papercut patterns

La Sylphide Blouse

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

I’ve had the La Sylphide pattern from Papercut Patterns in my stash for a few years now, but I could never decide on the right fabric for it, or on which version I wanted to make (dress, blouse, or skirt). I finally decided that I’d get the most use out of a blouse, and when I saw this gorgeous floral at Blackbird Fabrics I knew it was the perfect match.

I don’t feel like my usual style is super feminine, but every once in a while I like to go all out. Even though this blouse is pink and has a big bow and a peplum, it still feels very “me” somehow and I love wearing it.

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

I didn’t make any alterations and I feel like the fit is pretty great. Sewing the tie neck was a little fiddly, but other than that everything came together smoothly.

I’m also wearing a pair of Ginger Jeans that I made this spring out of stretch twill. I like them, but I’m not totally convinced colored jeans are for me. These particular pants are also a cat hair magnet, so that puts them firmly in the “just okay” category in my book. Ginger’s still one of my favorite patterns though, and I have some Cone Mills denim earmarked for another pair next fall.

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

La Sylphide Blouse - Papercut Patterns

This blouse is a new style for me, so I’m really happy it turned out so well! I’ve already worn it on lots of different occasions.

I hope you’re having a great summer, and thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay

Rigel Bomber in Metallic Chambray

So this is one my favorite things I’ve ever made. You know how sometimes it takes a few wears to get used to a new piece of clothing? Not so with this jacket. It’s just so me, if you know what I mean.

I’d been wanting to try the Rigel Bomber, but couldn’t justify the cost, especially since we were heading into summer and I knew I wouldn’t be wearing a jacket anytime soon. But back in June I was lucky enough to win the Papercut pattern of my choice over at The Monthly Stitch!  I was SO excited when I won, and of course I chose the Rigel Bomber, even though there was still that whole summer problem.

A few weeks later I spotted this metallic chambray fabric at Form and Fabric (looks like they’re sold out, but it’s available here in various colorways) and I knew it would be perfect for this pattern! It goes great with jeans, it’s subtle but still interesting, and it’s metallic, which I’ve been all about lately.

It took me ages to find a matching zipper though. I struck out at Jo-Ann’s, Hancock, and everywhere else I could think to look. Finally I came across a shop on ebay that had the perfect zip! I didn’t even have to shorten it.

The welt pockets were a lot easier to put in that I though they would be. Although I have done double welt pockets in the past, so maybe these were just easier by comparison.

The white ribbing is from Jo-Ann, and the pink lining fabric is from another local store, The Common Thread. This is the first time I’ve used rayon bemberg/ambiance and I am IN LOVE. I want every single thing I sew to be lined in this stuff.

My one complaint with this pattern is the same complaint that everyone else has: it really needs to come with instructions and/or pattern pieces for lining. The welt/pocket bag/fusing situation is not pretty and the jacket looks so much better with a lining. I used Elizabeth’s tutorial and the process went pretty smoothly even though I’ve only done linings a couple times before (and never very well). I slip-stitched the facing down by hand for a nice clean finish.

The only other alteration I made to the pattern was to slim down the neckline ribbing by about 1/2″. I made the XXS and it’s still plenty roomy enough to wear a sweater underneath.

I took advantage of the one day of fall weather we’ve had so far to take these pictures. It seems like summer will never end, but I’m sure I’ll be complaining about the cold soon enough! Fall is definitely my favorite season in terms of clothing though. I’d be happy wearing jeans, a sweater, and boots every day.

Happy sewing everyone!

<3 Lindsay

Shibori Pneuma Tank

I used to hate exercising. I’m soooo not into cardio. I know tons of people love running, but it’s just not my thing. On the other hand, I love pilates. I first discovered pilates a couple years ago via youtube. I’ve done a bit of yoga on and off and I think I was looking for stretching videos when I came across the Blogilates youtube channel. I liked pilates immediately, but I didn’t start practicing on a regular basis until earlier this year.

