Pattern Review: Style Arc Janet Dress

Hi Peeps!

This has been a HUGE week (more on that later), and my sewing mojo is still going strong! As you may know, I started on my Style Arc Janet Dress, but hit a wall over the lining. So when I was in New York I went to Mood, where they had the perfect weight stretch woven lining (and yes! It was delightful to be a regular shopper for the first time in almost 12 years 😆)

So! I was able to finish my Style Arc Janet Dress. This has been in my pattern stash for a while, but when I grabbed this Italian Rayon/Elastine satin twill, I knew it was destined for something special. I just had to figure out exactly what. At first I thought of a Givenchy by Alexander McQueen Vogue Pattern in my stash, but the intricate lines of the design would be obscured by the pattern on the fabric.

It’s so much prettier in person – it looks like twinkling lights.

Then I started looking through my pattern stash and I came upon the perfect pattern to match with it – Style Arc’s Janet Dress

Bingo! Enough lines to make it interesting, but not so many that they would get lost in the design on the fabric. So away I went!

Pattern Description: From Style Arc’s website: “Ideal office dress. Team with Janet Jacket to complete your outfit.”

Okay, yah, that says nothing. Ignore it and listen to me. The Janet dress is a fully lined sleeveless dress, with close-fitting princess lines in front, a darted back, a waistline insert/basque, and an A-line skirt.

Sizing: 4-30. I started with a size 10 and did a lot of modifications.

Available as a PDF? I don’t see it on their website.

Fabric Used: An Italian viscose/elastine satin twill from Gorgeous Fabrics. I fell completely in love with this fabric when I first laid eyes on it and I immediately cut some for myself. Stretch woven lining from Mood Fabrics.

Machines and Tools Used: Mostly my trusty Pfaff 2030, and I finished the hem with my Juki MO654DE. Reliable I300 Boiler Iron (don’t even get me going on that one) and ironing board. Shoulder stand, tailor’s ham, sleeve board. I also briefly used my new Juki MCS-1500 coverstitch for the belt loops.

Needle/Notions Used: Organ Stretch 65/9 needle, mesh invisible zipper, scraps of interfacing to stabilize the zipper, thread. Sew Keasey stabilizer for the lining hem, and tissue paper (as an alternative to tear away vilene) to stay the neckline and sleeves.

Tips Used during Construction: Make the Lining First, All of The Pressinatrix’ Tips, Sew From Wide to Narrow

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Well… not entirely. There is a pretty major errata (errato? Is that the singular? I can’t remember my 9th grade Latin) Anyway, the issue is that the pattern picture (even to this day) shows a two-piece pattern, with a back princess seam, when in fact, the back is a single, darted pattern piece. Now, the pattern pieces go together just fine, but that is a pretty big mistake that should be fixed.

Fitting Adjustments:  I made a muslin and got going. I added 1-inch seam allowances, as I learned with Susan Khalje and Kenneth King. I started with a size 10 which fits me really well though the shoulders. Always start with the shoulders, is my rule of thumb. Before I even started cutting the muslin, I did a FBA for a D cup. Here are a couple of pictures of the original pattern piece for the side front and the adjusted SF piece after fitting.

The original. Made for a roughly B-cup

FBA on the side front piece – note the 1 inch SAs for the purpose of the muslin.

The finalized pattern piece, adjusted after fitting the muslin, and with trimmed SAs (5/8 inch)

The final pattern piece overlaid on the original.

Here are the final pattern pieces, from my fitted muslin

I take the adjusted muslin apart and use that as my pattern

How were the instructions? Eh. Typical Style Arc. They say you bag the entire lining, but then they seem to say that you hem the lining and the outer skirt separately. So you need a good book or solid knowledge to attach the lining properly.

Construction Notes: I Made the Lining First.

Making the lining first gives me a chance to do any last-minute fitting tweaks before making the outer shell.

I’m really quite happy with the way the intersecting seams turned out.

Side seams of (top to bottom) Bodice, Waist Panel and Skirt. Not too shabby!


Likes/Dislikes: Love the lines of this pattern. Wish the instructions were a little more thorough. Don’t like the error in the line drawing. But other than that, it’s well drafted and goes together beautifully.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I might do it again – I worked the fitting issues out, so why not? It’s classic and will work in many fabrications. I definitely recommend it.

Conclusion: Great pattern! I’ll wear it to DH’s birthday party in early March. In the meantime, here are pictures on Shelley:


Side, with belt loop added


Closer view of the back. Love this fabric!

Back unzipped to show the lining

And in health news, I’m feeling much better! I have gotten back to work (as you can see). My balance has REALLY improved in the last week – I seem to (hope to!) have made a big improvement. And today I was able to hem my dress without having a patch over my eye! That may sound trivial, but when one has been seeing double, being able to look at the world with both eyes is a real blessing, and a treat! I really miss my binocular vision, but I think it is coming back!!!

Look ma, both eyes! And yes, I own a tiara.

