Bright Blanche and a bit of Bagel

 It's a very colourful post for you today!

I'm continuing on the Style Arc journey with another little number called Blanche. Despite being named after an 80 year old lady who loves Bingo, it's a very stylish and modern take on a simple tee dress.

The Blanche dress fits my easy breezy criteria for getting dressed - minimal fuss but feel good. 

The pattern is described as a 'short sleeve pull on dress, below knee length with side splits'. 

The features included in the pattern are: 

  • A round neck band - which I did not do. 
  • Mitred corner side openings - which I forgot to do. 
  • A-line shape - which I had to change.

Needless to say me and Blanche went on a little journey. That being said I certainly enjoyed the destination. 

I went for a 16 which seems to be my new Style Arc size, however I did feel this was far too big in the bodice area. The sleeves were giving me a bat-wing effect and so I did have to alter that. The sleeves came out and I reattached them and took in the bodice about 1cm all around. In fact I think I basically just made a size 14. 


The style of this dress is an A-line and loose fit. Unfortunately just as the top was too big, the lower half was too small on me and I could have gone for an 18 around the hips to get that A-line silhouette. 

As it happened the shape did not like my booty and I ended up with a big sway back issue with fabric pooling. The pattern does have a lovely back seam which meant it was quite easy to nip that in and create shaping against my back. 

What I've actually ended up with is more of a semi-fitted tee dress instead of an A-line. I don't mind that at all, it's still comfortable and skims over everything it needs to nicely. 

How epic is this fabric by the way! It's a beautiful viscose jersey called 'Cleo the Leopard' from Mr. Rosenberg at Stitch Fabrics. If you've never cruised that website have a go... however I accept no liability for any money you spend.

The pattern also has a neckband however I chose to use mine as a binding on the inside for a slightly cleaner finish. The cat felt appropriate. (Labels from the Sarah Hearts - Animal Friends range).

I wore the dress immediately and decided I needed another as it was so comfortable. Curse of the second make again!!!!

Full Disclosure - Minerva kindly gave me this next floral fabric for free. It's a beautiful viscose jersey called 'pained bouquet' which I was enticed towards due to that pop of fuchsia pink on the tulips. 

Having made all my adjustments above to my paper pattern, I thought this version would be an absolute breeze. Not so. 

I whipped it up and initially it just looked....awful. I couldn't put my finger on it. Then I realized. I looked like Blanche. My husband confirmed it was giving serious old-lady Nightie vibes because of the florals. 

Not one to give up so easily, me and Blanche wrestled about for a few hours, tweaking, nipping, reshaping. A little bit of figure shape made all the difference, now I love it again!


I like the side slits as a detail I think that makes a great little feature on a fairly standard dress. This is demonstrated below as I saw the biggest spider ever run up into the bat house just as I did the photo!

During the process I had my little furry sewing assistant Bagel Cat to help out. Here she is with the fabric playing a game of 'who wore it best'. Hint - it was her.

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Itch to Stitch - Nosara

 Sliding into Sunday with a fairly new pattern to the sewing world!

The Itch to Stitch - Nosara Shirt is a new release (from July) and immediately appealed to my senses. 

Then I realized it's because it bears a remarkable resemblance to my favourite shirt pattern - Closet Core Kalle. 

(That is not a dig at the pattern companies, inevitably some cross-over in designs will occur especially with trends etc.) 

In the interests of science I figured I better make the Nosara to see how it differed from my gal Kalle. 

The main points of difference on the Nosara is that it has bust darts, cup sizing options and there are no arm cuffs and a much more subtle hem curve. 

Just for info here are both line drawings:

I picked a size 14/16 based on my bust and hip measurement. I did make a little forward shoulder adjustment as I had to do this on Kalle and figured the same would apply here. 

 Apart from that I made it straight up in 14/16 and this is the finished result:

 It is a lovely breezy loose shirt - although I'm inclined to say maybe too loose? I'm not sure the dart is serving much purpose on mine however it's only a B so larger sizes would find it a nice shaping feature.

