Hi everyone!

This month I am back on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network with a dress project. This time I wanted to make the Style Arc Jessica Dress using the John Kaldor Roanne Jersey Fabric in French navy. I wanted a dress that’s suitable for the office which is quite comfy and elegant at the same time.

The dress is a ‘easy to wear pull on knit jersey dress sewing pattern with up to the minute twist front feature that is flattering and eye catching. This dress can be worn to the office then add a piece of your favourite jewellery then you are ready to party! These are multi sized nested patterns printed on 60gsm paper. Seam allowances are included. Please note, Style Arc sewing patterns come with limited instructions and assume some sewing and pattern knowledge’.

The fabric ‘is made from a gorgeous blend of viscose, nylon and elastane. The viscose content gives it an unbelievable softness and drape whilst the nylon and elastane give it great stretch recoverability. It is a knitted stretch jersey fabric which would be perfect for making unstructured tops, jumpers, cardigans, dresses and more! Available in a lovely range of colours suitable for summer and winter clothing.’

After reading a few reviews on Pattern Review, I decided that it is best to cut size 8 and shorten the pieces on the front twist to size 6. The pieces for the back and front skirt are made so that they are cut on one layer. However, I seem to have a dislike for cutting on one layer so I decided to trace only half of the back bodice and back skirt pieces and cut them on the fold. The only pice I cut on one layer was the front skirt because of its asymmetric shape.

I have tried a few marking methods, but the one that worked best for this fabric was to use white carbon paper and the tracing wheel. The marks stayed on long enough for me to construct the pleats.

I only used my sewing machine to construct the pleats, make the side gathers on the front bodice and finish the backline and the hem. For the rest of the construction I used my overlocker/serger, which sped the process for me.

Because, I charged through making this dress, I made a few mistakes. One is twisting the fabric one two many times on the front and now it looks a little bit off. Unfortunately, there are too many seams I’d need to undo to fix it and I’m a bit lazy so for now I’ll live with it as it is.

I am one of those people who likes the inside to be as nice as the outside, so I tend to finish off all the seams. However, with this one I did not think about the fact the front piece includes the facing so I did not finish that part off before I put the front together. Bummer!

The dress turned out OK. I love the way the fabric feels against my skin.

The back looks like it is quite fitted.

I am not to sure what to think about the front pleats. I feel that the extra fabric is making me look I have a huge belly. I mean I do have one, but not that big.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Style Arc Ladies Sewing Pattern Jessica Dress

Fabric: 2 m french navy John Kaldor roanne jersey fabric

Notions: none

Sewing time: approx 4h (including tracing the pattern, but using the overlocker/serger)

Modifications: cut the front bodice twist pieces on size 6 not 8. And after finishing off the dress I decided to cut straight from waist to hem and remove the shaping around hips to make it a bit more fitted

Fit: not so great, requires modifications

Difficulty: intermediate

Watch out for: basic instructions. Best to baste side seams and check the fit before permanently sewing the seams in. It is well known that StyleArc patterns do not have detailed instructions, so be prepared to do a google search for some techniques referred to in the instructions. Also, be careful when making the twist that you do not twist the fabric to many times.

Make Again?: Not sure at this moment, as I am not too sure how the front pleats hang off my waist. If I make it again, I am considering making the front skirt without the pleats. I think that will put the attention on the twist and the dress will look better on me with this modification.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.


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