Simplicity 8557 Duster Jacket Review

Updated: Jan 26

I have had the Simplicity 8557 pattern for a long time and it has been on my wishlist to make the duster jacket. I was delighted at the end of 2020 to finally get around to making it and can’t believe I waited so long.

Simplicity 8557 Easy to Sew Wardrobe Essentials

The pattern includes a collection of “easy-to-sew” stretch garments including ¾ length elasticated waist trousers, an a-line long sleeved dress, a tunic top with a hi-lo hem, a sleeveless tunic top and the duster jacket.

Digital sketch of my duster jacket with MyBodyModel croquis

When I created my MyBodyModel3x3 designs back in Autumn this was one of the patterns that I included in my garments as a layer and I wanted to use a gorgeous animal print jersey that I had bought from Sew Wardrobe.

The duster jacket is collarless and has inseam pockets and full length sleeves with a flare and split at the cuff. The pattern is sized for stretch knits only. The pattern envelope has a stretch guide that recommends 50% stretch but I think that is more geared towards the trousers and the dress. I don’t think you need to have much stretch for the duster jacket.

Full length sleeve with split at cuff

Size Range

Sizing goes from XXS to XXL. This covers

  • bust sizes from 29 1/2 inches ( cm) to 48 inches ( cm),

  • waist sizes from 22 inches ( cm) to 41 1/2 inches ( cm) and

  • hip sizes from 31 1/2 inches ( cm) to 50 inches ( cm).

Size I Made

Initially I made a Medium (M) based on my body measurements. After making the toile and some adjustments I ended up making the Small (S) at the bust and waist blended to Medium (M) at the hip.

I would say the sizing allows for quite generous fit although the finished garment measurements indicate there is only around 2 inches of ease included in the pattern.

Initial sketch and final garment

My Measurements and Body Type

Height: 5'2"

Bust: 36"

Waist: 30"

Hip: 40"

Bra: 32DD

Body type: I am an H shape from the front but I stick out a bit at the front at the boobs and at the back at the bum. I also have a bit of a rounded upper back (from too much time on a computer!)

Back view of animal print jersey duster jacket

Adjustments I Made

For this pattern I did make a rounded back adjustment of ½ inch about 2-3 inches down from the back neck.

I shortened the upper body section on the front and back pattern pieces at the petite shortening line but increased that from 1 inch to 1 ½ inches.

The shoulder length was a bit too long even on the Small pattern size so I shortened that at the armhole edge by 1”.

On the inside - inseam pockets and side splits
On the inside - inseam pockets and side splits

After I made the first version I wasn’t really happy with the fit in the upper body and because the jersey was quite drapey the in seam pockets didn’t really seem to stay in place and just added bulk at the