Category Archives: Papercut

Mito Cami Scrapbust

I’ve had this lovely Lisa Ho silk/cotton (from The Fabric Store) sitting in my stash for more than five years. There was only a little bit left, but I finally found the perfect project for it.


I paired it with a remnant of silk satin to make the prettiest Mito Cami ever! The pattern is by Papercut Patterns. It’s a lovely, easy fitting cami and dress design. I can picture myself making up the dress version to slip over a swimsuit in Summer.


I didn’t have the strap hardware on hand to make my straps adjustable so I simply cut and stitched the desired length in place to suit me. I sewed  up a size Small, which reflected my bust measurement pretty much spot on. I didn’t have to deal with my shoulders because of the strappy design.


The perfect merino turtleneck

As I know I’ve mentioned in the past, one of my biggest fitting issues is my broad “swimmer’s” shoulders. I usually just lengthen the shoulder seams by slashing a wedge between the shoulder and the armscye. Sometimes I move the wedge medially to broaden the back a bit too. I use a little bit of intuition when I see the flat pattern in front of me. Over time, it’s easier to look at pattern shapes and have a bit of an idea what should be done to fit your body better. It’s much the same way that I can look at a pair of RTW jeans and tell you straight away if they will fit my shape or not. It’s just experience.

I’ve digressed a little though, because I actually just want to talk about this turtleneck. It’s a pretty simple staple, but I really, REALLY love the way it fits. The pattern is the perfect blend of two patterns. I combined Thread Theory’s Strathcona Henley and Papercut Pattern’s Rise and Fall Turtleneck. The fabric is a divine Ballet Pink merino knit from The Fabric Store.

I made a slightly modified version of the Fall Turtleneck a few weeks ago and loved it. I was keen to sew it again, but I knew I would need to modify those shoulders a smidgen more. I also knew that I’d been wearing my husband’s old Strathcona’s to bed for a few years and it was a fit I could see potential in if I sized down. I tested this theory with my last make.

I basically just merged those two patterns together by laying them over each other and taking the bits that would fit my body the best. It worked out great. The wider “male” shoulder design suits me to a tee. But I also got to keep the body shape and cool turtleneck from the Papercut design.

If you follow me on IG, you’ve already seen how I intend to wear this particular turtleneck. If not, you will soon!

Fall and Rise Turtleneck for Fall

Sometimes I get my hands on a fabric that is just so gorgeous that I want to make a dozen things from it. Sometimes (but not very often at all) I’ll go back for seconds, and I’ll add that exact same fabric to my cart more than once. Let me introduce this organic cotton knit to you. It’s from The Fabric Store. It comes in two colourways. Sadly, the navy option is sold out, but I can tell you from experience, that the white option is just as beautiful. I love it because it is quite thick, stable, and ever so snuggly to wear.

I have the white colourway on my sewing table as we speak. Yes, I went back for seconds but I wasn’t quick enough to get more of the navy. I desperately want some to make myself some pyjamas with it. However, I can’t stop second guessing myself, that perhaps I should make something to wear out of the house instead… Stay tuned.

The pattern I used is the Rise and Fall Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns. I made the Fall version of this pattern, for Fall of course. Well, I was actually lured in by the nice dropped shoulder shape of the top. I shortened the turtleneck a bit and I wear it folded down. I also added a bit of length to the shoulder seams (broad shoulder adjustment). I think I may have lengthened the top a smidgen too.

Obviously, the biggest change I made is to the sleeves. I very nearly sewed the top exactly as per the pattern, but I chickened out at the last minute and added myself some big old flounces. It’s not a difficult modification. I basically just measured the armscye, copied that measurement to some pattern paper and drew a big circle flounce around it (think circle skirt shape). I graduated the length of the sleeve to be a little longer in the back. So I look like I have wings…

I’ve already worn this top quite a bit. It’s warm and cozy. It’s fun to wear with jeans. It’s also easy to layer when the weather gets colder.

