Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Style Arc Emery Top + Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt

Ah, Emery Knit Top, you had me the second I saw the words "leg of mutton"! You think I'm kidding? 

Okay, so maybe that's not exactly right. But as soon as I saw a picture of the top, I was sold. I did giggle a bit at the description, but you have to admit that it is apt. And those of you who know me know my penchant for puffed sleeves. When I went to choose the fabric, I said a silent apology to my daughters, and decided to use this cute Nosh MYRSKY cloud fabric for myself, haha!

This pattern had everything I was looking for: puffed sleeves, crew neck, length through the bodice, and (sort of) long sleeves. And it was for knits. Plus, I had been wanting to try a Style Arc pattern for the loooooooongest time. I blame Mie and all her beautiful makes. And yes, I totally tried using that excuse on my husband. Me: "I didn't really want to buy all these patterns, I swear! It was my friend's doing! She makes the most beautiful clothes, so I had to get myself some of those patterns..." ha ha ha yeah right. He didn't fall for that either. ;)

I hesitated about what size to sew. It's always one of the biggest dilemmas, right? Confession time. I have a hang up about my true size. Even though I might be the smallest size in a pattern, I have a weird idea that I am not that tiny. And no, it's not a Napoleon complex. I think it has to do with the fact that in high school, I was a bit...heftier than I am now. And also with my weight fluctuations after having children, I think I have a warped body image. Don't worry -- I don't want to turn this into a therapy session; I wanted to explain why I went for the size 6 instead of the 4, which probably would have been a better fit. Or at least a fit that's closer to the Style Arc modeled photo.

I realize it doesn't look overly huge on me, though when I first sewed it together, I was worried that it did. It's a bit wider at the sides than I would like, but I was planning on layering this over a turtleneck anyway, so I decided to leave it as is. The real issue was the sleeve head, which my Sewing Guru had warned me about when it comes to puffed sleeves in general, not this pattern in particular. Mie said that it's important that the shoulder seam be shorter in a top with puffed sleeves as opposed to a regular-sleeved top, otherwise you risk looking like a linebacker. Hahaha, no she didn't put it that way, of course not! But you get the idea. If you don't want your top to look boxy on you, make sure the shoulder seams are shorter than your actual shoulders. I hope I am making sense. 

Mie also wisely advised that I baste the sleeve to the bodice first to determine how much to take off at the shoulder. Which I did, and dutifully shortened the shoulder by around 1.2cm and moved the notches as instructed. But then I got lazy. Or maybe I should say I got impatient.

This one was taken before I adjusted the shoulder seam a further 2cm.

I saw this and went "Um...". I'm okay with it being this long, by the way. I made no sleeve or length alterations, so the sleeve is more 7/8 than 3/4 length. I have another thing about wearing super-long t-shirts so that they might as well be tunic length. Is that a 90s thing?

This is also prior to the adjustment, though I realize now that it might be difficult to see that the shoulder is further out than it needs to be. 

You can see it in my face, can't you? In case you can't, I'm saying "I'll bet I have to re-do this." And sure enough, the answer came back in the affirmative. So off I went to unpick a stretch stitch + one of those pseudo overlock stitches you get on a regular machine. And then I cut off 2cm more. I almost wonder if I could have gotten away with another 0.5cm on top of that.

This one (plus the one below, as well as the first two photos in this post) are after I made the second adjustment.

Better? (Hopefully the answer is "yes." And I apologize for not having a photo of me facing the camera straight-on so you can see it better! I obviously need to take some modeling lessons.) I want to make the size 4 next time to see how differently that will fit me, but I am happy with this one and am sure I will wear it lots. Especially with those clouds! I'm glad I didn't give this one to my kids, mwah ha ha!

If you want to sew yourself an Emery Top, you can get this pattern for free for the rest of December 2017, I believe, by purchasing one regular-priced pattern from the Style Arc website. I am not sponsored by them, by the way. I just think it's a great deal, and I am happy with how the pattern came together. And wow for a one-page instruction sheet!!

So the skirt. I once thought that someone my age couldn't really wear circle skirts. But maybe it's all those twirly dresses I've been sewing for my daughters, or maybe it's this beautiful Nosh fabric that was calling my name....but friends, I sewed myself a circle skirt in a gorgeous fabric called "Fantasia." And what a great name for a print! 

And I love it. I used the (free if you sign up for the newsletter) Veronika Skirt pattern from Megan Nielsen. I made Version 3, the knit version, which comes together incredibly quickly. I made the XS. Oh, wait. I cut the S at the waistline and length, and then regretted doing that, so then had to adjust my waistband and I ended up sewing with a 2cm hem rather than a 1cm hem so it might as well be an XS...what's that you say? What I did is confusing you? It's confusing me, too. I assure you that it will be a very straightforward sew if you follow the pattern and don't do what I did. ;)

A huge thank you to Nosh for the beautiful fabrics I used to sew my outfit. It's thanks to Nosh, really, that I sew so much with knits these days -- and on a regular machine! Though I was gifted these fabrics, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. I highly recommend you give them a try!

Happy sewing!


  1. You look great! Love the two together! 💙 And yes, you are super tiny!! You can easily make xxs! I have the opposite issue I think I am smaller than I am because I have always been super skinny. 😂 It’s easier to take things in than not be able to breathe in the freshly made outfit! 😂😂

    1. Thanks, Olga! Haha, maybe I do have a problem because I'm always thinking I'm bigger than I am. But I think part of the problem is that over here in Japan I am definitely not in the "tiny" range at all, LOL.

  2. Oh Emi I'm proud of you and your perseverance. Way to go! You look absolutely beautiful. And sorrynotsorry about the StyleArc purchases. ;-)

    1. Thank you, Mie! For ALL your help. All the time!! Maybe I should take some posing lessons from you too, on how to show off a garment properly! ;) Oh, and I'm not sorry about the Style Arc purchases either, to be honest, haha!

  3. Oh I love the clouds and the swishy skirt! Twirly skirts are my favorite! Nice work with the shoulders!!

    1. Thank you, Emily! I've always had a thing for clouds (maybe because they're so floaty and fluffy? How old am I? Five??). And for once I am glad I got to use a fabric for myself rather than my kids!


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