Category Archives: StyleArc

Kendall 2

I couldn’t get my first Kendall Top out of my mind. It had looked good at the first fitting. What and when did it go wrong? One evening I read all the Kendall reviews at Pattern Most of them were positive with only a a very few issues. One most common was the empire line rising although not as badly as I had experienced (my empire line traveled from below to above the bust prominence). This particular post by mmmberry did show many issues similar to mine but none so bad. (Her issues were bad enough that she concluded it was not a pattern for her).  What really jumped out at me is clearly shown in this pic:

I know I eased my collar from shoulder all the way to the end of the crossover.

Pic above clearly shows that collar is stitched to within about 2″ of the end point. Huh? How did I miss that?

So I pulled out the pattern; compared with my copy and realized I had missed this mark;

I had persuaded the collar to extend at least 1.5″ further than the designer drafted. The other thing I remember doing is matching the shoulder marks on the collar with the bodice. That would be wrong because the garment shoulder changed when I stitched the shoulders deeper. Last thing I check was did I cut the collar on the correct grain?  Which I did. So the question now is, are those two changes enough to have distorted the final garment as badly as it was?

Only one way to find out, cut new fabric.  My next fabric is a marketed as a Liverpool Knit. I know there are people who are over-the-top about Liverpool knit, but honestly, I don’t like it. It reminds me of the cheap double knits of the 60’s. On top of that, I’m not in love with the print.  It looked better on the internet than in my hands.  But that makes it perfect for this second Kendall. I’m just not sure the Kendall will work for me and don’t want to sacrifice another very nice fabric. Besides, after this I have only 1 piece of Liverpool left.

I laid out, cut and I again basted back, both front bodices and this time I inserted the collar. I moved the shoulder marks on the collar to correspond with the new depth of the shoulder seam. I slipped the shell over my head and let out my  breath. Apparently I was holding my  breath, unsure of the possible results.  It was as comfortable as the first fitting of my first Kendal and now crossed in front correctly.

I cut and applied the facings which presented me with another delimina. The bottom edges of the right  facing would not meet. As I thought about it I realized the difference was probably a result of my asymmetrical shoulder alterations.  My alteration is simple, I stitch the right shoulder deeper than the left That does of course shorten the neck length on the right side and explained why the facing was longer.  I trimmed the facing to the same length. A mistake which I did not realize until after I had finished the garment. The collar meets beautifully at center front above. It does not in the finished garment.

Additionally there are drag lines which should have been corrected with the shoulder sloper and round back altertions

I think the killer though is the depth of the neckline.  Even with collar inserted and  pinned as it is here

that neckline is far too low.

At least I don’t regret the waste of this fabric.  It was called Liverpool knit.  I know others rave about it but I am reminded of those horrible double knits I wore in the 60’s which stained, snagged and looked dreadful.

I could spent more time adjusting shoulders, back, neckline, collar. Truth is I already spend  all my patience on pants.  I have none left for difficult to adapt tops especially since my sloper works so well when used properly.  I’ve decided this pattern is not for me.  I finished the garment but both it and the pattern are in the donate box. Good luck somebody else.



(((((((((Side note)))))))) I received several comments (some private) after publishing my first Kendal, that this pattern had simply not worked for them.  They were terrific morale support as the said it really could be the pattern and not me.

Why I start with my sloper and add details.

I continue to look for interesting necklines that open in the front and make accessing my port easier for the chemo nurses. I thought the Style Arc Kendall pattern would be such a beauty when I purchased it.  I was hoping a few quick alterations and the pattern would fit nicely. I was mostly concerned that the neckline might be way too low.

I chose size “green” that is the size with green lines, by comparing  with my sloper. I traced then added a 5/8″ shoulder slope and 5/8″ round back alteration.

Then I selected my fabric a lovely silver/black jacquard.  It has 30% crosswise stretch but no, none, ZERO stretch lengthwise.

I cut a front and back pieces –not the sleeve or collar– and basted together. I was totally stunned that the armscye hung below my bra. Leave the strings for someone else, I wear a good supporting bra.  My bra band is a good 2.5-3″ wide and I prefer wide straps. The armscye hung well below  my bra band. I fussed and pinned before basting the shoulders at a 1.5″ depth.  Now at this point, the top looked fairly nice but still a little low in front. I expected that big shawl collar would fill up a little of that depth.

Having removed 2″ depth of the neckline, I assumed I would need to adjust the length of the collar as well. But that was for the next day’s sewing and I forgot it. I cut the collar the default length.  Realizing my error, I started pinning the collar to the neckline trying to estimate if I could ease the collar or really needed to shorten it somehow.  To my astonishment, the collar was 3″ shorter than the neckline.


I made the neckline shorter when making the shoulder seams deeperi.e. there is less neckline length. Wouldn’t the collar need to be shorter instead of longer?  Wouldn’t the collar be 3″ longer than the neckline??Well sometimes, especially when dealing with bias edges, you need to ease them together. I quartered and marked both collar and neckline, then ran it through the serger.  Nothing eases like a serger. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. Looked good, so I continued on inserting the sleeves.  The first fitting (above) was really pretty good, Oh sure there is always room for improvement, but it was pretty good and so I confidently not only inserted sleeves but I stitched side seams and hemmed before trying on again.

What a shock. It felt wrong and  absolutely looked wrong in the mirror. No amount of fussing or adjusting made it any better.

My stance in this photo actually improves the look. Without my arms stuck out, there are big folds from shoulder to bust and again from the empire nearly to the hem. Note the empire which was below the pointy part of my bra is trying to creep up over the points.

Although there appears to be sufficient circumference, the back wants to creep upwards at neckline and at hip. The hem is uneven with the front clearly hiking up. The nicely done  7/8 sleeve is about the only redeeming feature.

I don’t have many Style Arc patterns.  It used to be necessary to order them from Australia and wait weeks for their arrival. But I also don’t remember any outstanding garments I constructed with Style Arc patterns, either.  Please don’t take that as a reflection on the company. I buy a number of Indy patterns and a few from the Big 4.  I never cut using their tissue like I did for the Kendall.  I either copy my sloper and then copy the style detail in which I was interested or I trace their tissue and then, placing my sloper on top, adjust their pattern to my tissue. That is what I should have done here.  However, I do think something was really off with the collar–not denying it was my fault but the bodice looked pretty good until I inserted collar and front bodice facing.

Right now this top  is sitting in the closet as a UFO.  It would take a lot of picking to correct.  I just don’t have the patience.  Wish it even felt better on me, which it doesn’t,  because I might wear it warts and all