Yep! I’m sharing my Jungle January make on the 32d day of the month! But let the record show I definitely finished at 1159pm on Saturday, January 31, EST. I got it in! So let’s talk sewing.
The Melinda Knit Tunic is yet another brilliant Style Arc pattern. It just is. The neckband opening is self-finished simply by stitching two straight seams and pressing them open. Bust darts this tunic has, but you don’t have to mark and stitch them — the pattern is shaped to include them without the extra effort. The high-low hem is just right: it doesn’t look high or low, but hits right where it should all around your body to be flattering. The sleeves fit surprisingly well! The horizontal seam in front hits at a good point — low enough to accommodate those of us with a lower bust, and hit at the underbust on those with a higher bust (ie, empire waist look). Finally, this tunic comes together FAST and the directions go the flat-sleeve route, which is smart and quick.
I’m really happy with the out-of-the-envelope fit of this pattern. Style Arc comes majorly close for me, which is a luxury sewers my size don’t generally have. On my next version, I plan on making a few tweaks: narrow the neckline opening and narrow the front neckband and upper bodice width along the neckband edge; scoop out the armhole a bit and enlarge the sleeve cap accordingly; lower the back neckline (something I seem to have to do on EVERY pattern); lengthen the sleeve (another every-pattern adjustment); and lengthen the body a bit. It sounds like a lot, but that’s just me wanting a 100% perfect fit, instead of a 90% perfect fit.
One thing I was really displeased with on this top was the quality of my stitching. It looked like a toddler’s first go ’round on a sewing machine! And this is not the first time I’ve been so unhappy with my stitching quality. I don’t know if it’s knit fabrics I’m struggling with or lightweight fabrics, so I’m using a polyester georgette for my next project. If that comes out wonky, I might need a class on working with lightweight fabrics; if it comes out fine, I might need a class on working with knits. One thing I was really pleased with is assembling/finishing this whole garment with only zig zag stitch. I know sergers are in every sewers’ home, but I really have no interest using one for my own clothes. So sewing knits on my standard machine is a point of great personal satisfaction. :)
I touched on the fabrics used in this shirt in my dramatic contest winner drawing video — I’d not yet cut into either one, so working with them was going in blind. I’ve folded them enough to get a gist that they’re both lightweight knit fabrics, and they definitely are. However, the lovely purple fabric has a pretty high spandex content! I could barely iron it, it went sheen-city on me even at the lowest heat setting. And while pinning I saw the tell-tale shine of spandex fibers in it. Based on the drape, I think it’s a rayon/spandex blend. The leopard fabric is the lighter weight of the two, and had a maddening tendency of curly edges, clinging to itself, and stretching and shrinking and shifting at will. Whatever I make with the rest of it will *not* be precision sewing, but play off it’s drapiness and flexibility. Thank goodness all of the pattern pieces are cut single layer, I cannot imagine trying to cut this stuff on a fold!