Lots of people have suggested I try Style Arc, an Australian based company that sells modern looking, mainly casual wear patterns.
The pattern: Talia Woven trousers
I decided to give it a go as I really wanted to make some pull-on trousers that I thought might work well for my new country life style.
I bought a pattern for a pair of woven trousers with a straight waist band at the front, and elastication at the back. The photos looked nice and I ordered a size 8 which corresponded with my body measurements.
As you will know if you have used this company they sell paper and PDF patterns. I decided to try paper as the price was similar. The patterns are fairly pricey – around £12 for a paper pattern posted to the UK from Australia. But they give you a free bonus pattern, so while you don’t get much choice this works out at £6 each which isn’t bad.
I found the drafting and instructions OK but a bit sparse. A friend suggested that the patterns are outsourced to Asia which doesn’t make them bad, but may explain why they have something of an “industrial” feel.
I measured the pattern pieces (which only come in one size) and the hips were a little bit small for me, and the waist a little bit big. I wasn’t sure what to do about the waist as with an elasticated waist item the actual dimension needs to be large enough to pull on over the hips. I added a little bit to the girth at the hips/thigh but decided to risk it in terms of the waist measurement.
The fabric I used for these pants, having written up why I like corduroy, was the left over piece I had after making Gus his cord trousers. I really liked the fabric which has a soft vintage feel in terms of colour and texture.
This was a straightforward construction. The side pockets are quite nice but pretty straightforward. With them being pull ups there was no fly to deal with. One of the bloggers I follow, Paola of La Sartora, made these pants up too and mentions there is a pocket tutorial on the website.
Unfortunately the first version was horrible. The trousers were just too big and the elastic at the back did not really bring them in sufficiently.
The problem was two fold.
- The pattern needed altering for a relatively slim waist without losing the ability to slide the trousers on. As all the gathering in is at the back this is a fairly tall order given my dimensions. I want a hip of about 40″ so there is sufficient ease, and a waist of about 26″ which is fairly snug.
- The problem was worsened by the type of fabric I used. The corduroy is rather thick and doesn’t gather very easily.
So how did I sort this out?
I removed the whole waist band, and I took a little width off at the waist at the sides, but this was limited due to the side pockets. I took a little more off the CF seam (rather than putting in front darts). I created two darts at the back and put an invisible zip in at the CB. When I tried them on (first picture) it was obvious that the legs were too full.
Instead of a waist band I made a facing, and because I was at Rainshore with no overlocker I used bias binding to finish the facing. This lovely William Morris print from Liberty was made by my friend Linde.
They are a nice comfy fit and will work well as country pants. Not “pull ons” as I intended but certainly not too hard to get into. I think they look better with a jumper over them. I will model them on our next visit and share better pictures shortly. I have been away in France this week for the conference so am behind with my blog!
Overall this is not a bad pattern. It was my mistake for using a fabric that was not ideal. They do have quite a high waist and the legs are pretty wide. I am not sure they would be much better in a lighter cloth given my dimensions, but I may give it a go in the summer.
I’ve just made these pants in a linen and have integrated them into my wardrobe very quickly, even though the fit isn’t 100% too much fabric at front crotch). I’ll be making another version, addressing fit issues, for certain – I like the shape, and the comfort of the back waist.
I have the same issues, small waist and bigger hips. If pants don’t fit correctly I look like my bum is about 3 times the size of the rest of me. Getting a great fit is essential. One of my plans today – trousers muslin.
I think pull ons are best for people shaped like me, or reserved for stretch fabrics only! You ended up with wearable weekenders though, so it’s not all bad lol
Maybe you are right. I may have another go.
My first thought was that it’s difficult to make this type of pants work for a figure that has a big difference between waist and hip, without using a very stretchy or lightweight fabric or else lowering the waist so that there is less fabric to gather. I’m glad you opted for a cb zip and darts, it would’ve been a pity to waste the cord. I haven’t been commenting much on blogs lately, but definitely reading along and am so impressed with how you’ve progressed with knitting, I lost all concentration for a while and really missed having a knit on the go. I have started back with a simple cardigan while I decide what to make next.
Thank you for taking the time to comment Chris. I am the same – I like to comment and get a good conversation going but sometimes I just read what comes in on the bus and don’t really make the time to comment. I will try to do more.
Good choice to opt for the zipper. As others have noted, it’s difficult to get a good fit with pull-on pants for a figure with a significant difference between the waist and hips. Cutting the back waist band on the crosswise grain rather than lengthwise would also have helped. I like the look of the ribs on the lengthwise grain in the front but the fabric doesn’t gather easily in that direction. The pants are fine for country wear, especially if worn under a long top. Enjoy your trip to sunny southern France.
I have a Style Arc skirt which i made that is now in pieces ready to be sewn smaller. I’ve had no rush as it is a spring garment so I guess I should get to it. From looking at the bloggers who have success with Style Arc patterns, it seems they suit best rectangular shapes, which I’m not. I now think of them as the Eileen Fisher of patterns.
