Tuesday, 16 April 2013

StyleArc Marni Ponti Jacket - The Redemption - and the next McCalls 2401

Well - I am NOW one happy chook and back in love with "Marni".

The happy dance has returned.

I have stretched my skills - had some major downs but am pleased with the results. There is room for improvement but - for a first go - okay.

Still have to work out the closure so I am holding it closed.

There are a few "home made" errors that I can see but I will wear it happily.

I can't believe how well it went together - especially as I have added a bit to the pattern (all the dramas were major user error).

StyleArc patterns only allow you to purchase one size, so I chose one a couple of sizes smaller than my size (for shoulder fitting) and added an inch to the sides (which would be four inches added to chest and waist area.

I made the sleeves shorter (again user error) - but I am happy with the look of the cuffs at the end rather than folded up.

I also added a bit to the seam allowance as StyleArc only have minimal seam allowance and I read the review by Margy who said a thicker knit was difficult to get the seams to lay flat with the 3/8 inch seam allowance so I added enough to bring it up to 5/8 inch. Recommendation to anyone buying this pattern. If you are going to do it in a thicker knit and cut a more generous seam allowance - do it when cutting out the paper for the pattern I cut the pattern first and then tried to remember to cut the more generous allowance when cutting the fabric.

I also used a lot of  (well actually all of) the hints and tips on PattyE's review. There was some really great advice there complimented by several construction photos.

I really couldn't have done this jacket without the help of these lovely ladies. StyleArc do not have great instructions and I did struggle with some of them. Glad to have had read these reviews on PR.

The only problem with the pattern is that it asks you to cut 2 pairs of cuffs. But only one pair is used.

Apart from the above changes - I did nothing else. I didn't lower the bust point as I normally do. I think it looks okay where it is.

I didn't lengthen the pattern at all. I think it all hits where it should. If I were to make one to wear with trousers I would make it longer but for a dress it is good.

I did add shoulder pads.

Overall - even though I struggled with my errors, I really love this pattern. I am already planning another.

What I have learnt:
  • How to do a Shawl Collar in knit
  • To check all positioning and that fabric and pieces are the right way up before sewing
  • How to do a split cuff
  • How to cover and attach shoulder pads (not included in pattern)
  • How to do a pleat and line it up (well almost line it up - that is one of my "errors" - user, not pattern error. But I did learn from it so I have included in list.
  • How to sew a knit JACKET!!! Woo hoo - my first jacket. Okay okay - it is not a lined jacket with notched collar, pockets and lots of buttons etc - but it is a jacket and I am happy.
  • Did I mention to check positions and sides of pattern before sewing!!!
Still need to work out the "closure" on the jacket. Bit afraid of doing a buttonhole in case I stuff it up.

Also featured in this week's line up is my latest incarnation of McCalls 2401.

I ended up with enough fabric for a dress and I am very happy with this version.

Keep in mind that the new dress is in a MUCH thicker fabric and also a thickish (tricot) lining so it is showing as a little tighter (read clingy) than the last version and it hangs a little different. I will keep this in mind for future dresses.

I was going to split the difference between the shorter version and the longer version of the dress but on advice of most commentators I bit the bullet and cut the inch off the pattern itself - hence making it shorter. I have bowed to the wisdom of the many.

I also pegged it in about half an inch on each side (2 inches in all).

In addition I added a bit of a higher back neckline and shaved an inch off the front neckline.

 Here it is in comparison to last.

If I do another scoop neck I will scoop it out even more - my next version will be a v-neck.

Higher back.

I didn't do a v-neck for this version as I am playing with the thought of a little bit of embroidery along the neckline.

I thought that before I did the pattern alteration that Carolyn advised to remove the gaping neckline, I would try and see how the lower neckline dealt with it as it only seemed to gape up high. It seemed to work. Thanks to Carolyn for the advice.

I added a tricot lining as the ponte is very thick - almost like a wool - and hence a little scratchy on my delicate skin. I top stitched the neckline and armholes.

This is how it all looks together - along with the lovely purse sent to me by Anne at Pretty Grievances. I think the gold of the purse looks lovely with the brown. I have added reptile like shoes to complete the animal accessories.

I am really liking the look of the "suit" HOWEVER....... I didn't figure into the equation the thickness of the fabric when I made it. I was so impressed by the quality of the ponte that I immediately thought of this suit.. I am thinking I will have to move to Tassy to be able to wear it. It doesn't get that cold here in Sydney and I tend to run a few degrees hotter than most people as it is. Wearing the dress and jacket together makes me feel like I am in a furnace. May feel different in the depths of winter but I doubt it. My summer and winter wardrobe usually only changes with the addition of a cardi.

Oh well - they will be good as separates.

A close up of the lovely purse. Hard to catch with the flash - it is a gorgeous gold and brown on a black background. Thanks Anne.


I have great plans for my TNT - I promised myself I wouldn't plan anymore. My plans seem to always come to naught. My recent sign up for the Artisan's Square SWAP is one such failed plan. Life got in the way and then I became infatuated with the TNT and my first (knit) jacket.

This plan is not a date driven one - it is just what fabric I want to use to create more dresses.

