Terra Cotta Lace Dress (& shortening bell sleeves)

free people crochet lace dress_extra petite boston

I love the look of Free People pieces, but oftentimes they’re designed to be so loose and flowy that they’re completely overwhelming on a petite frame. This dress however looked almost indecently short on the models, but turned out to be a modest length on me. It’s a beautiful going out or date night piece, in a rich terra cotta / rust color that is flattering against many skin tones.
free people back to back crochet lace bell sleeve dress
I got a sz 0 regular and it’s a skin-grazing fit on me, not snug but also not baggy. Although the overall length of this dress is petite-friendly, the sleeves went beyond my fingertips (another aspect I find typical of Free People’s designs). To shorten sleeves like this with a flared detail, hem from the bottom edge only if you want to reduce the size of the flare. I wanted to maintain a dramatic bell sleeve, so I shortened the sleeves by taking in material at the junction where the regular sleeve meets the bells. It was fairly quick to alter by hand, and I didn’t cut any material in case I wanted to change the length down the road. This type of alteration is also much easier to do in my opinion than a circle hem, which would be needed if you’re shortening the flared ends of the sleeves.
fall red orange party dress extra petite blog
This Morning suede jacket (sleeves shortened) from Blank NYC really blew up this year! It’s one of those pieces that is ubiquitous around the internet, however I’ve rarely seen it on someone else in “real life.” Mine is the coffee bean suede – I’m so glad they’ve produced more of this one and in new colors, too. It’s very nice quality for the price and on the heavier side for moto jackets. If you’re considering this piece, check out my original review of it here from Spring.
fall lace dress date night blank nyc morning suede jacket

Leave a Comment

23 Comments

  1. Ev wrote:

    Love the whole look!

    http://www.evdaily.blogspot.com

    Posted 11.3.16 Reply
  2. Love the hue of this dress — perfect for fall!

    Jen | affecionada

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Obsessed with the bell sleeves and the coloring of the dress!

    http://www.pennyanddash.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  4. Lala wrote:

    Love the color but sleeve is too long on you
    Need to shorten for better fit

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  5. Lala wrote:

    The bell sleeve is too long. Would be better if you alter it shorter

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  6. mybeautrip wrote:

    Beautiful dress. Sleeves are amazing!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  7. Such a gorgeous color! Love the sleeves!

    xoxo
    Sharan
    http://www.MyGoldenBeauty.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  8. Andy wrote:

    You look lovely and very elegant in this combination.

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  9. I love the bell sleeves on that dress! What a perfect look for fall!

    Style by Joules

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  10. Awesome look!!! It fits perfect on you!!! Regards from http://www.chicnotebook.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  11. Jessi wrote:

    Love the color of this dress! The lace and the bell sleeves are gorgeous 🙂

    xoxo
    Jessi
    http://www.thedarlingdetail.com/

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  12. Rachel wrote:

    I always struggle with sleeve length too! Thanks for sharing. Love that dress and the color! Stunning!!

    -Rachel
    http://thetrendytomboy.com/fall-staples-2/

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  13. That jacket is sooooo cute!
    Love the whole outfit!
    xo. Kari

    http://www.sequinsandcolorpops.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  14. April wrote:

    Such a gorgeous color on you! Great tip about the hemming too. As always, beautiful pictures!

    April | http://thebluehydrangeas.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  15. Such a stunning dress! X
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    what an incredible look! I love your suede jacket, the color is so perfect!
    Fash 'n' fudge
    Fash 'n' fudge

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  17. Yna wrote:

    I love the dress and the jacket! Such gorgeous autumnal colors 😀

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  18. That dress is stunning, and the color is gorgeous on you! I'm also petite, so I'm loving your blog and the advice you have as well! xo

    McKenzie | therosynook.com

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  19. La Bijoux Bella | by mia wrote:

    Simple beautiful colour dress! 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  20. Can you please do a post about New Year's Eve outfits for petite?!

    Posted 11.2.16 Reply
  21. Hi Jean, this lace dress is gorgeous on you! I love the terra cotta orange color; it is perfect for fall! Thank you for including alteration details on these bell sleeves; I haven't taken the plunge in purchasing a bell sleeve yet…maybe soon. I also like how you styled the dress with a simple necklace 🙂

    ~Jessica

    Posted 11.1.16 Reply
  22. Christina wrote:

    So cute!!!

    Posted 11.1.16 Reply
  23. Love the oversized sleeves! You look lovely 🙂
    http://staphacharleme.blogspot.com

    Posted 11.1.16 Reply

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