I discovered two things last year, petite sewing patterns are still hard to find with commercial patterns and I am in love with crepe fabric. Going through my closet, I realized that I have made a lot of sewing projects with crepe such as this dress here and this tunic here. I even have a few on Minerva.com The reason why I believe I am obsessed with crepe is that it holds better and can look more professional if I ever have to go into an office. I still aim for an edgy business casual style, but I do need pieces that can transition nicely between environments.
With that in mind, I found a nice dress sewing pattern that has versatility for the office and a date night. I was really excited about this pattern because it says that it was for Petites, which is so hard to find with commercial patterns. We small girls need love too, lol. Have you often been frustrated because you have to buy more fabric than you need for a project or have to make so many adjustments because the pattern was made for a non-petite person? Well, I thought I’d start sharing more patterns that could help my petite followers just like me. Don’t worry I won’t be leaving out my taller friends, just want to give my blog some balance. And you never know who these posts could help. Make sure to read my review on the fabric as well as the pattern below.
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Pattern Review of Petite Sewing Pattern Simplicity 8546
Description: Misses’ Miss Petite Shirt Dress in Three Lengths with Sleeve Variations
Fabric Choice: Valentino Crepe (FS553) I found this fabric through a small fabric company and was eager to try it out. I must say that I am more in love with the color in person than I was when I saw it online. It’s a very vivid Fuschia that is perfect for spring weather and could transition to fall. I plan to make this a staple in my wardrobe. Be careful as the right side of the fabric can snag on jagged edges, jewelry, and fingernails. It is extremely delicate.
Sewing Tools Needed That Aren’t Mentioned:
- Sewing Machine Needle 70/10
- Fine Embroidery thread
- Straight Stitch Foot (for the thicker parts) & Walking Foot (for everything else)
- Handle needle
- Tailors chalk
- Pins or wonder clips
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you finished sewing it?
Yes, I think it looked like the pattern.
Are the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, I didn’t have any problems with the instructions. I just had to get creative with my fabric choice. See below for my advice. There’s lots of it.
What did you particularly like or dislike about Simplicity 8546?
I love the sleeves they give the shirt a really tailored look. And I am in love with the slits on the side. Just a little bit of sexy that’s not overdoing it.
I am still not a fan of pleats. It doesn’t matter if they are on pants or tops. Maybe I’ll find a pattern with pleats that I like, but if I could change one thing it would be the pleat in the back. I will do that the next time I make this top.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I had to shorten it even after making it the petite length the pattern suggested. I think they believe Petites start at 5’4″. I’m 5’2″ and didn’t make simplicities cut, so I hope they considered that in the future.
Would you sew it again? Yes, I want to make the cold shoulder version for a date night look.
How long did it take? I honestly can’t tell you because I started and stopped this one when I got to the hand sewing. I am working on getting better with timing myself on that part. If I had to guess I would say it takes a week if you break it up into smaller time frames.
Tips to Avoid the Sewing Pattern Simplicity 8546 from Taking as Long
- First, hand stitch the collar closed if you use a fabric thicker than chambray or cotton. And then topstitch on the outside.
- Second, make sure to clip the corners of the collar facing so that you can turn it all the way over.
- You still have to cut the hem if you are 5’2″ or below. I cut the hem by 3 whole inches. Yes, you heard that correctly. And then I pressed the hem up 1 1/4″.
- How did I figured out how long I wanted it to be?
- Put on a shirt that fits you properly.
- Get a tape measure and place it under your armpit where the sleev ends and the body of the shirt begins.
- Drop the measuring tape down to your foot and step on it lightly to hold it in place.
- If you have a friend, partner, etc near by ask them to see what the measurement is by your ankle. Now if it’s just you, use a yard stick and place the end against your ankle and measuring tape.
- You should be able to see the measurement on the tape measure, but if not try stepping on the tape measure like in step 3. Then, bend down and hold the tape measure up to your ankle. My final measurement was 42″ plus 1 1/4″ for the hem.
- This project will take you some time so pace yourself. I got ahead of myself at one point and spent two hours seam ripping the front facing. Don’t be like me.
- Make sure to buy 3 spools of machine embroidery thread because of the length of the dress.
- You will have to press down the thicker seams in order to sew through them later.
- Use a pressing cloth so you don’t ruin the fabric. And that’s it.
How helpful were the bullet points?
Until next time…