Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts - Plus Size Edition Rebooted

For all my new friends, back in April I made the Jennifer City Shorts from Style Arc.  I blogged about that experience here.  Let's just say the shorts weren't the size that they were supposed to be and if you want to know more, then you need to go back and read the original post.

I alerted Style Arc to the issue with the original pattern, and you can read about their response and customer service in relation to the issue here and here.  If you aren't interested in reading those posts, I will just say that Style Arc has amazing customer service!

In July I actually made two pair of Jennifer City Shorts.  One in a non-stretch twill, and one in a stretch twill.

I actually made the stretch twill pair first, because I needed shorts to go with one of my earlier makes, and I thought I would start with a stretch fabric, because I was a little cautious after the first experience that I had with this pattern.

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts Plus Size
Can you spot the Spanx in this photo?

Again, I have to say that I really love the side slit detail in these shorts.  I also like the longer length.  Sometimes, you just don't want to show off your knees, or am I the only one?  I sewed these when I was having tensioning problems with the machine, but the puckering you see here at the hem was remedied with a clapper and lots of steam!

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts Plus Size Side Vent
This little error has since been fixed.

As you can see, I flubbed and missed the mark by about an eighth of an inch.  I have since fixed this, because it was driving me bonanners!

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts Plus Size Yoke Waist
That little blip at the waist is gonna stay there, because I am not ripping the whole waist out to fix it.

I adore how I was able to get a mostly smooth fit in the rear.  Look how beautifully the yoke pieces lined up!  I did end up with a pucker at the waist line, but no one is ever going to see that, so I am going to leave it alone.  In the construction of these shorts, the waist facing goes in as one long piece.  There was no way I was ripping the whole thing out to deal with one little pucker!  Why do I snicker when I type little pucker??

I posted the second pair here, but will give a little recap.

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts Plus Size

Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts Plus Size from the Front

This pair was made in a non-stretchy twill.  For me at my size, the fit was a really good starting point.  Normally there are crotch curve disasters, blood, sweat and tears, and down right hissy fits when I am trying to sew pants.  I sewed this pattern EXACTLY as it was given to me.  No adjustments, and this is what I got.  For me, that is a win!!

So friends, lets talk about Style Arc for just a sec.  Sometimes Style Arc gets a bad reputation for their instructions.  Personally, I find their instructions refreshing.  You aren't going to get the hand holding that you get with Big 4 patterns.  But, if you have been sewing a minute, do you really need all those instructions?  Even with the zipper fly, I just didn't find this to be a challenging sew.  The instructions are basic, but for me basic is good.  Basic makes me use my brain.  If you are uncomfortable with directions like "sew the two yoke pieces together," or "sew the front pieces to the back pieces" then maybe you aren't ready for Style Arc.  Or then again, maybe you are.  Maybe you need that stretch, because in that stretch is where learning happens (at least in my experience).

I have to give Style Arc major kuddos for carrying all their patterns up to a size 30!  As a plus size sewist I find this so helpful.  To me pants are by far the hardest thing in the sewing world to grade.  Having pants patterns that actually fit your dimensions is a real help, and I want the ladies at Style Arc to know that I whole heartedly appreciate their effort in making patterns for all sizes.

Then there is the amazing customer service.  These ladies went above and beyond to make sure that I was a satisfied customer.  That in and of itself will make me a repeat customer!

To show the ladies at Style Arc some love, I have been considering hosting a sewalong with one of their patterns (plus size edition of course but not excluding anyone).  Would any of you be interested in such a sewalong?  I have been eyeing their pull on jeans/jegging pattern called the Misty Stretch Pull-On Jeans.  They seem a perfect wardrobe builder for boot and sweater season!

Photo from  Misty Stretch Pull-On Jeans.


  1. I would love to see a sew-a-long for this jeans pattern! I've been terrified to attempt pants as a plus-sized sewist (especially since I am just barely out of the size range of most of them, and am not terribly good at pattern grading yet). This looks like a great first attempt! The encouragement and help of a sew-a-long would be great!

    1. Sewallthethings, I understand that fear completely! In talking to Style Arc about the plight of the plus size sewist, they have even offered to grade this pattern out past a size 30 if we have good response to the idea of the sewalong. Curvy divas rejoice!!!

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  2. YES! I love Style Arc. I'd be happy to join in a sewalong celebrating their awesomeness. I'll admit I'm afraid of jeans, stretch or otherwise, but ya never know -- I might like making them!

    1. Thanks, makingtheflame! Sorry I wasn't much help with your dress last night. Glad you would join in!

  3. these are nice and you did an excellent job on fit

  4. Sounds good! I've made a few pairs of regular jeans - but these look fun! I've been embracing the Lagenlook and Tina Given's recently, but need something warmer for the winter - these could well fit the bill! Pattern downloaded, fabric is in the stash, and I'm ready to play!

  5. Yes, I just purchased the pdf of this pattern. I now own 4 Style Arc patterns--all pants. I have not sewn any Style Arc patterns yet.

  6. Nice shorts. The blue is such a beautiful summery colour. Those trousers look fabulous. I like wearing jeans but not the zips. They always fall down on me. Those look like a good solution. Xx