It's a nice shirt length, good coverage and incredibly easy to whip up. The lack of arm cuffs makes this a really simplified shirt to make - perfect if you're after a quick and dirty project or you are after an introduction to shirt-making.

Another comparison pic incoming. I'm not sure this is fair though as I have just realized I did nip the Kalle in at the waist on my original pattern. 

Personally I've found my Nosara a bit awkward to style as I don't often wear 'trousers'. It's a tad too short to go over leggings, and a bit too full for tucking into jeans.

Then a brain wave - tie it up. I've since worn the shirt out and about like this:

If you fancied putting some shaping into the Nosara,  Norfolk Daphne has written about the darts and changes needed. I may give that a go in due course. 

Fabric-wise, I pulled out the big guns with my posh Guthrie Ghani Bee Happy Blooms ecovero viscose. This was an exclusive print for Guthrie Ghani and the details are stunning. Every time I look I spot a new little plant or bee. (I think the bee is on the back!).

 I wouldn't normally choose white, however the bright illustrations won me over. And the bee. I'm a sucker for a bug as you know.  I popped the matching label in for finishing touches.

The fabric itself is INCREDIBLE. It's got a lovely weight to it but feels soft like silk. An absolute pleasure to wear against the skin. Very high quality so i would definitely recommend that.

As always Itch to Stitch patterns are just wonderful and well explained. (I did have a glance even if I didn't use them fully!)

Yep - I like it! I would make it again. Perhaps with a few shaping tweaks. 

Not sure it beats my lovely Kalle though but I may be biased. 

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A Super Nova


Welcome back to the blog (or hi if you're new :)

It seems I've come over all girly and twirly this week.  

If you’re after a super wafty, comfy, throw-on-and-go, kinda dress that doesn’t touch your skin – I can recommend the StyleArc Nova Midi Dress!

I was kindly gifted this amazing viscose challis by Minerva and whilst I wouldn’t normally choose something so ‘floral’ I just loved this print. It reminded me of countryside days and tulip fields and the zig zag stripe of the print was interesting. I love how that red tulip just pops amongst the pastel tones.

The print is called ‘Nursery Blooms’ and is a great opaque viscose with lots of movement but no need for lining. (I’d recommend a Microtex needle for Minerva challis when dealing with this to avoid any snags.)

At the risk of looking a bit ‘Little House on the Prairie’ I did go for a tiered and gathered little number to show off the print. 

 The Nova Midi Dress is ROOMY and so if you’re in some hot hot heat right now I imagine it would be ideal. Without belt it sits away from your skin and swooshes about around your legs. I particularly like the wider shoulder straps on this pattern as it makes a change from all the spaghetti strap patterns around, giving nice shoulder coverage. Bra hiding and sun protection in one.


I made a size 16 but easily could have gone to a 14 I think. I did have to adjust the bodice and bring it in under the arms. The 16 fit, however the armholes were so low they came to below the side of my bra. I just pinched a little wedge out under the arms to bring that to a higher point.

The pattern is for a lined bodice – however I only cut 1 out to check the fit, then decided just to bind the neckline and arms rather than fully line it. Works just fine so I’d say lining optional!

The tiers are massive but not difficult to do. My preferred method of dealing with tiers and gathering is to use a row of shirring elastic at the top of each piece. SO much faster to stretch that out to meet the tier above rather than fiddly gathering with threads. It also gives a much more even gather as the elastic is doing all the work for you. 

Going with a theme of rolling hills and country meadows I popped a little rabbit label in the back for extra cuteness. 


I preferred my dress belted so popped an elasticated straw belt on for those haystack vibes to cinch it in a tad. 

I really wasn’t sure I was going to like such a ‘girly’ dress but I’m totally loving it! Now if it would just stop raining whilst I find somewhere to actually wear this…..

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