Kobe top in sheer silk

I’m a little obsessed with floaty, sheer fabrics right now. And in my world, that literally means all the silks. Liberty of London do an amazing crinkle silk which I’ve used before. I’m thinking about using it next time if I sew this pattern up as a dress. For this version, I used a divine silk georgette from The Fabric Store.

I only made a few small modifications to the pattern. I sewed up a size small which is quite close to my measurements. However, I know I have to adjust for my shoulders these days, even when the bust measurement matches perfectly.

The adjustment that works well for me is this. I draw a diagonal line from the middle of the shoulder seam to the CB of the bottom of the top (or very close to it). I slice along this line and spread the shoulder seam by about 5/8″. It generally keeps the waist the same size but adds width to top most shoulder area, which fits well with the triangular body shape that those of us with strong shoulders and lats have. I repeat with both sides, and the front and back of the top. If the top hangs well below waist level, or I am dealing with a dress, I cut the pattern off at the waist so as not to widen the waist or hip area.

My first attempt at the Kobe top turned out a little shorter in the front than I expected, even with just a narrow hem. I usually lengthen patterns in the bodice by 1/2 inch to account for my 5″10 frame. I didn’t in this case and I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a little outside my comfort zone, but still like this top a LOT. I don’t mind the sliver of tummy. But I know this top would also pair perfectly with my high waisted jeans.

The back is sitting a little lower in the photos than I expected. I think I wear this top pushed back a little to raise the neckline. I’ve been wearing the top with a little cropped top/soft bra underneath in a complementary shade of apricot in real life to avoid the peek of bra underneath. I think it works.

Death by dryer: to mini Rigel Bomber

Remember this awesome Rigel Bomber? I made it a long time ago, but it’s had an awful lot of wear since then. The outer cotton fabric is heavy and durable. My mistake was in lining the jacket with a slippery viscose. I don’t regret it though. That viscose remnant I used was totally luxurious and something I noticed every time I slipped that jacket on.

Unfortunately, viscose can be a little more delicate than other fabrics when it comes to laundering. I made sure I prewashed everything first, but it didn’t occur to me to dry the fabrics in the dryer. I rarely used my dryer in Australia. Even in Winter, with three kids, I could efficiently line dry all of my washing. This is starkly different to where I live now, where most people almost exclusively use their dryer. I initially fought this practice, but when your neighbourhood has a no clothesline policy, it’s hard not to succumb to the convenience.

So to cut this rather long story short, my bomber found it’s way into the dryer (I do my laundry on autopilot and sometimes there are casualties). The outer fabric was still perfect, but the viscose lining shrunk significantly. Death by dryer.

I wasn’t going to waste my precious fabric-of-the-year though and decided to have a shot at modifying it into a mini-bomber. It worked pretty well. I was a bit scissor happy on the sleeves, because I had to guess the length while the recipient slept. It seems this child is longer than I think. The sleeves are just long enough. The proportions of the whole jacket are also a little off because I wanted to preserve the ribbing and pockets, and I could have slimmed the sleeves and torso down a little more, but otherwise it’s not too bad.





So what did I do:

1) I cut off the wrist cuffs and the bottom ribbing

2) I unpicked the centre back neckline and took about 2″ out of the back (and the ribbing) by sewing a CB seam. I added a bigger pleat to the lining but otherwise left it alone.

3) I unpicked the zipper, reattached the lining to the front fabric, and then simply overlapped it to fasten with buttons. Overlapping it at the front also helped balance the fact that I took a chunk out of the CB.

4) I brought the side seams in on the outer fabric by about 1″ (but could taken more out). I made most of the modifications to the outer fabric only. That way, if the viscose decides to shrink more, it won’t matter.

5) Lastly, I reattached all the ribbing, did some buttonholes down the front, and sewed on buttons.

Miss Seven is absolutely in love with this jacket. I think this is because she remembers me wearing my version so much. From my perspective, it’s delightfully weird to see her wearing one of my favourite jackets in a mini-size. But at the end of the day, she was desperately in need of a Spring weight jacket, so I’m glad that this is the one to fill that spot.