One plan I am following is the "sew your own wardrobe for a year" challenge. Vita and Natalea are hosting this challenge - to shun RTW and make it yourself. This Marni Jacket and the 2401 are my first items for this challenge.

You can read all about it here.

Hope your sewing is going well.


  1. Cool jacket, Beverley! Ordering the jacket a couple sizes smaller as a smart idea! I think you can even go once more size smaller... Maybe you can grade it down at the shoulder area?

    Again, working on a TNT pattern, before jumping into SWAP is another great idea! Once you have your TNT ready,you can whip up clothes - one after another in no time!

  2. I think this combo looks very classy and comfy- a hard combo to achieve!! I really, really like the jacket- I am going I have to seriously consider that pattern. I'm so impressed with your persistence with your TNT dress pattern. All the hard work is really paying off, I think this most recent version looks great!

  3. Okay I'm loving that combo! You did good! I also really loved seeing all the fabric you chose for future renditions.

  4. You have perfected your TNT dress! It looks great on you. I love the Marni jacket, I am glad you didn't quit. I think they look very nice together. Good Job!

  5. Hooray, I think you've got your TNT dress! I was one longer hem minority, but everyone else was right - you look fantastic. I hope it cools off enough for you to wesr the dress & jacket together.

  6. They both look great, love the jacket and I like the shorter pegged skirt on you, it's really turning into a great tnt dress pattern!

  7. Your new dress looks great - I don't know whether it is the fabric or the final fitting adjustments, but it is a great shape on you and very flattering.

    The jacket is lovely too! It really suits you, and the size looks good. At least now you've got some nice cool-weather separates, even if they are too warm together.

  8. Beverley Love the outfit, such a shame it gets too hot to wear both together because its a very a classy outfit, I really like that jacket shape with the dress, you have done a great job. With the closure have you thought about frog fastenings,or a hook and eye. I am sure I have seen them hidden inside seams, so they are hardly visible.

    1. I have thought of both of those. I am pondering my options. I do want to try doing a button hole and button and I think I will take the plunge. (I will pull out my Sandra Betzina DVD on Buttonholes first though).

  9. Go BJ! Congratulations on a smart jacket, a well fitted dress and one snazzy work outfit. Re closure on the jacket maybe a button and a sewn on loop - simple but reversible. That's what I'd do if nothing else seems right.

  10. Beverley, the jacket is seriously good - it doesn't look in the least first attempt - so I won't tell anyone if you don't., :). The dress suit you have made looks so good - fancy creating a plan and sticking to it...the superbe results speak for themselves.

  11. Far out that jacket is so good on you! I love the flippy shaping in the bottom, it suits you. You look very 40's movie star with your hair down in this outfit!

  12. Congratulations. Your new suit works really well. The dress is a great fit. You've got 2 great pieces.
    Cute bag and shoes too!

  13. You look fabulous in that outfit but I know what you mean about the furnace. Ponte is a bit like stretch suede. I had some pants made of that. Couldn't wear them in the summer (too hot) & couldn't wear them in the winter (too cold). What the??!!

  14. Gorgeous! I love the combination!!

  15. Way to go ! Your jacket looks great and you can have such fun choosing a button - there are so many lovely ones to choose from. Love your thick luxurious wavy hair too . I think a knit jacket would be more comfy than a woven one too. I used to wear jackets to work but now I prefer cardigans . I have made one knit jacket - I should wear it more often.

  16. Beverly, you look absolutely gorgeous! I have this jacket pattern and I think I will have to jump in and try it. Excellent choice of fabric and accessories!

  17. Wow! Your perseverance has paid off! Both the jacket and the dress look great on you. Lowering the neckline and shortening the length really made a big difference. (BTW, you have beautiful hair:)

  18. Love the jacket and latest dress both! The changes to the dress are right on, and I do like the closer fit. Very nice!

  19. I commented on PR but it is such a great outfit I wanted to say again how fab it is and how fab your look! A winner in every way :)

  20. Great looking jacket! And cool that you had enough fabric for a dress - makes a nice looking outfit.

  21. You look absolutely fabulous in this outfit, such a pity it is so warm to wear, the colour, the closer fit of the dress and length, are spot on and your jacket looks like a winner as well!

  22. Your outfit looks terrific, and the new jacket turned out amazing! I really like the sleeves at that length. Well done for persevering and making the pattern work really well for you :)

  23. What a great jacket! That gives me some food for thought for the purple ponte that I have.

  24. I really like the changes you made to the dress, bringing the back neckline up, and the other changes really make the dress look classic --- the jacket is great, what a nice classic dressy combo! TNT's are awesome, makes my mind run like a hamster wheel with the hamster on it :D -- thinking of fabric, changes, etc! So nice when things finally all pull together. You look fabulous in the new outfit!

  25. Your dress and jacket look really nice.

  26. Great looking outfit on you. I think the print is great, too!

  27. You have nailed this pattern down, and the results are fantastic! Excellent sewing ... J

  28. beden ölçüleriniz aynı ben..çok güzel olmuş çok yakışmış iyi günlerde kullanın..çok isterdim sizin gibi becerikli olmak ama malesef sadece bakmakla yetiniyorum..


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