Style Arc Armidale - Succulents and Citrus

It's Style Arc Armidale revisited today!

In light of some epic fabric from Minerva I had to pull out one of my favourite patterns.  

This absolutely beautiful fabric is called ‘Succulent Citrus’ from the Minerva Exclusive range of viscose challis.

A natural fiber with a nature print makes this a super breathable, super fun, make for summer!

The print features so many adorable succulent designs which just burst with colour and joy to me. Every time I look another fruit pops up. 

 I don’t usually wear or use white fabrics however the print on this sufficiently covers it so I’m not sure it counts as ‘white’ really. The fabric is opaque which is wonderful and doesn’t need any kind of lining.

For this print only the Style Arc Armidale Dress would do. A fit and flare beauty of a dress with a subtle little collar and a jazzy button opportunity. 


I really like the bodice of this pattern as there are no darts, just gathers under the bust and in the back which creates a really elegant shape.

My previous Armidale dresses were a 14 and seemed to fit beautifully until I was too big to get in them. My latest versions, including this one, are a straight 16 and for some reason don’t seem to lay quite as nicely.

That being said, from taking these pictures I think I need to make a forward shoulder adjustment to stop the collar pulling back, reduce the shoulder length and perhaps take the side seam from a 14 to a 16 at the waist. I have since adjusted my pattern pieces, so we’ll see what the 3rd version brings! (I absolutely will make a 3rd version at some point). 

With all Style Arc patterns, the instructions are sparse and assume prior knowledge, however the construction is very straightforward. A great introduction shirt-dress if you haven’t done a collar before, as this one just sits flat on the neck, trapped between the bodice and a facing. No stand to contend with.

Word of warning – this pattern uses a lot of fabric, especially if you have a directional print!

I was kindly given 3m of this viscose and I only JUST managed to get all the pieces out of it. The long front facing had to be patched together rather than being one continuous piece as I just couldn’t fit the entire thing on aswell as a whopping 6 flared skirt pieces. I also had to reduce the ‘flare’ by a couple of cm to fit onto the width. 

If you’re a smaller size I’m sure it would be fine, but this 16 definitely took every bit of that 3m.

I figured this dress needed some citrus zesty buttons. I did hover over some actual lemon slice buttons but they were a bit pricey so opted for these. I think they zing.

Lemon slice earrings were definitely the right combo though!

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Dream on Dress - Pattern Emporium

 Back again today with a simple but effective little number in the form of Pattern Emporium - Dream On Dress. 


I'm having a bit of a dalliance with Pattern Emporium at the moment and have bought and made several of their patterns lately. I think Australian patterns seem to suit my style and body shape!

If you haven't given them a go - at least have a peek at the website. The patterns are numerous and I love how all body shapes and sizes are shown in the pictures.

The best thing about Pattern Emporium that I've found so far is the sheer number of variations you get with each pattern - it's huge!

This particular Dream On Dress came with 4 different length options, 4 necklines and 7 sleeve options! That's a lot of skirt and dress combinations right there. (I want to say 224 but I feel that may be wildly incorrect...can anyone do the maths?!)

Oh yeah - and the instruction booklet is a photo illustrated masterpiece at 56 pages long. That is some serious value for money.

This version is the mid-neck, midi length, cap sleeve version. My measurements put me at a 16 and I think that's just fine!

The bodice is not a tight fitting top - it is supposed to be a bit breezy by the looks of the photos however you could size down for a more fitted bust and waist. I preferred mine belted to break it up a bit and cinch in my waist however it's incredibly comfortable without it aswell. 

The fabric is from the stash - some really cheap (£2.50pm) poly jersey from Pound Fabrics - I'm not usually a poly-wearer however this is so soft it's unreal. I wore it all day and didn't find it sticky, it feels like soft peach fuzz. It's an exact match for a dress I have from Simply Be so I wonder is it's deadstock.

 I like the length - makes a nice change from a maxi dress in this tiered style. There's a lovely sleeveless version that I would be keen to try out for summer too. 

The gathers were straight forward in so far that I used the shirring method (yes I pronounce it 'shearing' like sheep). A quick line of shirring around the top edge - pull it into position and pin - overlock the layers. Job done. No daft gathering with threads. 

I usually hem everything including knits, but actually this looked worse when I tried. So no hemming - sleeves and skirt hem are all raw. 

These are not my doggos - just visiting family :)

A lovely 'little' pattern (despite the vast array of versions available) and a definite one to re-make again. Could you make all available variations?! Dream On. 

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Beetle Jewels - Sew Over It Ruby Skirt

 Well hello there, guess who is sneaking back on the blog today... so apparently I missed May entirely. It was personally a bit bonkers and time has flown by.

I thought I'd pop back on with a new review! For a FREE pattern no less. 

And for me - full disclosure - free fabric. (Can you blame me? If Minerva would like to give me bug fabric, I'm going to say yes heehee)

If you want to see my post on Minerva - here it is. Otherwise keep reading here for the less official version! 

First things first, I am not saying this because it's a paid for fabric but I genuinely LOVE everything about this one.

Bright, bold print, bugs.. perfect. I can’t believe I hadn’t spotted this sooner in the Minerva challis range however here we are today.

The fabric is called ‘Beetle Jewels’ and is just stunning in my opinion. At first glance you don’t appreciate the shapes within the print however the giant insects just pop once you see them!


This make was all about the fabric and so I wanted a low fuss pattern that would show it off nicely.

I thought separates would be a nice idea for this to pick out the colours and therefore a skirt was ideal.

During #sewfrugal I had seen quite a few people mention the free Ruby Skirt pattern from Sew Over It and I had managed to download and have that printed some time ago. However, like most good ideas, the pattern sat there a little forgotten. Clearly it was just waiting for its perfect partner.

I will say, I’m not generally a big fan of Sew Over It – just personal aesthetic. I don’t really fit that vintage feminine look however this skirt appealed. It bears a high resemblance to my favourite pattern The KewDress and Skirt and so drew me in. The skirt also has a flat front and elastic gathered back which is my preference for elasticated trousers and skirts. 


For W35 and H47, I made a size 18 and took a gamble that I would be able to pull that over my hips. The finished waist measurement said 46. It’s a tad snug but once on, it’s on.

The pattern has front patch pockets however I omitted these as I didn’t want to break up the print too much.

It was a very straightforward pattern to construct. The button plackets just fold inwards rather than being made from a separate pattern piece. There is a very slight gather at the front and the flat front waistband is very flattering and comfortable. 


I can’t really comment on the instructions as I didn’t use them. For the elastic I stitched one end in, tried the skirt on and pulled it as tight as I wanted it to be, pinned, tried to get out of it, then stitched the other end down.

The best bit, the button placket is ‘faux’ on this version. I believe the pattern has you create a proper buttonhole closure at the front to assist with getting the skirt on and off, however as I could pull in on, there was no need. I simply stitched the front placket closed and added buttons for decoration.  

These ‘glitter bug’ buttons from Textile Garden also found their destiny as I had been hoarding them for ages. I love how they go with the fabric theme!

 To complete the look I added some beetle earrings from Kirstin Stride in a fantastic jewel green. 

 The skirt I will definitely make again and have plans for a plain black version to replicate this look:

Thanks for reading and until the next time - happy sewing!

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