New Pattern: Petrea Dress and Blouse

Hi Everyone, I have a new pattern. Introducing Petrea, a dress and blouse.

The pattern is in my Etsy shop now – please enjoy 25% off for the next month.

This pattern comes in twenty sizes, to fit an 81cm/32″ bust to a 178cm/70″.

The dress is zero waste and has generous in-seam pockets, and can be made any length without affecting zero waste.

The blouse is low waste with patch pockets.
Both have a Peter Pan collar, back semi-circular yoke, front buttons, 6mm (1/4″) tucks back and front, and an extended sleeve. The fit is loose and very comfortable, with fullness flaring from the tucks.
Due to a quirk of zero waste, the sleeve length is elbow length for smaller sizes and three-quarter length for larger sizes.

There are two options for the pattern: it can be printed out on A4 or A0 paper OR drafted by you on paper following the step-by-steps in the instructions.

Important: this pattern is suggested for intermediate to advanced sewers. Although the pattern isn’t complex, the (28) tucks demand accurate sewing and experience handling fabric.

Here’s a gallery….

The dress, worn by my fab sister. She said it was very comfortable. The sleeves have been deeply hemmed then turned back to make cuffs.
The same dress, shortened 5.5″, on Vineetha who is the same size as my sister except shorter (my sister is 5’10”).
Here’s the back view showing the tucks.
Here’s the front, under construction.
Me wearing the dress made from vintage cotton. It looks better worn with a belt on me.
The pockets are really deep and generous.
I wore this quite a lot at the end of summer, to test it. It also looks good worn with a cardigan as the collar sits nicely over the top.
The back view.
My Mum wearing the original prototype made from a soft Madras checked cotton.
It’s lovely in linen, worn by Nigelle-ann the bookshop lady. Hers has bust darts added (how-to is in the instructions) – the red dress above also has darts. Note the sleeve length on her – it’s more like three-quarter length.
Shown here in a fine lawn.
In vintage poly/cotton. If you’re making a smaller size, this blouse is a good opportunity to use vintage fabrics in narrow widths – see the fabric usage below.
Me, Mum and my sister – they visited at Easter and I asked them to try on my samples. The photos got very silly but this one is acceptable!

How much fabric does it use and is it economical? It sits somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t use any more fabric than a similar regular pattern, but it isn’t “breathtakingly” economical due to the very generous pockets and roomy fit.

The sizes correspond with your bust measurement in inches, so a size 36 will fit a 91.4cm/36″ bust.
This pattern is designed for woven fabrics. Good choices include lawn, quilting cotton, linen, shirting, poplin and chambray, in plains or prints. One-way prints are suitable, because all the pieces are oriented in the same direction.

This pattern has been a long time coming – it started about a year ago as part of trying to incorporate more curves into my zero waste patterns. If you own the February chapter of A Year of Zero Waste Sewing, you may recognise the cutting layout. The proof-of-concept sample hung from my wardrobe door handle for months and months until I got to turning the idea into a pattern.



  1. Tory S. on April 18, 2023 at 3:34 am

    Oh, I’m going to get this new design right away!

    Liz, I have a question about your wrap skirts. I just made the 5 gore version and it came out great. I also made a paper template for it at the same time. It occurred to me that I could use 3-4 of the gores to make a zip up version too, but would I need both end gores in order to have a vertical seam for the zipper? I think an angled zip would look cool but I think it would hang wrong. Advice appreciated!

    • lizhaywood on April 18, 2023 at 12:38 pm

      I’m very pleased the wrap skirt came out well for you.
      There are two ways you could go with a gored zipped skirt: cut one of the gores in half and put the zip in the middle and call it the back, or put fusing on an angled edge to stabilize it for sewing a zip in.

  2. Laurinda on April 18, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    That IS lovely. I’ve never tried pin tucks, but they seem straightforward enough

    • lizhaywood on April 18, 2023 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks Laurinda – I think this could be my best pattern yet.
      The trick with the tucks is getting them exactly the right width, because it all adds up over multiple tucks.

  3. Belinda Stafford on April 27, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Could you place the tucks mid shoulder, so they release fullness over the apex of the bust?

    • lizhaywood on April 27, 2023 at 3:24 pm

      Alas no – they have to fall from the neckline so the collar fits on. It would be possible to add extra tucks mid shoulder though, if you cut a wider top to compensate. This would give a you a very full hemline.
      Good question; thanks for asking.

  4. Helen Sherriff on April 27, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Liz,
    I just bought this pattern and I’m looking forward to making, but I can’t open the downloaded files. This is probably a problem with my computer. Can you help?
    Thank you.

    • lizhaywood on April 28, 2023 at 10:15 am

      Hi Helen, don’t worry – I’ll email the files to you direct.

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