of the sparse instructions. This was partially true. Whilst the instructions aren't all singing all dancing coloured step-by-step like you get on some indie/beginner patterns - there is a pretty comprehensive construction sheet, complete with map of what piece attaches where! (That bit is really useful and a nice touch). In my haste I had not realized this, and was going by the text on the pattern sheet itself. The lovely people at Style Arc have since reached out to me and sent the full instruction sheets (3 pages of text and diagram) - so check you have them! (Thank you Style Arc!!! It makes much more sense now!)

Fortunately for me the dress only consisted of very few pieces and it was FAIRLY straightforward to put together.

I say fairly - as I did mess it up initially. The skirt portion of the dress has 6 pieces to it. I had only cut out 4 (back, front and two sides). Panic set in - I had no more fabric! Sheona to the rescue as there was more in stock and an emergency meter was purchased....

I hadn't realized the side panels were 2 each side. To allow for a pocket. Of course!! How could I forget the all important pocket!!

I made a straight up size 14 expecting it to need a bit of tweaking - but not so! The relief...

The collar and bodice has a really vintage vibe. There are no darts, but the bodice is shaped with tiny gathers under the bust and at the back. I'm not usually a big fan of gathers (*yuck*) but these are beautiful and serve a purpose. The gathers are forgiven.

The collar is a simple shape and just attached around the top neck, trapped into the facing.

As I mentioned before, due to the mishap with cutting the skirt, I definitely didn't have enough fabric for the button and neck facings which are one large piece going right from the bottom of the skirt all the way up to the top neck. I didn't take a picture but basically these facings are patch-worked together from red leopard scraps and pieces of black viscose! It worked. I'm happy.

This has yet to be worn in the wild, but I intend to get in some use this autumn winter by wearing it with a tights/boots/biker jacket combo. Would I make this pattern again - yes! Does it make me feel nice and think of my Nan - absolutely!

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  1. This looks amazing! It's a great pattern.

  2. I’m going to start sewing the Armidale dress tomorrow, so just looking for any tips or tricks, but, by what you’ve said, it seems to go together really well. Thanks!