Playing dress ups with my two-piece set-actular

I know you’ve seen my fancy pants before. I blogged about my Rigel bomber hack recently too. And if you follow me on Instagram, I shared these pictures yesterday, so please feel free to tune out now if you already have pink-overload. Some would say that this is the mother of all two-piece set-aculars. Or, according to my husband, I’m tracksuiting it up for you. Because I can.



My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary in a few weeks and I’m thinking this outfit might be perfect for that occasion. I keep warning him that one day, I am going to be that old lady with purple hair, red lipstick and rhinestones on her walking cane. My gift to you dear husband, is the perfect glimpse into your future….bwahaha!  



A Rigel bomber jacket for January, slightly modified of course!

When I heard Ginger was planning Rigel bomber jacket January, I vaguely considered the idea, but pretty much dismissed it. I did have a quick look through my stash to see if I could inspire myself, but the idea of another bomber just didn’t excite me. This is possibly because I already have a particularly fabulous one that I wear year round.

But then I laid my eyes on a pile of gorgeous cashmere and fuschia double faced crepe wool scraps left over from my recent Dior jacket and wide leg fancy pants. Combined, I had the perfect amount for a bomber, but more importantly, a seed of inspiration had planted itself in my brain.  

I’ve made a Rigel bomber before, so I was confident with it’s construction and how it would fit me. It’s a great pattern. I love the shape, the fit, the cute welt pockets and the original neckline. I do believe it needs a lining though, but this is easy enough to do. I was lazy and just re-cut the pattern pieces in some leftover Caroline Herrera silk twill. If I was feeling more energetic, I would have drafted the lining to incorporate the existing self-fabric facing. The latter would have looked more professional, but both ways work.

This time round, I wanted to move slightly away from the traditional bomber shape. My changes to the original pattern weren’t huge, but they have had a major effect on both the look and the silhouette of the jacket.

So what did I do:

  • I raised the neckline and drafted an overlapping mandarin style collar. I used a leather buckle to fasten the collar, but most likely it will be left undone when I wear it.

  • I also widened the sleeves by A LOT, shortened them, and added sleeve cuffs. I slashed and pieced the original sleeves, using my blue wool coat as a guide because that was the kimono-like shape I was after.
  • I added a contrast panel to the back piece and matching cuffs for the sleeves.
  • I ditched the idea of using ribbing because a colour match with my amazingly vibrant wool or cashmere contrast would have been near impossible. Instead, I lengthened the hem pattern piece and used more contrast fabric. The contrast is cashmere so without the stretch, it has given my bomber a boxier look. I like this. 

I’m pretty happy with this make. I know I will get heaps of wear out of it, because I know how much I already wear my other Rigel bomber. This one will be warmer though, and the colours make it a little more special.

A lace Kanerva hack and Rite of Spring Shorts

To continue calling this top a Kanerva may mislead some, given the amount of alterations that has been made to it. But I think it is important to still give reference to where it came from in the beginning, and to demonstrate just how crazy you can get with this pattern.

Firstly, the gorgeous lace is a product of Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney (oh how I miss my weekly visits!). There were two types of cotton laces used in this top and both were purchased as remnants. But I do have to thank the lovely Colette for an extra little gift of circle lace several months back, which meant I had enough to turn this top into a sleeved version.

For the photos, I paired the top with some Rite of Spring shorts I’d made last year.

But onto my long list of modifications now. The changes I made to my Kanerva were:

  • changed the shoulder slope by 1cm
  • increased the shoulder seam length by 1cm (my broad shoulder adjustment)
  • dropped the neckline by about 2-3cm at the front and 2cm at the back
  • removed the front waist dart and adjusted the bust dart accordingly
  • slashed to move the bust dart to the top of the bodice
  • increased the length by about 1-2cm
  • removed the back buttons to cut on fold at CB instead
  • skipped the peplum and self-drafted a short bottom panel instead
  • drew a front panel into the bodice and split into two pattern pieces to sew together

And that’s it! However, I should also point out an observation I made when wearing this top. Cotton eyelet lace isn’t a stretch fabric. But it does have a lot more mechanical stretch than I’d anticipated. For this reason, the top is a lot looser than the Liberty print version I’d sewn before. I will definitely take this into account next time I sew with lace.

