Meet Issy, and 3 reasons not to trust the mirror.

Meet Issy, a StyleArc pattern, straight in from Austrailia.  When I first saw the description and artist rendering for this top, I wanted it right away, knowing that I would feel great wearing such a stylish top.  The drape and shaping on the model revealed such easy flowing drape around the front of the waist, and the cowl neckline hung slimmingly past the bust, creating such a beautiful asymmetric fall from the shoulders.  
I was in love with this top, and was sure I would stand in the same pose and walk with the same swag exhibited in the pattern illustration.

Initially when I began cutting and sewing this lovely top, I concluded during the first fitting, that this may very well not be a match made in sewing heaven.  What went wrong?  Was it my shape, was it the fabric, was the design wrong for me?  Since I couldn’t come to a conclusion as to the problem, I stored this beauty away in the UFO pile/box.

That was three months ago!!  Now, after clearing, cleaning, and organizing, I revisited the Issy Knit Top by StyleArc.  Should this be considered the age ole:  “I just needed some space.” sort of relationship?  Because now, I am in love again.  I don’t know about you, but maybe it was the time we spent away from each other, because now I can honestly say I am very happy with this top. 
So, I guess the answers to my prior questions three months ago, would be: The design is terrific for your body type, the fabric is a good choice, especially for this Houston weather, and no, nothing went wrong!  “It was your mood missy, Issy is just right for you!”
With that being said, I have personally come to the conclusion to now follow a few simple precepts when I have reached the breaking point in my workroom while dealing with a difficult issue regarding my sewing projects. 
This is an old pic, the shelves are filled now.
First, do not trash the project completely, because whatever you are wrestling with currently regarding your fashion image, may not hold true after a little quiet time, or personal space away from your situation.  Secondly, DO NOT trust your mirror, IT LIES, use the camera instead!!  Pictures are worth the effort..

What is it about the camera lens in helping us to see things for what truly shows through, where the mirror fails? Third, trust your prior RTW (ready-to-wear) purchases, they are a good indicator of what you love about your personal fashion sense and style. 
After all this drama, I will be adding this top to my closet finally, and placing the pattern high in my pattern rotation.  Next will be the long sleeve for the winter, and a sleeveless to wear with jackets. 

The softness of the cotton jersey is cozy, one of many great fabric pieces I bought while in Austin at the PR Weekend back in May.  (BTW, that was the best sewing trip for me in years!!) 

Based on the StyleArc sizing chart I made a size 14, and it fit like this straight out of the package.  WOW!!! Now, that is terrific.  Design exceptions include:
  • 3/4” swayback adjustment before cutting,
  • pleats instead of gathers for the front ruching

Personally, I did not like the amount of ease created at the waist from the ruching/gathers, so instead I pleated my fronts in those areas.  this pattern is spot on for my frame.  The shoulder seams are right on point. 

I have a problem with the shape of the back hem, and I know it falls like that on the back because I should have added some width around the hip.  (Next time.)  I am really happy with this top because it may very well take the place of my more common t-shirts, that I wear often.

Tell me something, just between you and me.  Have you ever tossed out a project after the first fitting because you didn't think it would work for you??  Or, am I the only one?  


  1. I frequently have this reaction, and often don't wear me mades until the following year - and then wonder on earth why not, because there is nothing wrong with them, and they are often better than RTW. It's just my perception that is the problem :)

    1. Perception is the key. I think we should begin writing notes on the original pattern or fabric to remind us why we bought it in the first place.

  2. I love that! I think the softness of the knit really make this work. What on Earth would be wrong with this? I love the drape, the asymmetrical hem really looks stylish.
    I have this pattern (PR give away) but I wasn't really planning on making it. Does it work best with a soft or structured knit?

    1. At first I was unsure about the asymmetric hem. I had planned to cut if off, but after sewing the pics, I decided to keep like is. For fabric, I think a soft knit is best for drape, plus the shoulders and neck could become bulky if it's too thick. An ITY or even better a rayon jersey seems best so it won't point in the front where the drape converges.

  3. I once made an Issey Miyake jacket...or at least sewed a few lapped seams. I began to doubt the fit and I didn't think I could accurately slash the openings, place the inserts, and sew. I plunged the whole thing along with the tissue still pinned to the wool into a Kroger's bag and put it in the closet. Over a decade later, I came across it once again. My sewing skills had improved, the power of Steam a Seam was manifest in my life, and voila, I went back and finished the jacket. It is gorgeous and I'm so happy that I only surrendered temporarily. It was a very long "temporary" surrender. Enjoying your blog which I've just discovered.

    1. Thanks urbanite...Issey Miyake, to me, is one of those projects I would probably put on pause too. The designs are so detailed and intriguing.


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