Pattern Review: Simplicity 8265 Duster

Pattern Description: From the website, “Misses’ and Miss Petite long sleeve tunic, pull-on skirt and pants sized for stretch knits only, and an unlined coat or vest with side slits suitable for ponte or woven fabrics such as boucle, Jacquards, tweed, wool types or stretch woven”

To add a little descriptive info, this is a long sleeved duster jacket that is semi-fitted, with neckline darts.

Sizing: 6-24. I made a 12.

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: Beefy Rayon Jersey in Deep Teal from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Machines and Tools Used: Skippy my emergency backup sewing machine (a Bernina), Juki MO654DE Serger, Juki MC-1500 Coverstitch (new from DH for Christmas!)

I did a huge cleaning job on my sewing room for this little gem! Thank you, DH!!

Reliable iron/board, shoulder stand, sleeve board, silk organza press cloth, sleeve roll, point presser

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11, Pro Tricot Fusible Interfacing fron Fashion Sewing Supply, Japanese hand-sewing needles and pins, Thread Heaven and beeswax, and probably some other things that I’ll remember later.

Tips Used during Construction: Of course anything by The Pressinatrix, How to Flat Set a Sleeve

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

Fitting Adjustments that I made None. For once I sewed a garment for me straight out of the envelope. What a nice treat!

How were the instructions? They were good. I didn’t really use them, because this is pretty straightforward, but I checked them and they are more than adequate. But I did grouse on my IG feed about Simplicity’s, and indeed, all the ‘big 4′ pattern companies’, outdated instructions for sleeve insertion.

Maybe I should term it “A Difference in Basic Philosophies”

I believe that the best way to insert sleeves in knit garments (not woven garments, just those whose fabrics have a fair degree of stretch) is to sew the sleeve in flat, then sew the the side seams and finish the hems. It’s the way it’s done in RTW factories, and it’s efficient. One of my IG readers countered that she finds that sewing the side seam of the garment, then inserting the sleeve in the round makes the sleeve seam the ‘dominant’ seam. That’s an interesting hypothesis! I’m going to try that. I want to do it in a knit garment where one side is done with flat-sleeve, and the other with in-the-round construction. I’ll let you know what I think!

Construction Notes: The garment went together very easily. I serged the seams,

They have you attach a ribbon (in this case I used rayon petersham between the pocket and the facing to keep the pockets from flopping around.

I used the Bernina (my trusty Pfaff needs to get the timing serviced) for under stitching and for the darts

and I used my new coverstitch for the hems. YAY!!!!

Testing it out earlier today

Garment hem with the coverstitch

Back of the coverstitch

The sleeve hem

Likes/Dislikes: This is a very well constructed pattern, and it’s a classic line with good bones. It’s a straightforward pattern that will work for lots of different fabric types. There’s nothing I dislike about it. It goes together without any difficulty.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I might do it again. I’ll certainly do other garments from this pattern (I have enough fabric left over for the skirt, and I have some black fabric that would work nicely for the pants.

Conclusion: This entire pattern is a good wardrobe builder, and this jacket will be a cornerstone in my winter-to-spring rotation. Here are pictures on Shelley:




20 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Simplicity 8265 Duster”

  1. Kate McIvor says:

    Perfect timing! I’ve been searching for a pattern just like this. I want to make a duster-length vest! Now I know which pattern to use.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Please don’t try to advertise your store on my blog. I’m happy to have you here, but I don’t allow ads, even tacit ones

  2. Nancy says:

    lovely duster! I hope you will do a review of your coverstitch machine – I have been thinking that I might like to add that to my sewing room, but I don’t know much about them.

  3. Cheryll says:

    Very nice, classic. I really like the dart placement. You are correct, it is a wardrobe builder! Thanks for sharing.

  4. f says:

    I’m serious about the “dominant seam” why does it matter which one is the dominant seam?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I’m not sure it does, F, but I think it’s an interesting hypothesis, so let’s try it out and see. 😊

      1. Tina Spear says:

        Weird! I don’t know why my post showed up as being from “f” LOL. I guess I must have inserted it in there some how :/
        I will wait and see what you discover in your trial.

        1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

          No worries Tina! I’ll try it out and let you know what I think 🙂

  5. Martha says:

    Beautiful fabric! I have a hard time finding this color. Dusters look so elegant, but I prefer a v-neck or a scoop neck. I wish I was braver with pattern hacks.

  6. Beth Galvin says:

    Sewing a sleeve in the flat has always bugged me for the exact reason, creating the dominant seam under the arm. Factory methods are for efficiency but I am sewing things for myself and can customize as I like. Try sewing the sleeve all but the last inch or so on each side and then sew the side and sleeve seam, and then finish the bottom of the armhole. for me this makes a smoother armhole in knits.

  7. Judith says:

    Because of the “dominant seam” issue, I now insert ALL sleeves (including knits and even men’s shirts) in the round. It really takes not that much longer, and I like the results way better.

  8. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful commentary! I did a little searching and I found this blog post from Kathleen Fasanella, whose work I admire very much. She does a really good analysis of construction order and the resulting dominant seams:

    I am intrigued! I always set sleeves in the round in tailored and woven-fabric garments, but now I really want to try out a knit top with one sleeve sewn flat and the other sewn in the round. I need to get some fabric (all I have in my stash right now is either black or better than I want to use for a blog experiment), so maybe I’ll pop by the local JoAnn today. Stay tuned!

  9. Ann says:

    Wonderful post!
    Thanks for the pattern review!
    Your garment turned out lovely.
    Have fun wearing it!

  10. Linda says:

    Ok I know this is heresy but I even insert woven sleeves flat. I am not doing fine tailoring, mostly casual tops. I just can’t understand why it matters, you are still fitting the same sleeve into the same armhole. Would love an explanation of this and why it isn’t supposed to work. And I love your analytical approach – will be awaiting your experiment. Thank you!

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I’ve done that on occasion, Linda, if there’s not much ease in the sleeve cap. Battle of the Seams coming shortly!

  11. ritas says:

    Hmmm… I wonder if it makes any difference if you have the same seam allowance? I usually have 1/4 inch for knits, but for sleeves on a woven, it might be either 3/8 inch, or if I’m going to flat-fell, one side is 5/8.

  12. Mickie Sprenkle says:

    I love the idea of fastening the pocket to a seam via a ribbon,,, I will have to incorporate that into my sewing…

  13. Nancy Oatley says:

    Lovely duster. How did you decide on the Juki MC-1500 coverstitch?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I’ve owned Juki sergers and sewing machines since mumble mumble mumble. I own/have owned both home machines and industrials. They run so smoothly and produce such beautiful stitches that when I found out they had come out with the MC-1500 I knew I wanted one. I’m so glad DH bought it for me. I think it’s a tremendous value, at about a third the price of other coverstitch machines.

      1. Nancy Oatley says:


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