Monday, March 17, 2014

Finished Project: StyleArc Olive Spliced Tee

Bolstered by my February StyleArc order, I decided to dig into my StyleArc pattern stash for my most recent project and made up the Olive Spliced Tee.

The Olive was a freebie-of-the-month pattern a few years ago, and I placed this order back when I was purchasing nearly every designed-for-color-blocking pattern that I could get my hands on. Of course, I didn't actually get around to making this one up until the color blocking trend was on its last legs. (Color blocking is finally on its last legs, isn't it? I keep telling myself that, but then I keep seeing it stick around. It seems to be rivaling peplums in the the trend-that-won't-die department.) My goal for this project was to end up with a comfortable-as-a-sweatshirt long-sleeved tee that looked nicer than a sweatshirt.

Olive is a fun variation on a t-shirt with a hi-low hem that doesn't quite reach the mullet proportions that we're currently seeing everywhere. If you see the line drawing, you'll see a small pocket, which I omitted from my version. The pocket (as designed) is actually an in-seam pocket where the top and bottom front seams meet. I left it off of my version because A) it seemed like it had a huge potential for gaping, and B) I didn't feel the need to add the bulk to my already-large bust. Sometimes I'll not omit patch pockets in the bust area, depending on the size/placement of the pocket, but this pocket is too small to even hold a smartphone, and I figured it wasn't worth the trouble.

For my fabric, I used cuts of black and turquoise Sophia knit that I've had laying around for probably about as long as I've had the pattern.  Remember when Vogue 8805 was all the rage on Pattern Review? Color blocking! Multi-cup sizing! I ordered this fabric online (along with a third cut of Sophia knit in red) with the intention that I'd use them for Vogue 8805, which everyone seemed to love initially. Then, a few curvier sewists made up the pattern, and it was rather unflattering on curvier/busty figures in that the lack of shape to the dress made it look like a sack. So, I abandoned my plans for V8805, but since I only had one-yard lengths of the purchased fabric, I knew that it would have to be used for either color blocking or contrast, being too short for anything else.

For the most part, construction and fitting went fairly smoothly. Because this pattern had been sitting around from a time when I was about 15 lbs heavier than I am now, it's one size larger than I currently purchase from StyleArc. I figured that would be a good match for the Sophia knit, which is considerably less stretchy than your typical t-shirt fabric. When I placed the Olive on top of my TNT tee, the Olive showed about an inch more ease along the side seams and the armscye placement was similar, so I felt pretty secure that I could get the fit that I was looking for without too much trouble.

I did encounter one minor fitting hiccup, in that when I tried on the Olive for the first time, a flap was trying to form above my bust where the top and bottom seams met:

You can only sort-of see it in the bathroom mirror selfie, but trust me, the flap looked weird, and it was present on both sides of the t-shirt. I fixed it by first pinning out (to test) then sewing a horizontal fisheye dart at that horizontal seam line to take up the excess fabric.

The final top is very comfortable and very wearable:

StyleArc Olive spliced tee in Sophia knit
The back view:

This is a fun little pattern that presents a decent amount of room for creativity with piecing and color blocking. When I did a search on PatternReview and in the blogosphere, I saw numerous variations with color blocking and playing with fabric grain. If you have this pattern in your stash and are interested in making it up, I can't think of any major "gotchas" to pass along. Note that it's not a particularly fitted top (as also indicated by the line drawing), so if you do prefer more shaping or more of a fitted top, you'll have some pattern alterations to do or might want to look at a different pattern.

Up next...

Since completing my Olive tee, I've gotten started on the Oliver + S playtime tunic and leggings outfit for my daughter. I've nearly completed two pairs of leggings and have one tunic cut out. I also dug out the pieces of a UFO trenchcoat to participate in the Trenchcoat Sewalong that Lynelle is hosting.


  1. Very nice tee. Love the colours you have used. Great top.

  2. Yet another Style Arc to add to the list. Very nice, Michelle!

  3. Really nice job. I love the colours.

  4. The top is really nice. Good thing about that style of blocking is that it never really goes out of style, and neither do blues. Very flattering, timeless top.

    Also, the little pocket seems like an after thought. Very few women I kknow use "boobie"-pockets.