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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  1. They both look great on you: comfortable, unfussy, but with a good shape. I admire your tenacity; I tend to get disheartened and give up when things don’t turn out, but you persevere until you get a good result.

    1. Hee hee thank you - I'm basically just stubborn and hate being beaten!

  2. Both dresses are very pretty! Great fabric/prints! I would definitely have picked up both if I came across them since I'm a sucker for colorful prints. Looks like Bagel Cat is too.