Sunday, 11 January 2015

Cottagely Posy Coppelia







Pattern: Coppelia by Papercut Patterns, available here (awaiting stock) or from Papercut as PDF or printed pattern. Size XS.  

Fabric: Cottagely Posy knit- 95% cotton, 5% spandex, 150cm wide from Priory Square by Katy Jones for Art Gallery- buy here, and here.  I used 1.25 metres, directional pattern so all pattern pieces placed in the same direction and a little creative placement to cut the hem ties.

Alterations: Added 3 ½" to hemline. Kept neckband to the same length. Cut additional hem ties- 4 in total and made them a little longer so the tie could wrap round to the front if needed. Widened cuff by 1" in total.

This is my first Papercut pattern.  I love the presentation and the thick brown paper and it is worth paying extra for.  It makes tracing so much easier.  The sizing is generous. I started out tracing a Small but quickly realised with a little pattern comparison from well fitting knit patterns that I needed to go down a size and this feeling is replicated on other sewing blogs. My niggle with Papercut is the model aesthetic they choose for their patterns is very young, very slim, many styles are very short and at 44 years old this makes me feel totally out of their target market. Seeing ingénue styled models standing with their toes pointed inwards also irritates me. Maybe I need to get over that or maybe it would be good to see them vary their presentation a little and I don't just mean a blonde model replaced with a brunette.  Whinge over.  It was a well cut pattern, I liked the construction and although I did a test run with some duvet reclaimed jersey and did a few tweaks I can see this is a pattern that I will return to and my daughter saw this and requested her own version. My test run was the cropped wrap view which sits on my natural waist line.   For this version, I extended the hem line so it sat between my waist and hips. The fit was great and definitely makes me want to try other Papercut styles.

Raglan sleeves make for easy construction. You do need to consider how to handle the gap in the seam for the hem tie so I used a combination of lightning bolt stitch (Janome Stretch stitch) and overlocking the seams.  Art Gallery knit fabric is very stretchy which means it recovers well- the jersey bounces back into place- but the elasticity means that they curl a lot when cutting or sewing and are a little tiresome to work with. A stretch needle rather than a  jersey ballpoint is essential.  I also use ballpoint pins. I also find that served seams on this fabric have a tendency to pop open so I used lightning stitch for the seam and the overlocker to finish the edges.  You could stitch the whole top on a standard machine, a serger/overlocker is not essential.  I love the print, so pretty and such vivid colours.


Getting the correct amount of stretch on the neckband to prevent gaping, especially for a small busted/flat chest fitting is hard.  I didn't stretch enough on my test run and I stretched it too much on this version.  You can't tell when I am wearing it but it is a little too tense and I know for next time. The level of stretch is going to vary according to the fabric used and is mainly done by feel and experience.  The most important place to get it right is as the band curves round your neck. I also looked at my better quality ready-to-wear jersey tops e.g. Boden, and many have twill tape stitched across the back neck so I used that method here.  Its a handy technique as it neatens and stabilises a bulky seam.


It's a pattern that benefits from a jersey with a little elastane/spandex/lycra- they are all the same thing.  The lycra helps it cling rather than flop or gape.  Papercut rate the pattern as Rookie/beginner.  I would say intermediate is more accurate. A bit of knit sewing experience is going to help a great deal and the construction of the neck band and hem ties needs a little time to get your head round. Definitely one to make a test version of first. 
sib blog

15 comments:

  1. I also prefer my seams machined with an overlocked finish as I find it holds better with less of the stitches showing through under tension. As for the Papercut aesthetic, I'm 29 and it can be a little on the 'hipster' side for me too! :) I can generally see past that for ways to adapt them to my own tastes but I haven't tried any yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it, pretty fabric too! Thank you for your blog post. I too had a similar situation with the neckline, it gapes. When I tissue fitted, the shoulder gaped. I did not know how the fabric would stretch around this area and thought the neckband might pull it down. So I left the pattern as is. Like you mentioned, more stretching of the neckband while sewing it on would have helped. Also, I probably should have adjusted the shoulder gape during my tissue fitting session. I'm learning! Love how yours turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. As someone who has seen it worn in real life it is brilliant and looks perfect on!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. At 51, I can't sew for me until I see it on someone else with definite middle age bod. Totally worth whining about.
    Very cute top on you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks fab on you, but yes, I definitely agree that pattern companies need to consider a wider age range in their marketing, unless of course they only want to sell to youthful people... in which case I suspect they'll go out of business sooner rather than later!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gah! From the back you are a dead ringer for my sister! Hair...xs...the whole package! Shirt looks lovely on you. Well done...yet again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That looks great! I made a top out of this knit fabric too but totally different, however I also found the pattern to be a bit generous too (Hey June).

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks great Kerry. I have to confess that I've not yet gone back to wrap-tops since the late 80's!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Kerry I've always loved wrap tops as the eighties was my era, and used to wear them a lot but thickening out in my late forties it's a no no sadly, but it looks stunning on you and I do love the priory print by Katy Jones I have a fatquarter waiting to be used in it xxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow this looks great. I have yet to try out Papercut patterns, but have seen so many lovely makes from them (yours definitely included!). I really liked all your construction tips - thank you for sharing those. They are most helpful :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this - it's so pretty. I am always a fan of your dressmaking skills as it's not something I have really done but I think this is my favourite so far - I'm a sucker for a wrap top!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time out to leave your thoughts. I always try to reply if I can find your email in your profile. Questions will be answered within the comments so others can read them too.