Sew Here We GO! Welcome to the Style Arc MILEY! Can’t say enough great things about this top. Style Arc has designed wonderful, flowy, interesting top for woven fabric that knocks it out of the ball park. Did someone say “interest”? That’s right, you’ll find tons of interest in the detailed flounces and cinched sleeves. Check out those sleeves! This top is so comfortable, easy to wear, and fashionable. The only “fitted” piece to this is small basic bust darts and that’s it; but it doesn’t need extra darts here and there to make it lay perfectly and look awesome. Here is a quick sneak peak at the finished product:
So let’s get to it…
I purchased 2 yards of fabric from JoAnn’s for this project. It is a Lyocell / Rayon blend which is washable in cold water, then line dry and if needed, a quick over with a cool iron. Somewhat light weight with excellent flow and drape. The wrong side of the fabric is not glaringly different from the right side so I didn’t have to worry too much about the wrong side showing under the sleeve flounce. If you do use a fabric with an obvious wrong side I highly recommend adding an extra step in the sleeve flounce and use a facing there. More later on that.
For choosing the right size pattern, go to the Style Arc Sizing Charts. I made a size 14 and it is just about right for me. Start laying your pattern pieces out on your fabric to get an idea the best way to place them prior to cutting. You’ll notice that Style Arc uses the metric system and most seams are 1cm or 3/8″ and sometimes reduce to 1/4″ so look at your pattern pieces carefully to see the seam allowance for each piece. Style Arc also uses a bit different terminology than I use since we are from different parts of the world, but it all works out in translation. 1 pair = 2 mirror pieces, main = fabric, fuse = interfacing, and so on and so forth. Mark all your notches and give the instructions a good once-over so you are familiar with how it’s constructed. Let’s begin.
If you’re using interfacing, go ahead and fuse it in. I didn’t use any on this project, instead I did a little trick with some Stitch Witchery at the end to reduce a little bulk. Sew the bust darts and press. Pretty simple. OK… this is going to be easy breezy! Now sew the shoulder seams right sides together. OK. Got it. But before we move on…. finish those seams. Make them so they don’t fray. Use some type of stitch, wether it’s a simple zigzag, overlock, or whatever but finish those seams. You’ll appreciate it in the end.
Next sew the back seam from the bottom hem to the notch where your neck opening slit will begin. Leave this seam “open” (meaning don’t serge or finish it closed) since you’ll be sewing your neck facing to it. I did finish the seam using an overlock stitch to both seam allowances. See Below:
Before we move on…. let’s go ahead and sew our ties and button loop. There are two different ties, one long/one short and one teeny tiny button loop. I used to hate turning these inside out after sewing, but I have found a new favorite friend/tool. It’s a small hook at the end of a long slender metal piece that you can use to turn these “hard to do” challenges into a no-fuss operation. Where have you been all my life my little friend?
OK… Now the neck facings. Sew them together at the shoulder seam. And now, sew that small seam at the center back of the facing from the bottom edge of the facing to the notch where the neck slit begins. It’s about an inch or so but it’s still a seam. You may want to take the opportunity here to finish the edge of the facing. Turn it up once and finish with a zigzag or overlock stitch. Either way, go ahead and finish your facing before you sew it to the main body. It’s considerably easier this way. Of course, why would I take my own advice? That’s crazy talk! (wish I had).
Pin the neck facing to the body … BUT… before you do that I suggest the following simple way of placing your button loop in first. Take your button loop and baste it to the right side of the neck top under the seam allowance. Sandwich it in between the neck facing and body. When you sew the facing in place it attaches the loop perfectly. See below: Sew that facing in place. I started at the base of the neck opening and went all the way around and finished where I started.
Next important step is to understitch the facing close to the neckline so when it’s turned right side out it “rolls” inward toward the facing instead of your facing hanging out in the front of your garment. Turn the garment right side out, poke those corners out with a point turner or other useable device and WHAAAA LAAAAH! YAY! Marion’s cheat: I use stitch witchery to hold my neck facing in place. Always test stitch witchery on a test fabric before you use it on your garment.
Go ahead and sew those sides seams together and finish them nice and neatly. Now for the hard part? The sleeves are so pretty and detailed, and to achieve that interest, it takes a bit of extra work. We will start with sewing the sleeve dart together. Just follow the stitch lines on the pattern. Press it open as much as you can.
Now we are going to sew the LONG tie to the top of the dart on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
I pondered the next step and decided to finish my sleeve tab bottom hem where the tie comes out of to ensure the material didn’t ravel and fray each time I cinched it. Then, take the sleeve tab over to the iron board and press your seam allowances inward. I used a good spray starch to help hold the press. Next I placed the tab over the tie and sewed it in place ensuring I didn’t catch the tie in the stitches. I noticed my placement didn’t quite line up to the notches but I was good with how I did it. Next, sew the SHORT TIE to the bottom hem RIGHT SIDE of fabric as seen below.
OK, we are on a roll here. The only thing left is sewing the sleeve seam and finishing it. Then onto the flounces. Let’s start with the sleeve flounce first. I highly recommend you do the hem of the flounce first. I used a 1/4″ rolled hem down the sides and bottom. Once that was complete I attached it to the sleeve with a slight overlap of flounce. ALTERNATIVE: If you prefer, you can cut a second set of flounces facings and sew them together leaving the seam curve open. Turn right side out and sew that to the sleeve like above. This way you do not see any wrong side of fabric when worn.
Last leg of the stretch now…. Attach the main flounce to body and finish with a 1/4″ rolled hem. You made it to the finish line. Attach a small button to the neck line, chinch the sleeves up as much as you like and wear it in style.