G’day! Have you ever fallen in love with something so odd… and then, the next thing you know your drawers are chockers full of the bloody item?

In 2012 I was introduced to Style Arc patterns, a huge pattern company like no other, based out of Australia. With the motto, Patterns That Fit, how could you go wrong? Flat out like a lizard drinking, it took me almost a decade to make my first Style Arc garment.

Yeah Nah, I recently read a review in Threads Magazine’s summer issue that these patterns are not for the beginner. The five patterns I’ve constructed have been simple and I would love to change your mind. These patterns are different from the traditional big four (Simplicity, Butterwick, Vogue, McCalls) we’re accustomed to, but in no way more challenging.


The front of the pattern’s picture is simple line art. I like this, easy to see seam lines, closures (if any) and fit style. Many of their styles are minimalist and can be worn as everyday wear. The finished looks are professional.

Fair Dinkum, the directions seem to lack at first glance. Imagine a little like Ikea furniture instructions, simplified and different. There is no cutting layout. The sizing chart gives a size 10 measurement and then says add or subtract 2″ for each size. It doesn’t clearly say if this is with ease (wiggle room) or finished measurements. However, like normal patterns, this is with ease. You will be happy to find a really accurately detailed sizing chart on their site in good ol’ American inches.

The pattern pieces themselves state to lay on straight of grain or with the maximum amount of stretch, this is your plain and simple layout. They also have many notches that all match up with no fuss, you can’t go wrong piecing these. The heavy paper is nice and durable, although it does bleed if you hot iron press the ink.

There are not a lot of pictures and I believe this is what throws people off. In fact, there is usually just the one picture in the whole pattern. It’s nice because I can read the line of directions and then refer to a single diagram. Plus, I also value the idea of the designers giving easier options to top stitching, collar and sleeves with the Esme Designer Knit Top.


It’s important to choose the exact material they recommend at least in the beginning. For the Beth Pants pattern they recommend stretch Bengaline, what’s that? (Bengaline is a stretchy fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers as rayon, nylon, cotton, or wool, often in combination with polyester and lycra.)

For my first pair of Beth Pants I did not use the recommended fabric and my pants were too small, I tried not to chuck a wobbly. I loved the pants style and went for a second go this time with the right materials.


At first, the 3/8″ seam allowance felt wrong. But I grew to love not cutting any seam allowance and not having the waste. I quickly got my size correct, made my pants, and then realized that, like all patterns seem to be, they are made for taller people.


From the scraps I made their Ethel Designer top for a matching suit.


You little ripper!  This top came out perfect as stated.
I ordered more patterns and made the Dimity Woven Top. It also came out beautiful and professional looking.

After a few tops I wanted to have a go at a dress and still keep it simple. We all know that wrap dresses are forgiving in sizing, especially knit wrap dresses. The Lea Knit Dress gets so many compliments on this dress.

I feel so lucky to be in a time where garment sewing is popular and we have so many independent pattern companies to choose from.



Last, I love the Beth Pant so much I hacked them into skinny jeans by making jean like back pockets.


Thank you to my dear Australian friend, Sam, owner of Riley Street Photography for helping me with some fun Australian slang.

Behind the scenes~

We had our Dayton Garment Designers Meet Up and swap last week. I really enjoyed talking shop! If you are interested, even if you aspire to sew, like to craft or just dream of both, you can see more information in our facebook group. Please do a search for us.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!




Tracy McElfresh
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