In my pattern book stash, I have a few Japanese pattern books, including the first volume of Drape Drape. Despite being attracted to the draping aesthetic, I haven't ventured to make anything from Drape Drape. This is mainly because I'm too lazy to get my head around grading the unusual pattern pieces. Sadly, the largest size in this book is too small for me.
So the StyleARC Billie top interested me because it combined the drapey look with my size.
The blurb from StyleARC says you will be intrigued by this pattern. That's true. It has one pattern piece, apart from facings, and only two seams at the right shoulder, and down the right side. The left hand side drapes around your body, with a hole formed for the left armhole.
There is nothing difficult about putting this pattern together, although you need to carefully note where you need to make your seams. I'm guessing a few mistakes could be made here.
The only thing I'm not crazy about are the facings. I'm not a fan of facings at the best of times. No matter how much I trim, grade, notch, understitch blah, blah, blah, my facings always seem to flop around (although since learning how to clean finish them, they don't look too bad on the inside!). And facings in knits... to date I've avoided knit patterns that have facings. The Billie is my first.
As for how they turned out..meh. I would rate them as "merely"acceptable - not unwearable, but not great either.
This is a bit of a fabric-eater for a knit top as far as metrage is concerned. The pattern calls for 1.75metres, with the single pattern piece laid down so the grain goes around the body. You need it. I tried my Size 12 pattern piece on the horizontal on my 150cm width fabric to see if I could save on fabric, and sure enough the pattern piece was too big.
Having made this, I realise I've made a bit of an orphan. It needs skinny pants, really, to look good, and I need to make some.
This is a bit of a style departure for me, so it will be interesting to see how often I wear this (once I've sorted out the pants issue). The assymetric style felt a bit odd to wear, to be sure. We'll see.
And the back view. That facing! Arrggh!