Sunday, 22 November 2015

Papercut Patterns Sigma Dress

Making dresses in one of my favourite things at the moment. I'm not sure why, but I think I find them the most rewarding because once you've made a dress, you have a whole outfit ready to go! 

I absolutely adored this fabric when I first saw it on the Blackbird Fabrics website and knew that I wanted to use it on a dress so that I could show off as much of the pattern as possible. I had bought the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns a while before and had been toying for quite a long time about which fabric to use to make it. 

Papercut Sigma dress 
The instructions for making this dress were nice and clear, although I was a little confused about the interfacing for the pockets. I like the fact that there are two skirt options, and two sleeve options. This makes it very versatile depending on what kind of dress you want. I went for the gathered front skirt (variation one) with short sleeves. I thought that the gathered version would work best with this print. 

These flowers!
I made a muslin of the dress top to check the fit in large. As a result, the top is now a medium at the arms graded to an extra large at the waist. This was to accommodate the fact that my waist is larger than my shoulders, proportionally speaking. This seemed to work pretty well, although when I make this dress again, I will maybe go from medium to large at the waist as this one does feel roomy. Perhaps I should have made that second muslin after all?! I think I may also take the shoulders in by half an inch and adjust the sleeves accordingly. 

One thing that is different with this pattern when compared to most other dress patterns like this (that I have seen) is that the sleeves are sewn in flat before you sew the side seams together, and you don't gather the sleeve heads. I was dubious about whether this would work, but it really did and now I am going to trust whatever Papercut Patterns say in future. 

I originally added six inches to the length of the skirt after reading some reviews which said that the skirt came out very short. I took off around two before I hemmed and I'm pretty happy with this length now. 

I love the pockets; they are a great shape (not too big) and I like the fact that they are attached to the waist seam so that they don't flop around. 

In summary, this dress is really comfortable, in fit and because the fabric is so lush!  

Sewing Recap

I haven't blogged for a really long time... but it's not because I haven't been busy making at all! So I thought that I would do a quick recap of some of the things that I made way back in the summer so that I have them documented, and also to remind me that I actually made them!

Checked Grainline Archer
First up is the Grainline Studio Archer shirt. This was always intended to be a wearable muslin. I love this fabric from Dressew, it was super cheap and I thought that it would not only be a good test but great for wearing around the apartment. And good for my pattern matching skills. I made a straight-up size 12 based on my bust size as a starting point.

Yolk cut on the bias
I really like the big pockets, the yoke dart and I enjoyed making the cuffs. However, I think that the shoulders are too broad for me, and the sleeves are pretty huge which is why I have them rolled up (and I must also confess that I haven't even finished the cuffs by putting buttons on because I knew straight away that I would never wear them all the way down!). I am planning on making another version of this with slimmer shoulders (maybe about an inch?) and I really want to make it using this fabric from Cotton+Steel - just to match my Alder shirt, y'know. Really showing my creature-of-habit-ness right there. I think I will also attempt a sleeveless version like Andrea or Fiona - both equally beautiful and simple.

Pleated Front Dress from Salme Patterns
Next up is the Salme Patterns Pleated Front Dress. I was immediatey drawn to the simplicity of this dress, but wasnt sure what fabric to use. Luckily my beautiful sister sent me this Sparkle Midnight blue fabric from ol' blighty by Atelier Brunette. I still haven't found a North American stockist for this stuff! I did an FBA and added on an inch each side. I think this really helped with the fit, although it feels snug round the chest and big at the underarms at the same time. I didn't think that would be possible! Another problem is that the fabric is quite sheer, but I tend to wear this kind of thing with leggings anyway. Which is a good thing, as with my handbag it rides all the way up to my bum! Not a good look... Enough complaining, I really like this dress and always get lots of compliments at work!

Victoria blazer from By Hand London
I have wanted to make the Victoria blazer from the amazing By Hand London for a really long time and took advantage of a 20% off sale. I got the paper pattern delivered all the way over here, as it wasn't available as a PDF at the time. I have to tell you, it was really nice not to have to cut out bits of paper and stick them together for once!

Blinded by the lining?
This fabric can be recognised from here. I inadvertently made myself a little suit (I haven't actually worn them together... yet). I decided to use a contrast fabric (leftover from here) for the lapels and collar, and it doesn't quite work because they a different thickness. As the dot has a bit of knit about it, it stretched quite a bit when I was sewing, and the black twill is quite stiff, so the lapels and collar don't sit as nicely as I would like. I tried tacking them down as well but this doesn't seem to help. I had some salmony coloured rayon in my stash, which I used for the lining. Unfortunately you can see the lining around the collar because of the way the lapels sit, which is a bit frustrating. I will definitely make a more wearable version of the Victoria, probably the shorter version as I think that will suit me more. I would like to make it in a nice linen, something not as thick as this hybrid knit stuff!

Colette Violet with placket
I was very excited when, way back in January, Violet was announced as the first Colette Patterns Pattern of the Month. I have a sleeveless version that I made a few years ago (which could be so much better now I have learnt about making the armholes smaller). I was even more excited when I saw the button-band hack! I always thought that the facing didn't really work with thin fabric and so was desperate to try. I really like the short sleeves, and decided to gather them and make a band out of biased binding to neaten them up again. I would definitely do this again.

Amanda of Bimble & Pimble fame egged me on to use this swiss dot after I commented on her white Archer. The fabric feels really nice, but boy does fluff stick to it. I have to get my lint roller out everytime I wear it! This is a size 10 and I think it's quite a good fit. For the next one I make I think I will try curving the hems (a la Archer/Alder) to add something different.