Monday, December 7, 2015

Style Arc Stella Coat

I've been on kind of a Style Arc bender lately . . .  And I've been obsessed with this pattern ever since Sam made hers last spring.  So I finally broke down and bought it a few weeks ago, along with a few yards of this Italian wool blend coating.   I'd really intended to make this coat in a classic camel, but decided to find an outer to go with this silk CDC lining I'd bought last month.



This wrap coat has a slim silhouette.  As with my Dotty blouse, I bought the pattern in size 8 to accommodate my shoulders, but of course had to grade out to about a 12 from the waist down.  I did many of my typical adjustments after a tissue fitting:  shortened the sleeves, did a broad back adjustment, low round back adjustment and sway back adjustment.  Although the line drawing shows three panels across the back there is actually a center back seam, which is great for me - when a back is cut on the fold I usually have to convert it to a seam to make the adjustments for my back.  All those vertical seams means that there are plenty of opportunities for grading in or out as needed.



This design is also clever in that the front piece doesn't go all the way to the side. There is a narrow panel at the underarm, so that the on-seam pocket in the "side" seam is actually positioned a bit to the front, placing it just right for easy access.



I've said this before, but I really love that the seam allowances are marked on Style Arc patterns.  The typical seam allowance is 3/8", but I've noticed that the neckline seam allowances tend to be 1/4".  Because my fabric was so thick, I took that up to 3/8".  It took me a while to get used to this after 40 years of predominantly 5/8" allowances!  But I realized that the smaller seam allowance basically means that the seams are pre-trimmed, and I like that a lot.

On both the Style Arc patterns I've used so far, the sleeve heads have been perfection.  The amount of ease is so spot on that the sleeves insert beautifully. The sleeve heads are also shaped with more volume at the back, which is what I need for my forward shoulders.  It is so nice - and so novel - to use a sleeve "as written."

For this pattern, there was a new-to-me concept of using fusible interfacing as the sleeve header.  I really liked how this worked for this jacket, which is softer in shape and has little interfacing and no shoulder pads.  Something to keep in mind for future projects.


I liked pretty much everything about the pattern.  I didn't love working with this thick wool very much, although I like the outcome.  It really didn't want to hold a press, so I ended up topstitching all the seams except the sleeve set-in - which means that I sewed every seam three times.  I wasn't so sure about the look of the topstitching, but I was unanimously outvoted when I asked my Instagram friends! In the end I'm happy with it though, and although it added a lot of work to the process, it was still probably less than catch-stitching all those seam allowances down by hand.


The pattern gives instructions for a bagged lining and even has a couple of diagrams.  But I felt more comfortable making the lining and facing into a unit and sewing the whole thing to the outer at the front and collar edges, then closing it up by hand at the sleeve and coat hems.

I put in the last hem stitches just 15 minutes before I had to get ready to go downtown for a concert Friday evening.  It ended up being a warm-ish evening, so I pushed myself to finish.  And I have to say, I felt like a million bucks in my new coat and silk Dotty blouse!  I did have a little bit of a scare though when the kid next to me on the subway opened up a bottle of some bright red sports drink!  You better believe I got up and walked to the other end of the car!  I have a feeling I'll be worried about stains every time I wear this coat, but I love it all the same.


A last note on the length:  I did not shorten the body, which surprised me.  I'd wanted the coat to come to must below my knees, and that's exactly where it ended up as drafted.  It surprised me because at 5'4" I generally do have to shorten things.

I'm a huge sucker for outerwear, but I think this will have to be my last coat for a while.  My closet is crammed full!  But I can see making this again in the spring in a cotton twill, maybe in a mid-thigh length.

44 comments:

  1. Gorgeous coat! I love the shape.

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  2. Such lovely work - the coat is gorgeous! I'm with you on Style Arc patterns. I love the design elements and the fit is great for me (at least it is when I order the correct size!). I have their trench coat pattern and now I'm tempted to order this one! I've been thinking about interfacing a lot these days - can you tell me which pieces were interfaced?

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    1. And this is me (poldapop)- I just accidentally commented with my other email!