Thanks again for your support while I’ve been going through this. And here’s to sewing in 2018!

26 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Style Arc Janet Dress”

  1. Dana says:

    Great health news and a gorgeous dress!

  2. Bronwyn says:

    So pleased to hear you are on the mend. Love this fabric (I bought some) and can’t wait to sew something from it. Agree with you – something with relatively simple lines is all this fabric needs as it is so fabulous. You are going to look great in it? What colour belt? Black’s an easy choice, but magenta or gold would look amazing (with matching shoes!).

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Oooo, I like the idea of a magenta belt, Bronwyn! I have a black patent belt with a little bow that is totally cute, and which I plan to wear with it, but I think I’ll see what I can find in a bright pink or other bright color. Thanks!

  3. Denise Wertz says:

    Lovely dress! Glad you are feeling better.

  4. Andi says:

    So glad you can “see” progress with your health Ann! Man, that dress is AMAZING!

  5. AJW says:

    So glad for the good news on the health front! And so sad that for some reason I cannot see the pix of this creation. I’m viewing it on my Mac but there are no images. Is it me? WAH!!!!!

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      No, apparently the server that hosts the pictures is down right now. I’ll load them directly onto the blog. I prefer to use the server because you can blow up the pics, but it’s in CA and it has been up and down this morning.

  6. Tina Spear says:

    I can’t view them either, AJW, so it’s not just you.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      The server where the pictures are hosted was down this morning, so I put the pictures directly in the post. You should be able to see them fine now.

    2. Tina Spear says:

      Thanks for getting the pictures up. The dress is stunning! Pictures on the lovely you????

      1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

        Hopefully on DH’s birthday celebration, which is March 3, if not sooner. 🙂

  7. Pam says:

    Love the dress (do wish I had not misplaced my waistline) and enjoy your post. We moved to Berlin and I now enjoy blogs more than I ever thought I could. Thankful for the good health news!

  8. KS Sews says:

    So glad you’re feeling better!
    This is always my quandary with Style Arc. Their patterns are usually fantastic, have great style lines, decent amounts of ease and go together well. But the instructions are sad and sometimes there are errors in the tech drawings.

  9. sewsy says:

    Beautiful dress! I’m on the hunt for a pretty dress pattern for my youngest daughter’s birthday, she ask for a few dresses for summer. I have two, and needed a third. This one is darling, and will round out the trio nicely, so thanks for posting about it!

    So glad that you’re getting better and better! Love the dress, and love the tiara. 🙂

  10. Justine says:

    Cute dress! Is you dress form padded to be your size? I’d love to see all the fitting changes you made on you.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      The bust is padded and lowered to match me. I haven’t bothered to pad out the waistline (I’m not nearly as wasp-waisted as Shelley 😆)and the hips/butt are pretty close to mine. I’ll try to get a pic at DH’s birthday celebration, when hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the entire evening with binocular vision!

  11. Mardel says:

    Just gorgeous! And it is wonderful to learn that you are doing so much better.

  12. Wendy M says:

    The dress is gorgeous! You look beautiful! So happy to hear you are doing better!

  13. Very nice dress! It’s great to hear that your health is improving!!

  14. Tracy says:

    Super dress. What a fabric!

    If you have good instructions on doing an FBA on a princess seam bodice, I’d love a link. My fitting books do a lot of hand waving and say “and just make it bigger.” Considering I have to FBA my way up to an FF, that seldom works.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I don’t, Tracy, but I learned the technique from Sandra Betzina’s book, “Fast Fit.” Thats readily available from libraries and various sources online. Another thought is a recent class on Craftsy, “Full Bust Adjustment for Any Pattern

      Full disclosure: that’s an affiliate link, because I’m a Craftsy instructor, so if you click on it and buy the class I do get credit for it. I used to be able to link directly but Craftsy has asked us to use this so they can track it easier – or something, I’m not really thrilled with this new setup but it is what it is, so… If you don’t want to use the link, just go to Craftsy and look for the class. I haven’t taken it so I can’t give a proper review, but I like Jenny (NAYY) and her patterns get raves from full busted gals.

  15. Patti Moore says:

    As the others have said, so glad you are feeling better and your vision has improved so much. Hope you are again 100% in no time. Beautiful dress and thanks for posting so we all can see. I, too, have a Mac and no photos on my iPad the other day. Take care🤗❣️

  16. Karen says:

    Beautiful dress and so happy to hear that you are on the road to a complete recovery!

  17. Chris Taylor says:

    The Janet dress looks lovely and I wish I could get my hands on that fabric, it’s gorgeous. I just have one question what or who is Sew Keasey, I’ve done a Google search but nothing comes up.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Ah, that’s because I spelled it wrong. It’s actually SewkeysE, from Emma Seabrooke. It’s a bonding tape that helps with hems. It’s lighter weight than Steam-a-Seam.

  18. Kathleen says:

    I love how the dress turned out. The fabric is beautiful. I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

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