Hey CSC! It’s Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’, and it’s been a while!
I’m back in action with a pattern review for y’all, in honor of the Curvy Year of Sewing Kimonos and Cardigans theme. I’ve made two versions of the Style Arc Estelle Ponte Jacket (more here and here), and I’ve got things to say about it! Here’s my review.
Pattern name: Style Arc Estelle Ponte Jacket… I’d argue that it’s more cardigan than jacket, but you decide for yourself. Style Arc describes Estelle as follows: “This fabulous jacket is not just easy to wear but it is very easy to make. The knee length and the gorgeous waterfall collar makes this jacket a great trans seasonal addition to your wardrobe. A project you can complete in an afternoon.” You all know how I feel about waterfall collar coats and cardigans (see my review of the Itch to Stitch Hvar jacket).
Size range: sizes 4-30, which is up to a 52.25″ bust, 50.5″ waist and 61″ hip.
What size did you make?: I made a size 16 both times I made the Estelle pattern.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? 42-43″ bust, 38″ waist, 45-46″ hip, 38Dish bra, pearish?
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? I did a 3/4″ full bicep adjustment on the sleeve. I do this adjustment often, so it was a 5-minute job. I also skipped the in-seam pockets because I’m not a fan… that took off at least ten minutes.
What fabric did you use? For my first version, I used a wool blend double knit with a cool wrong side. For my second version, I used a rayon/nylon/lyrca ponte (at least I think that’s what it was!) that looks the same on both sides. I’d say stick to a stable, non-fraying knit with a wrong side that you like, because it shows at the front collar.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? Construction was pretty straightforward. The Estelle pattern only has three pattern pieces (four if you count the in-seam pockets!), so it can’t be too complicated! It’s Style Arc, so the instructions are not the most comprehensive or detailed, but the basics are there. The only tricky part is where the collar turns at the shoulder at a right angle. And that is not particularly tricky.
Style Arc calls for “flat seams,” which are kind of like flat felled seams, but the raw edge isn’t turned under, just pressed to the side and topstitched. The construction method assumes you’re using a non-fraying knit fabric. I learned from Renee of Miss Celie’s Pants that this method is also called a “welt seam.”
Additionally, the Estelle pattern calls for raw edges. Everywhere. For me, I’m pumped when that’s the finish. So quick. But I know that drives some people crazy to leave edges unfinished.
You’d have to add a hem allowance to the collar, bottom hem and sleeves if you wanted to turn and sew hems rather than opt for raw edges. And you might lose some of the drape on that collar. Your call. I don’t find that my edges have frayed over time, nor do I find that they look sloppy. Just be mindful when you cut that you get smooth edges!
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape? A) I love it. B) Yes. These cardigans have turned into total wardrobe staples for me.
I love the close fit at the shoulders and the loose, waterfall collar. There is a center back seam with some shaping so it doesn’t just hang straight down (and is easily adjusted for a sway back!).
I find it works well for my pear-ish shape and is comfortable and chic. With my full bicep adjustment, I find it layers well over dresses, jeans, trousers… basically whatever you like.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up? This is a pretty simple pattern, so I don’t think you’d likely need to consult many outside resources, but tutorials for a full bicep adjustment and sway back adjustment are always handy! You may want to consider looking at resources for “welt seams,” too!
Size Range: 5
Construction Process: 4
Final Fit: 5
Overall Rating: 4.5
I really love this pattern. I think it’s simple, yet dramatic and chic, and it works for a variety of body types. Win, win, win, win.
Thanks for reading! I hope you like the Estelle Ponte Jacket pattern as much as I do!