Style Arc Toni front view

Style Arc Toni dress the third

White Style Arc Toni front view

This dress was an experiment which worked out far better than I expected. The pattern is Style Arc‘s Toni ‘designer dress’, which I’ve made twice before in very drapey fabrics as the pattern recommends. I loved both versions, but sadly neither fabric aged gracefully and both have now been thrown out. However I’d always suspected that the pattern would also look good in something crisp and structured. So here it is in white cotton sateen, and I think it’s the best version I’ve made yet.

White Style Arc Toni side view

I’ve shortened the pattern 10cm from the original length as I found it’s much easier to walk in that way. Otherwise this is made up straight out of the packet in a single size; the fit is very forgiving.

White Style Arc Toni back view

In previous versions I sewed weights into the drapes to keep them in place, but that wasn’t entirely effective. For this one I tried to encourage the drapes to stay put by tacking the seam allowances together in a couple of places. They still move about a bit. I think I’m just going to have to embrace that. I think I was trying to adjust the drapes in the picture below!

White Style Arc Toni bending front view

The crisp fabric really gives the skirt some volume. This pattern is a bit of a fabric hog, but I got very lucky: a friend of my mum’s was destashing and passed on 3m of this sateen. It’s an unusually narrow width; only just over a metre; and I used it all. Thanks Sue! I interfaced the collar and facings with Vilene G405. I wondered if that was going to be too heavy but it worked out OK because you need something fairly supportive for the collar on this one. I also added strips of interfacing on the front pocket opening edge.

White Style Arc Toni back view

I did some top stitching around the sleeve openings. The pattern just asks you to turn the allowances under there, but I don’t see how they’d stay put like that. I tacked the neckline facing to the seam allowances to make it stay in place but that could have been topstitched down as well.

White Style Arc Toni front view

Of course the big question is how wearable it is. It has the obligatory pockets (built into the pattern so no need to add them) and once shortened it’s quite easy to move in. The colour isn’t entirely practical but it’s easy to wash. Only time will tell for sure, but I’ve worn it for a day at work this week and was happy with it.

Pictures all by my husband (and his fancy new camera lens!)

White Style Arc Toni front view

17 thoughts on “Style Arc Toni dress the third

  1. LOvely lovely lovely- but it’s all about that neckline with the Toni. I tried it twice of course, in a very drapey fabric, and a stable knit…neither one worked well with the shape of the side drapes, weighted or not. Compared to several others I have with drape sides, this one is definitely crappy drafting. I would like to graft this neckline onto maybe Vogue 1552 which has BRILLIANT side drapes. I think they sacrificed the draoe for the pockets…

    1. Thanks! I do think that as drafted the pockets are in a bad place and shortening it puts them where they should sit. What do you think makes the difference on 1552? I don’t own that one, but looking at the line drawing there is definitely extra shaping in the hem to drape point seam. I also like the vaguely similar Vogue 1410 which I’ve worn a lot. I think you’ve made that one too? It has a much more rounded shape than the Toni. I added pockets to mine but they ended up too low.

      1. I have five [I think] V1410s. I wore the red leopard 1552 a lot before the weather got warmer, and look forward to making more whe I get some suitable jersey. I think it’s the points- the SA one just does not drape, the others all do, no fuss. I’ll have to overlay them to see…

      2. Five from one pattern is pretty good going! I keep thinking I should make another one of those but for some reason it never quite makes it to the top of the queue. I could fancy it in a nice purple.

  2. Hi Catherine,

    I like this dress pattern! I just read the blog entry on your first version, and I love how the dresses change so much in silhouette with the change in fabric type. The “crisper” fabric version makes the dress have more of an arhictectural flare, and I love elements like that in clothing. The first, drapey version is great too, and sitll has an architectural quality, but in a softer way… And I love the collar detail on this pattern too. I think I might have to try this pattern!
    This dress looks great on you, and the shoes are a great match for this style!

  3. There’s nothing like a white dress for summer and yours is stellar. I have the pattern and will take your and Demented Fairy’s notes under advisement.

  4. You look gorgeous – that is pattern perfection on you. the fabric is an inspired choice and the slight structure really shows off this interesting pattern. great photos too!

  5. My blurry morning eyes though they saw a catwalk from Issey Miyake…. splendid! You’ve brought the pattern to it’s highest possible level.

  6. That looks fabulous. I love the white,crisp fabric. Enjoy wearing this as the weather is currently perfect for it. I had forgotten Toni but must dig my pattern out again.

  7. This looks great. I agree that the crispy fabric looks better than a soft and drapey fabric, several of which I’ve seen online. I like the architectural quality. I’d be tempted to wear something colourful with this white, but I don’t know where. A belt is out of the question. A necklace would have to be long enough to hang below the whole collar/vneck.

    1. I did wonder if a belt would work but you are right, it just looked odd. I’ve been wearing the dress with coloured shoes lately and that works well!

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