Pattern Review: StyleArc Tamara Top

In a continuation of One-Yard Winners, I made a StyleArc Tamara Top yesterday.

Pattern Description: “TAMARA KNIT TOP: “T” Top with interesting design lines allowing you to create your own look – colour block or use a lace or a sheer fabric to dress it up. A great basic “T” a must have wardrobe builder.”

Sizing: 4-30. I made a 10.

Fabric Used: The same as the Ursula Skirt: Novelty Bows Matellassé Knit in Off-White, and Novelty Bows Matellassé Knit in Black.

I’ll say here that these are not the optimal fabrics for this top. I wanted to try an experiment using what was left of the one yard of each fabric from the skirt. This fit the bill nicely, showing that you can use less than a yard in a size 10. But they are heavier and less stretchy than you really want for this pattern. StyleArc recommends a jersey, and I agree completely.

Machines and Tools Used: My home Juki serger to sew all the seams, Bernie the Bernina to sew the hems and topstitching.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 70/10 needle. Pro Sheer Elegance interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply (the pattern calls for Vilene to stay the neckline and corners at the shoulders, but I don’t have any. Can you even get Vilene in the US?) Thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Sew From Wide to Narrow. Just about anything by The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Very minimal, but I didn’t need them, because this pattern is beautifully drafted and goes together without any trouble. The only tricky part is the acute corners at the shoulder insets, but even there it went effortlessly. The only thing is that the corners are not as sharp as they should be. That’s because I used a double-knit with texture rather than a jersey.

Those corners would be sharper in a lighter jersey

Construction Notes: I made a FBA. I used fusible interfacing to stay the edges that would otherwise stretch.

The inside view


I serged all the seams, and I changed the thread on the sewing machine when the hems crossed seams. I remember that was something I saw in an article about Norman Norell when I was young and it left an impression:

White in front, switching to black


I used a narrow zigzag for the hems and topstitching around the collar.

Likes/Dislikes: This is a sharp looking pattern. It even looks pretty good in a heavier fabric than intended. The sleeve length as published is a great length for going from summer into fall and winter.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I’m going to do it again! I have a black and white ITY jersey that will be perfect with plain black ITY.

Conclusion: Another one-yard winner! Here are the front and back views on Shelley:

Front…


…and back. Sorry for the lousy resolution. My good camera is at the office.

Happy sewing!

About Gorgeous Fabrics

I own an online fabric store, www.GorgeousFabrics.com. The name says it all!
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10 Responses to Pattern Review: StyleArc Tamara Top

  1. BMGM says:

    When I was switching thread colors in my serger and sewing machine for a recent make, I wondered if anyone else would notice. But, I really couldn’t stand the thought of contrasting thread screaming at me from across the room.

    Was it worth it? Would a fellow sewist notice? Would my teenager notice or appreciate it?
    http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2014/08/back-to-school-sewing.html

    The top is cute and I want one now.

  2. Anne Frances says:

    It looks really sharp and smart. Looking forward to seeing the next version. Even if you could get Vilene I wouldn’t! Apart from their bias stay tape, which is good and useful, the rest of their products aren’t worth it. I’m lucky to be able to get Pam Erny’s products from across the pond, either by post or through kind friends visiting the USA, and nothing else comes anywhere near them, as your results demonstrate.

  3. Chris says:

    Question, any ideas for someone who will have to grade up and down without buying multiple sizes? I’m a 38″ bust, 30″ waist, and 42″ hip, which would put me at a size 14, 8 and 20. Even if I got a 10, I’d have to do a lot to make the pattern work with my body.

    Otherwise, it almost looks like it would be easier to take my TNT pattern and slash similar style lines in!

    • Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I have a 37 inch bust, Chris, but the 10 fits my shoulders, so I do an FBA. I also have a 30 inch waist (sigh…) which seems to work okay with the size 10. For the best answer, I would contact Chloe and the ladies at StyleArc. I haven’t needed assistance yet with grading, but I have heard that they are wonderfully helpful when folks need it.
      Does that help?

  4. Janet Malwitz says:

    I just love the top. Have been hesitant to try the Style Arc because you get only 1 size, but since in conjunction with you we were able to get a free tee pattern, I can try it & see what size I am. I have a feeling I’ll be like you — a 10 because of my narrow shoulders & then have to do an FBA. I have a question. I don’t see a dart in this top so can you tell us how you did your FBA? Thanks.

    • Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I have to find the pattern piece in the mess that is my sewing room. When I do I’ll post about the FBA I did.

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks for the review! This one is on the wishlist. Love that fabric, even if it isn’t the best for this pattern.

  6. Abigail says:

    I love the color blocking on this shirt and how it has the mod design to it. I also like how it is simple enough to be both formal for work and also toned down as well. Great job with the pattern!

  7. Carolyn says:

    Your top is soooooo hot! Love it!!!

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