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    2. Thank you! And I'm tempted by the trench, LOL! You're welcome to borrow mine and trace off if you take a size 8 :-)

      There wasn't a whole lot of interfacing - both collar pieces, the front facing and that sleeve head. There were also patter pieces for the sleeve hem interfacing, but I didn't use those because I like to use the 1.25" fusible roll interfacing. It didn't say to interface the body hem, but I did anyway, also with the roll interfacing.

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    3. I do take a size 8 and I would love to take you up on that offer! And where do you buy 1.25" fusible roll interfacing? I usually buy those notions at Wawak but they only have 1, 2, 3, or 4" rolls.

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  3. This is as fabulous as I thought it was going to be Gail. I love Style Arc patterns too as you know, and I loved the way the sleeve head was done on this, and the side panel that brings the pockets forward slightly. The lining you chose is absolutely stunning, I do love a fancy lining.

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    1. Thank you Sam! And thank you for the inspiration! I love the fancy lining too - this is my first time using one. I feel like I have a fancy secret :-)

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  4. GOR-GEOUS! Man, I'm swooning. So beautiful. GAH.

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  5. Oh my word. Are we the same size? I think we are. If not we can be!!! :)

    It turned out just amazingly. And the work you put in shows. Very nice job!

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    1. Hehehe! I wouldn't mind doing some outerwear tradesies with you :-)

      Thank you so much!

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  6. That coat is super glamorous! That topstitching looks beautiful and I love the overal shape of the coat on you!

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  7. Perfect in every way, Gail. I do admire your sewing chops!
    -- stashdragon

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  8. This is so beautifully sewn, Gail! It looks smashing on you. I admire your grading - I've been a little nervous to sew Style Arc because I know I'd need to grade out the shoulders dramatically!

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    1. Thank you, Morgan! I was nervous too about the grading, and put off buying these patterns for a long time. I finally decided to buy the size that matched my shoulders and back and grade everything else, because those are the adjustments that are easiest for me.

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  9. This looks amazing! What a fabulous coat. I do love those top stitched seams... definitely the way to go! And yes to varying seam allowances--pre-trimmed makes things go so much faster!

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    1. Thank you! I will admit I'm still not 100% sold on the topstitching, but I know you are definitely in the pro-topstitching camp, LOL!

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  10. Gail, this is beautiful! Your outer fabric was a great match to your lining. Nice choice! I bet this is a dream to wear right now with the mild weather we're having currently!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Yes, I really got lucky with the weather! I'm glad I didn't put this off until the spring because I can definitely get some wear out of it before real winter hits.

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  11. It's just fab of course, and that lining is amazing! What a ray of sunshine!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I have a large-ish piece of the silk left, and I'm contemplating making it into a matching scarf . . .

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  12. Your coat is all business until you open and see the lining :D I love it!! I tend to go on pattern designer benders too :)

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    1. Hehehe! It's a fun secret! Yeah, I'm all about Named and Style Arc right now!!

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  13. I adore this Gail! Utter coat perfection in my eyes xx

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  14. You amaze me with your professional skills! This coat is perfection!!!

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  15. Wow what a surprise for the lining, it's fab!

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  16. This is terrific! And I pretty much only sew Style Arc at this point. The drafting (while it might need altering to suit one's specifics) is generally good. The instructions, not so much.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, I seem to be all about Style Arc and Named patterns right now. Both companies design the sleeves really well, and that's important to me because I find that a tough area to fit. All the other adjustments I do, I find I pretty much have to do across all companies, so I'm used to them!

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  17. This is beautiful Gail!! I especially love the lining :)

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  18. The coat came out stunning! Very chic and well-finished; all that top-stitching really paid off in a beautiful, professional-looking make! Well done! And, I love the lining, too!

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  19. Just catching up on my blog roll and boy, I'm so glad I saw this post! I loved the coat when it popped up on instagram, but the lining and detail shots are so gorgeous that I'm really glad to have seen them. I'm going to have to try that tip of using fusible as a sleeve head substitute!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sonja! That is a great trick, isn't it? I'll definitely be using it again!

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