Simplicity 8545

I actually made this dress back in December for my work’s Christmas party, but it’s been so dark and cold lately that I’ve only just had chance to photograph it!


I bought this pattern after spotting it on Simplicity’s website. I’d bought the tulle fabric ages ago after seeing someone’s blog post where they’d used it (I can’t remember who it was as it was ages ago) so I thought I’d get some. Some shops were selling it for £20 a metre but I found it on ebay for £5 a metre so I bought 3 metres. When it arrived, it was in 3 separate 1m pieces which was highly annoying!


When I bought it, I originally had no plans as to what to make with it. I was thinking a maxi dress of some kind but couldn’t decide what. Then I spotted this Simplicity pattern using the same fabric but in white and I was sold. It was also supposed to be my #sewfrosting entry but I didn’t finish it in time.

It took me a while to pluck up the courage to cut into it and sew with it. I thought it was going to be really tricky but it wasn’t that bad. I wrote a post on tips for sewing with tulle and I followed all my own advice!

simplicity 8545 pieces

I cut the pieces out in a single layer and used a rotary cutter. When sewing, I used a new, fine needle and used French seams for most of the seams. I think the only seam I didn’t French seams on was the waist. The best tip I found was to use paper as I sewed. I put paper on top of the fabric when using the sewing machine as it stops the fabric getting chewed or bunched up. Then I carefully pulled the paper off the dress when I sewed the seam. I used magazines but I suppose you could use any type of lightweight paper. I found a lot of advice on a post by Elisalex on Fabric Godmother blog. She’d made the most gorgeous dress from a Pegasus net fabric.

8545 bodice

The pattern is one of Simplicity’s more recent collections and has several options available. I made view E, which is a knee length dress with 3/4 length sleeves. I was originally planning on making a slip dress to go with it (view A) but didn’t bother in the end. I made a size 18 based on the pattern envelope with no alterations and I’d say it’s a pretty good fit, especially as this dress will ALWAYS have another dress worn underneath it!

8545 pieces

The construction was fairly simple. I sometimes have problems with the big 7 patterns but this one was ok. I think the only point where confusion set in was when it came to inserting the zip. The pattern said to stop sewing at a certain point but then that left a gap in the seam. I ended up giving it to my mum to sort at that point, but that was it!

Originally, I was going to bias bind the hem, neckline and cuffs but I ended up leaving them unfinished. The net is pretty sturdy and didn’t want to risk ruining the dress. Also, I am very lazy and couldn’t be bothered with sewing all the bias binding if I didn’t need to. This dress isn’t something that’s going to be worn frequently so I think I can risk leaving them unfinished. I’ve worn it once and all the edges are still in tact.

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Overall, I’m really pleased with how well this turned out. It was a lot easier to make than I was expecting and the fabric looks amazing (if I do say so myself!).

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PS I realise how short my slip dress I wore underneath is! I do apologise! I needed something to wear underneath!


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