I don’t repeat patterns very often, but my first Stylearc Toni dress has been such a favourite that I made another. It isn’t a maternity style but it’s roomy enough to work over a bump without too much distortion. I’m trying to make regular patterns with plenty of room on them rather than maternity ones in the hope that they’ll still look OK after the baby arrives.
My original version was made up straight out of the packet but this time I made a few changes. The first dress is a bad length for me: it ends at the widest part of my leg which means I can’t take long strides because the dress is very narrow at the hem and it catches on my calves. That was my fault for not bothering to add any extra length to the pattern. I normally need to add 2-4 inches to dresses. This one’s supposed to end at the bottom of the calf so it probably needed four inches adding if not more. I was a bit short of fabric for the second version, so instead of lengthening it to the intended proportion I shortened it by four inches so it ends just below my knee. I’m really pleased with the way that’s come out. It’s comfortable to walk in and it’s more flattering than my previous version.
The fabric is a lightweight viscose woven from Macculloch and Wallis. Right now it’s still available here. It drapes very nicely, which is good for the style, but I used very lightweight interfacing on the collar to go with the fabric and that was a mistake as it’s come out a bit too floppy. This is the same fabric I used the pink colourway of for my first Vogue 1482 dress. It is very comfortable to wear and although it’s lightweight it’s relatively easy to sew.
I lost the pocket piece from the original pattern and had to make a new one. Unfortunately I didn’t make it quite deep enough to be perfect. But any pockets are better than none. The position of the pocket is better on this version because I took out some of the length from the top half of the pattern, raising the pockets up a couple of inches.
Here’s the back view. Last time I said that the centre back seam could be eliminated, but I’m glad I kept it. I had trouble fitting the collar to the neckline on this version – I probably stretched the neckline out while handling – and having the seam allowed me to fix the mismatch by taking the dress in a little at the top of the centre back.
Clio made the great suggestion of adding a zip to the centre front seam for breast-feeding access. I increased the seam allowance on the centre front seam to half an inch (or 1.2cm; it was 1cm originally) and interfaced the seamlines to make inserting the zip easier. I also removed the seam allowance from what was originally the centre front seam of the neck facing pieces so I could use the all-machine method of applying facings to the top of the zip and neckline from Kathleen Fasanella’s centered zip tutorial.
Here’s a closeup of the zip, which also shows the collar worn down rather than up.
An unexpected bonus: because the only black invisible zip I had on hand was a 24″ one I can put the dress on by stepping into it rather than pulling it over my head.
Since we took these pictures the weather in the UK has turned autumnal and I’ve been wearing this dress with leggings and my grey boiled wool kimono jacket. I’m hoping it will keep going all winter with enough layers. I can even see me making a third version of this one day; I’d like to try it in something really crisp like a cotton poplin to see what happens to those drapes.
18 thoughts on “Stylearc Toni take two”
This is so lovely and elegant! I also love the idea of putting a zipper in front; in addition to being good for breastfeeding moms, it would also be good for someone with low arm mobility. Hmm. Going to try this in the future!
I love it. It makes a great “maternity” dress 🙂
fantastic, and looks great on you.
Great length–looks wonderful on you.
Really really nice. I like the new length – very becoming. When is that baby due? I’m excited for you.
Thanks! Just over two weeks to go now, I’m very excited.
I love this pattern . I made up in a beefy wool jersey and re cut the top using my favourite t shirt latter and added long sleeves . It worked very well. Looks great with leggings and boots
That sounds great for winter, I’ll have to try it
I love the outline of this dress, and the straight geometric lines somehow emphasise the roundness of your bump. I love the idea of this over leggings or thick tights as it gets colder, with the layered kimono jacket. Very neat.
You look gorgeous in that Toni!
Awesome! The length is perfection, and I love that you are planning ahead and making such a versatile wardrobe.
Another great dress, and a very useful tip with the zip for you. I have the pattern printed and really should crack on. Your dresses are giving me Toni envy.
Thanks! it is a brilliant pattern: one of my favourites of 2016 along with Vogue 1482
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