Finished - Bread and butter sewing - the Style Arc Elle pants

I think I'm not the only one who likes to make something nice and easy and/or familiar after a bit of an involved make. After my Tyler shirt I needed a quick fix, and a week or two ago realised that my work wardrobe was in desperate need of some pants for warmer weather. I had in my stash some super stretchy grey stretch woven fabric that I had found on the Darn Cheap Fabric bargain table for either $5/m or $2m a couple of years ago, and had to give Past Sarah a high five - I'd had the foresight to get 1.5 metres - and with the stretch going across the grain I was crossing my fingers I could get a pair of slim fitting pants out of it.

Enter the Style Arc Elle pants:







Style Arc is an Australian pattern company based here in Melbourne that doesn't get a lot of hits on the sewing blogosphere radar, but has a significant cult following nonetheless. The patterns are sold as paper patterns in single sizes. They have a huge number, and are based on fashion industry standard sizing, with 3/8 inch seam allowances. In particular their range of stretch woven trouser/pant pattern seem particularly popular. My main reason for selecting the Elle was my fabric situation, plus I'm not really a boot cut kind of girl, and I didn't want any fancy seaming. Also I was hoping that this pattern might also work for leggings and maybe gym pants.

I ordered a size 8 - my hips fit the 8 measurements, but my waist was between an 8 and a 10. I emailed the company and they recommended I go with the 8. I just cut my elastic for the waistband a little longer than what they recommended. This pattern was so quick and easy. SO quick! My fabric behaved beautifully and I just had enough to squeeze a pair out - I had to make the waistband in 3 pieces by adding a side seam, but that was very easy. I had the bulk of the construction done in about an hour, then it was just the waistband and hemming. I didn't use any special needle or stitch - my fabric was super stretchy, and there were no jumped stitches. The waistband is elasticised (don't shudder) but is almost the same dimension as your own waist, so there is no gathering when they are on the bod. The instructions are fairly brief, and the only thing I was a bit confused about was part of the waistband construction - you stitch the elastic sandwiched inside the folded waistband and stitch it in place close to the elastic (I used my zipper foot to get it close) but then if you use their seam allowance of 3/8 inch to attach the waistband to the pants this line of stitching is visible..... So I think maybe my waistband is a little narrower and next time I will definitely make it slightly higher so it doesn't cut into my muffin top.

And the verdict? I called this bread and butter sewing - they're not exciting, or fancy, or colourful, and won't win any prizes but I LOVE them and so did my beloved when I modeled them for him!


These pants are tight - but very comfortable thanks to the stretch in the fabric. Style Arc send a little sample of fabric as a recommendation on the stretch content which I thought was a fab idea - it was a stretch bengaline I think. Anne, who blogs at the Clothing Engineer, is a bit of a Style Arc guru it seems, and she has several posts on their stretch woven line, including this great post where she goes through her fabric recommendations/experiences - well worth a read. She says you should have a fabric that has at least 20-30% stretch in it for these pants.


So the back view isn't awesome but it doesn't bother me - I can't see my bum! Haha! I wear a longer uniform jacket on top so I won't scaring my workmates too much with this bottom view! This outfit is pretty much what I would wear to work - flat shoes, comfy t-shirt (it's actually the Maria Denmark kimono sleeve tee - free pattern!) so this is a genuine bread and butter sewing photoshoot. Sometimes I wish I had a job where I could wear slightly nicer things, but that's not going to happen!

Future versions of these pants are in the pipeline - next time I will deepen the front crotch slightly, and make the waistband a little wider (or maybe get wider elastic and make the seam allowance a little narrower). I'm keen to see how they go with a stable ponte knit for next winter too!



So a pair of pants, straight off the pattern, ready to wear tomorrow - no alterations, no fitting issues - how awesome is that??!!!



Comments

  1. Awesome! I'm due to make a few of those for fall...

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    1. Thanks Rachel - it's such a winner of a pattern, hope yours turn out fab too!

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  2. Excellent stuff. They look cool as!
    Loving your work here ; )
    Looking forward to checking out your second pair.

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    1. Hi Caroline! Thanks - they are having their test drive this morning - if all goes well I can start planning version 2 in earnest!

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  3. They look great! And straight off the pattern, too - brilliant! I love Style Arc patterns - I've lived in my Wallis pants this winter :) It's funny how you don't hear of SA more in blogland... Looking forward to seeing your next version!

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    1. Thanks Danielle! I think they are a highly underrated company! I was pleased to find some awesome spotty bengaline on the weekend, that might well become the next version!

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  4. I love these! I've looked at StyleArc patterns before but not yet taken the leap. Their designs look great though and it's good to see that they turn out so well!

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    1. Hi jenny! Thanks! I've worn them a heap already! Thanks for coming by :)

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