The Papercut Coppelia


Goodness, I really can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get round to attempting this pattern. I’ve had it for ages, and have loved the versions I’ve spied around the blogosphere. There are two versions available, a longer, faux-wrap style and a cropped, tie version which I fell for right away. The pattern itself is beautiful and reminds me of the sadly no-longer available BHL print designs in its attention to detail and styling. Maybe that’s why I took so long to get round to using it: I was happy just to admire its beauty on the shelf 😉

This was a pretty simple pattern which would suit those not too experienced with sewing with knits well. I flew through the majority of the instructions, completing it mostly on my overlocker, which I seem to have tamed into submission of late (though clearly the very next time I use it, it’s going to play up right?). The only bit I didn’t quite get right was where the hem ties meet the main body, which I tidied up by hand but clearly I need to read more closely next time. I omitted the sleeve cuffs too as I prefer a 3/4 length sleeve and I fear these may have come up a little too narrow.

I’m really pleased with the final result, though I think the ‘fit’ isn’t quite as perfect as it could be. Even though I’m short (5ft, 2 1/2″) this is very cropped and I’d definitely add an additional inch or so next time. It’s funny how much more aware of my body I am because of sewing. I’d always thought I was just short generally, but clearly the top half of me is more ‘normal’ and it’s my bottom half where the majority of my shortness happens! I also think I could do with a little more fabric across the bust. Anyone know what cup size Papercut design for? I’m a 32D, and generally the smallness of my back makes up for my fuller cup size, but I think I may end up spending a fair bit of time tugging at this to ensure I’m covered. A little bit more fabric next time would be wise I think although knits vary such a lot, maybe one with more stretch would work…

I was instantly attracted to this ditsy fabric when I spotted it in Aberkan’s in Manchester. I love its solid background combined with a brighter print on top. I’m wearing it with jeans here, but I’m hoping it will brighten up my predominantly black/grey work dresses well too.

I had an off-cut just the right size for another infinity scarf. Although it doesn’t go with the actual top at all (proportions totally wrong) it does look good with a navy blazer and my recent Coco dress. Anyone else leave their last make proudly displayed for a while before it enters the wardrobe? 😉


The Liberty Pinafore

After a pretty disappointing result from my first, much loved piece of Liberty fabric (the Seamworks Bristol skirt, see here), rescued slightly by the top I just about managed to squeeze out of it, I’ve been putting off using the rest of it… But when the latest issue of Love Sewing (20) popped through my letter box I knew that the very sweet Girl’s Folk Pinafore would be the perfect design for the baby needlecord I purchased for my daughter.

It’s as an easy-fit, simple design which I thought would perfectly showcase the beautiful fabric. I cut the L (age 8-9) which has come out pretty loose on her as you can see in the photos, but this is perfect for getting a couple of years’ wear out of it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets upset at the thought of a homemade garment only fitting for a year (or sometimes even shorter) when you make something for children!

The instructions were really clear and despite not being a fan of facings, I was impressed by how this came together, neatly hiding the straps beneath. Normally I’d want to anchor the facings down in a couple of places, but there are no fine threads to catch in this fabric, so I might just have to let it be. Because of the slightly heavier weight they do sit pretty nicely to be honest and it’s not me wearing it 😉

I toyed with the idea of completing the front pocket in a contrasting fabric and found the perfect navy blue (of course) cord in my drawers. But when I experimented with placing it on the front it gave the dress a totally different look, much more modern, which is great sometimes, but I resisted. Both of my children are on the cusp of ‘growing up‘ and I just want to hold on to them being young children for a little longer, so traditional won out! I used the same fabric instead, which kind of becomes invisible, but it’s there should her hands get cold or if she wants to collect conkers or whatever. I also resisted adding various buttons, even though I have loads that matched perfectly. Plain and simple just seems to work with this, and my daughter agrees: she absolutely loves it 🙂


The Seamworks Astoria


Despite having subscribed to Colette’s ‘Seamworks‘ online magazine since its launch, I’ve only attempted one of its patterns to date (the Oslo, see here). So I’m determined to fix this and therefore justify my subscription over the Summer break by working my way through them. Not quite all of them, the shorts in the last issue are seriously never going to make it into my wardrobe! But generally, I’ve really liked the majority of them so far; I’ve just been lacking the time to make them up.

The pattern I’ve most admired so far is the Astoria. It’s a cropped ‘jumper’ that both really suits my style and looks incredibly practical. I’ve seen a few lovely ones on various blogs, so I was really keen to try this one first. With time to fabric shop being in short supply lately, I searched through my fabric drawers and found this leftover, red knit from my Moneta dress. I was hoping it would make a wearable muslin, but alas, it was not to be…

With hindsight this material probably didn’t have quite enough stretch to it. But even so, the size S that I cut has come up a little too small all round, and I’ll definitely have to consider this next time I make it up. It’s also very short, which I appreciate is part of the design, and while I do like it with a high-waisted skirt such as my T & TB Delphine skirt worn in these photos, I think being this short would seriously limit how much I got to wear it, so definitely just a little longer next time.

I had some issues with my overlocker making this up. You might just be able to make out from the photos that my stitches are really ‘showing through’, probably because I’ve used too visible a colour in terms of the thread, but maybe also it needed tightening up? I did do a practice square and it seemed fine… Any overlocker experts out there? If so, am I right in thinking with this particular material I needed to ‘tighten’ up? Is it just the wrong colour? Or even just too small generally? By the time I got to hemming the sleeves I already knew this just wasn’t going to be, hence I just overlocked them quickly, rather that switching to my regular machine.

So, while this is never going to see the light of day again, it was still a useful process. The fabric was ‘free’ anyway and I’ve worked out a few tweaks ahead of purchasing some nicer fabric. It was also a good test of the time guidance Seamworks give you. I cut out the pieces ahead, but the sewing from start to finish took less than an hour, so their promise held good!