Fitting Style Arc’s Genevieve jacket

No pretty finished project photos in this post I’m afraid; in fact quite the opposite. This is my toile of Style Arc‘s Genevieve jacket. It’s a long line jacket with an asymmetrical closure and a collar I’m not quite sure how to describe. You know what, here’s the technical drawing.

Style Arc Genevieve technical drawing

The suggested fabrics cover a huge range of possibilities: wool cashmere, boiled wool, ponte, brocade and linen. So in my mind that covers both stable knits and wovens, and goes all the way from fairly crisp fabrics (brocade) to floppy (linen). Hopefully that just means that the collar looks good no matter what the degree of drape. Not that it matters as I’m using none of these. My fabric is a mediumweight grey denim with a bit of stretch and an unusual brushed finish on the wrong side.

I’ve made a few Style Arc patterns before and been very impressed with the drafting, but the patterns were all drapey sack dress type things that required next to no fitting. I don’t know how the more close-fitting styles come out. Style Arc have a reputation for having much less ease than Big Four patterns though, so I was expecting to make a bigger size than I do in Vogue. I did a bit of googling and found lots of people saying the size chart is accurate and in particular you should go with your shoulder width for picking a pattern size. Which put me two sizes down at the bust from what I expected and one size down from what I make in Vogue…it didn’t seem very likely. The hip and waist sizes I got seemed much more plausible. So for once I made a toile.

I should mention here that my copy of the pattern is multisized so I could easily blend between the three different sizes I needed. If you buy Style Arc paper patterns direct from the Style Arc site you only get a single size in the envelope. Multisized paper versions are available through Amazon, but not in the full range of styles. Confusingly, you can also buy PDFs from the Style Arc site that come in your chosen size plus one either side. At least you have options!

So here it is. Excuse the hem, I was way too lazy to pin up the hem allowance so it’s just folded and has dropped down in places. I did fold up the sleeve hems.

And actually it’s pretty good. The front seems to fit well. The sleeve length is technically OK but I like my sleeves long so I’m adding a bit more.

Style Arc Genevieve toile front

I need more room in the upper back I think; both length and a tiny bit of width. After rummaging through some fitting books I think a ’rounded back adjustment’ will do at least some of what I’m looking for. It means adding a shoulder dart. And if I wasn’t making this in a stretch fabric I think I’d size up.

Style Arc Genevieve toile back view

Everything on the toile matched up perfectly except in one place: the diagonal style lines were off by 5mm at the side seams. You can just see it below. I’m certain it wasn’t a sewing error but I may have messed up when making length adjustments. I’m honestly not sure how I did that. Anyway it’s easy to fix.

Style Arc Genevieve toile

I know I am now supposed to go and make a second toile to check I have all this right, but I don’t have the energy. Also I have run out of calico. So I’ve adjusted the pattern as best I can and now full speed ahead with the good fabric. Let’s see what happens.

21 thoughts on “Fitting Style Arc’s Genevieve jacket

  1. Nice- I find they are a tad narrow on shoulders and upper back on me [for fitted styles]. Interestingly, I’ve found sometimes significant difference on the sizing depending on where you buy. The one size, straight from the site ones are bang on. Some of the PDFs come up HUGE [my Mindi zip skirt had to be reduced by many, many inches to fit] and the Amazon ones are slightly more generous than the ‘originals’ too. Strange. I just bang ahead usually of course, and worry fit at some later stage of the proceedings!
    I like this style, but have avoided it because of all that fabric at the top- not the best for me I think! Looking forward to stage 2

    1. Thanks! Shame they aren’t consistent. I’ll bear that in mind for the future. Certainly mine’s a PDF and was bigger than I expected for a company that is supposed to match RTW sizing (UK and Aussie RTW anyway)

  2. I have never made a Style Arc pattern, so can’t say anything about their sizing or fit, but I can say I really like the lines of this coat!! And I do think you’ve hit the proverbial nail with the rounded upper back adjustment. Happy sewing! This will be a lovely coat!

  3. I really like the style of this coat too and am very tempted, but I will wait and see your finished article. I particularly like that amazing collar and wonder whether a bit of millinery wire in it might enhance the look.

  4. that will look great on you when sewn up in the actual fabric, the shape and design are so suitable for your height. I have found Style Arc patterns fit to be all over the map, made a few and sometimes too large and other times way too small. it is a mystery I haven’t yet cracked.

  5. Be careful with the rounded back adjustment. It’s more for people with osteoporosis, I think. In other words, it didn’t work for me when I tried it. You have the muslin (calico — I’m a Yank) — why don’t you just let the center back seam out a little and see what happens?

  6. This is looking good, as others have said the collar is really nice, and the asymmetric closure and panel lines give it some oomph. I’m also not convinced that you need the rounded back adjustment, but in the first photo from the back the pull lines are suggesting to me that the shoulder of the pattern is slightly squarer than you are, which could indicate that it’s designed to have a small shoulder pad in there.

  7. Nice jacket, and the toile isn’t too far off right. I seem to have been pretty lucky so far with the Style Arc pattern sizing – none of the problems mentioned above.

  8. I am a big fan of Stylearc patterns and found the sizing to be consistent. This pattern is going to look really good on you. Boring to do a toile, but much more fun sewing and knowing all that hard work is not going to be ruined by a bad fit. I am curious as to why Stylearc consider this to be “challenging”? It looks fairly straightforward.

    1. Not sure. the hardest part of the sewing was the inset corner at the collar/shoulder seam junction and that’s what I’d call medium rather than hard. However the instructions have at least one mistake in the construction order. The zip in the technical drawing doesn’t match the way the instructions say to install it, and the topstitching is shown on the wrong side of the seamlines. so I would have found this a very frustrating project if I’d tackled it a few years back.

  9. this is pretty intriguing! though the sizing issue sounds insane. I’ve been tempted by a few style arc patterns, this looks like it promises to be very cool so I’m looking forward to seeing how you go with it 🙂

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