Pull on pants aren’t for everyone! Personally I have had no luck with Style Arc pants, even though many people love them. But it looks to me that you have created nice weekend pants.
Wore them for the whole weekend so that is good enough for me.
Hello ,I have actually been to their office in Richmond Melbourne to pick up some patterns which I ordered . They do everything on sight in a surprisingly small space .they are a small team of perhaps 3 people and very nice to deal with . I have always found the pant pattern in particular to fit well particularly the Barb which really is my go to pattern for pants
I agree. They are not for the novice as instructions are sparse but always well drafted with their own contemporary design. And very well done for a small Australian company. Yes I’m Australian so possibly slightly biased ? But they are a delight after some all style and no substance indie designers who shall remain nameless. Where did you hear they were outsourced to Asia?
The person who suggested that is an Australian fashion student but it may well just be her hunch/prejudice. I asked Tilly Walnes about this issue and she told me she outsourced from an early stage. Also I have been approached by two Indie pattern companies asking me if I am a pattern cutter! I would say the pattern cutting part of the job is the hardest, least well paid, and technically challenging part of creation of fashion. And the one least valued financially. It would not surprise me if this work was off shored.
Not surprised about Tilly. She seems to be a brilliant marketer and professional enough to delegate areas outside of her expertise. Anyway well done for making the pattern work for you 🙂
I love my Stylearc pants patterns. Particularly the Elle stretch pull on skinny leg pants. I recently made the Georgie stretch jean and am happy with them too. The only non stretch pants I’ve made were the Lola pants, but I made them in a very flowing silk. all have elastic waist which is very comfortable. Good save on your corduroy pants, they look pretty cool.
This issue is exactly what puts me off elastic waisted trousers. I had a ready to wear pair the other summer that made me look like I was wearing a nappy from behind… or that’s what it felt like anyway.
Style Arc have some lovely casual trouser styles, but they all seem to have elastic at the back waist, it’s good to know that you managed to change these to incorporate a zip.
I haven’t tried any of their patterns though I have the Barb pant in PDF, which gives 3 sizes rather than just single size. I’m busy doing pant/trouser block at the moment and hope to have a wearable pair next week. I agree that elasticated trousers are rather difficult for those of us with a bigger waist to hip ratio. Good save
I’ve given up on Stylearc patterns as you pay a lot of money and only get one size and I always have to grade between sizes. I tested the Itch to Stitch Tierra woven joggers and found them a pretty good fit. I like all your changes and at least you didn’t give up, but pull ons are so useful it’s a shame they didn’t work.
They are very comfortable now that they have facings.
What a great save! And the liberty bias binding is so pretty ?
I am mesmerized by the Liberty bias binding…..can’t see another thing.
Such a lovely present to make for a friend. I have used it on lots of things and always think of Linde when I put them on.
I find back elastic waists never look good so I tend to use elastic at the sides, roughly between where the first back & front darts would go. Or I use a pattern with all round elastic waist. I have found a couple of patterns that just skim the hips making the waist so it isn’t too big. I like Style Arc but I have found I need to size down with all their styles so far.
This is a good observation Sue, thanks. I have made 1960s pants and PJs with the elastic all the way round to the princess line darts. I am keen to make some pull ons as they are very comfortable. Overall the size 8 (close to my body measurements) are more like a UK s12.
I really like Stylearc patterns. Admittedly the instructions are sparse, but you can feel confident that the pattern will be superbly drafted. Together with Grainline, they are my favourites. I was very pleased when they started to sell on Amazon UK. Most of the patterns are around the £10 mark, with free delivery on prime. The other nice thing is they are multi-sized. You have inspired me to try this pattern Kate – always on the look- out for the perfect trouser!
The final product looks quite good and comfy. I tend to stick with Burda trouser patterns as I know they will fit well, although a few have recommended Style Arc.
I haven’t tried Style Arc pants yet but really liked one of their jacket patterns. I agree with some of the earlier comments that pull on/elasticated waist pants seem to work better when the hip/waist ratio isn’t too great. If you are blessed with a small waist – and you are – there is a lot more fabric to gather and that can make the butt look a bit baggy. It would certainly be worth trying in a finer fabric though.
(Style Arc pdfs from Etsy are delivered in 3 sizes)
Sorry to be so late with this – have been meaning to contribute for days now. I’ve found Style Arc patterns very generous in the sizing, and tend to agree with the poster who says they’re the Eileen Fisher of the pattern world – lovely styling but just slightly on the ‘older middle age’ spectrum. My own recommendation would be Tessuti trouser patterns. I’ve made up several, with the Suzy trousers a favourite (although this pattern is particularly for fabrics with drape). The waist/hip ratio is not an issue for me, but I have found that with elasticated waists I always need to taper the hip to knee seams to avoid looking like a clown.
Ha ha – yes the clown look. I actually chose this pattern as the legs looks nicely tapered, but the pattern is much more full than the photograph. I am skeptical about these elasticated weekend trousers but I will have another go.