Papercut Meissa blouse

So this is my Meissa, made up in some gorgeous silk crepe de chine that I purchased from Tessuti Fabrics way back in 2012. In fact, I think this may have been my first ever purchase of silk and the very start of my Tessuti addiction. If I remember rightly, I had a dress in mind to sew for the Tessuti Awards that year (spots and stripes). Having never sewn an actual dress before, I was both over ambitious and clueless. I ended up having a lot of this lovely fabric left over.


The Meissa is a clever pattern, with some unique and beautiful features. But I have to admit upfront, that I’ve always had reservations about this pattern and I’m not quite sure how it ended up in my cart. I do know that I was having a lot of trouble finding the ‘perfect’ shirt pattern at the time. I also suspect that I got carried away at the checkout after I happened across the fabulous Rigel bomber and the Rite of Spring shorts.

But this shirt turned out to be a wonderful surprise. I nearly didn’t finish it, because I tried it on half finished and had awful visions of puffy bust gathers and a too ‘Western’ look. I think my silly mind was playing tricks on me. However, I would like to talk about a few things that I learnt from sewing this pattern.


I cut this shirt in a size 12 and I made two simple adjustments. I added 2cm to the arm length (because I am rather long of limb). I also skipped the double button feature down the front placket. I know this is a distinguishing feature of the shirt and many people love it, but it just wasn’t me. Each time I looked at the pattern photo, my eyes just wanted to separate those buttons into a more conventional spacing. Call me boring. I don’t mind.

The sizing feels good to me, in that it is comfortable on. But I can see from the drag lines in the photo that it is a bit tight across my upper chest when all the buttons are done up. It’s a lot better when I undo the top two buttons. I often have trouble sizing fitted tops or shirts off the rack due to my broad back.

The collar and wrist cuffs are gorgeous, but the cuffs are quite narrow. They fit me like a glove, but wider wrists could have trouble. I would also suggest sticking to light and slinky fabrics to prevent those bust gathers from taking on a life of their own. Crepe de chine worked beautifully, although it obviously increases the difficulty rating.

I’m quite happy with my new shirt. Obviously there a few fit issues but I can still see it becoming a real workday staple for me. 

Rite of Spring Shorts

Quite simply, these shorts are amazing. I am not sure I will ever wear them again (a little too short for what I’m used to!), but boy are they comfortable and the design is just superb. It is the second Papercut pattern I have tried (the Rigel Bomber was my first), and once again, I am delighted with the result.

I used a little leftover cotton sateen that I had recently turned into a long shirt dress. The piping was some lilac shirting, because it was the best matching homemade bias binding this lazy girl had on hand.

These shorts came together beautifully. I love their seamlines and the way the piping highlights this feature (try to ignore the slightly mismatched grid lines if you can!). I also love the way the back hem is curved and interfaced so that it sits out in a very flattering manner. The sizing was pretty spot on. The fit is near perfect on me. I would just like to remove a little bit of excess fabric in the front crotch area if I made these again. I’m also wondering if I could add pockets along those curved side seams. I can see these shorts looking fabulous made up in wool for winter and worn over dark tights.

For me, I had a little difficulty in finding the right top to match. At first, I tried my go-to work shirt, made up in a silk/cotton voile called Smudged (from Tessuti Fabrics). But this didn’t quite work.

So then I tried something else. I cut several inches off the hem of an old black T-shirt, turning it into a cropped top. I think this looks a little better, but I feel rather overexposed. Adding the jacket helped a bit, but really, the only way I feel truly comfortable with my amount of bare leg in these shorts is to crop the photos, which obviously isn’t possible in real life!