My activewear wardrobe is pretty pitiful though. Because I exercise at home I never bothered with buying cute new clothes. Plus who can afford those lululemon prices? So up until now I’ve made do with old tank tops and cheapo bike shorts from Forever 21 *hangs head in shame*. But no more! It’s cute activewear only from here-on out!

This is the Pneuma tank by Papercut Patterns. It’s part of their activewear collection, Tri, which also includes the Anima pant and Soma swimsuit. I fell in love with the design of this tank the minute I laid eyes on it! The interlaced straps, the dipped hem, the peeks of the attached sports bra underneath… so cute!

I dyed this jersey at the same time I dyed the linen for my shibori Prefontaine shorts

The pink sports bra fabric is some sort of performance fabric called “Cool Max Knit” from I haven’t actually worked out in this tank yet, so I can’t attest to its alleged sweat-wicking properties. It was cheap though! Hopefully it’ll hold up.

I’m not normally a hot pink kind of gal, but I really like the pop of color underneath the tank!

I made a muslin of just the sports bra first, using the same type of fabric in royal blue. I didn’t have the right widths of elastic on hand, so I used 1/4″ instead of 3/8″ around the top and 1/2″ instead of 1″ around the bottom. That ended up not being the best idea, especially around the top, because the elastic digs into my sides/armpits in an uncomfortable way. It really does need to be folded under that extra 1/8″ to be comfortable.

I used white bra strapping on this version, which worked okay, but I like the look of the (un-folded) foldover elastic I used on the tank a lot better. The thicker straps stand out more, and the foldover elastic is actually a lot stretchier and more comfortable than the bra strapping. I did end up using way less strapping than suggested – like 9 inches per strap less – because of the extra stretchiness.

One thing this pattern is missing is an option to add bra cups. Next time I make one up I may try to add those pockets you see on RTW sports bras/swimsuits with removable cups.

I’ll leave you with my attempt at a yoga pose. So serene and graceful right? ;) I should probably head to a yoga class one of these days, now that I have some activewear I won’t be embarrassed leaving the house in.

Have you made activewear before? Do you know of any other good patterns?

<3 Lindsay

Galaxy-painted Anima Pants (with tutorial!)

What’s this, heels and sweatpants?! A bit of a departure from my usual style, but for a good reason: Papercut Pattern’s Anima Pant competition! Pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the Milky Way…

Now these pants aren’t at all similar to my original sketch. And they’re actually my second pair of Anima Pants. I made my first (full-length) pair out of white jersey and dip dyed it, hoping for a white-to-violet effect that I would then embellish with gold foil. Sounds nice, right? Unfortunately they turned out more of a grayish purple color, although they do have the color gradient I was going for. The color combined with the long length looks pretty frumpy on me, so they’re in a time-out situation until I figure out how to jazz them up.

But I’m actually really glad Plan A didn’t work out, because it pushed me to come up with an equally elaborate Plan B! I looked at fabric painting and dyeing tutorials online for inspiration, and I came across a couple galaxy-print shirt DIYs. “Galaxy painted Anima pants?” “Sure”, I thought. “Why not?!” And the process was actually super fun, and turned out way better than I expected! ( I’ve included a tutorial and progress pics at the end of the post if you want to make a pair for yourself!)

I wanted to pair these pants with something simple that wouldn’t cover the waistband: enter Nettie #4! The Nettie pattern has earned tried-and-true status in my book, and I knew I could make one up in just a couple hours. This is the scoop-neck, high-back, bodysuit version.

I bought this fabric during Girl Charlee‘s Fourth of July sale just because it was super cheap, but I ended up totally loving it! It’s a soft and stretchy rayon blend (my fave) and the color’s actually a really pretty orangey-red jewel tone, though it looks redder in the pictures.

The pant fabric is a medium-weight black jersey that I’ve had in my stash for a while. I only had one yard, and I was just barely able to fit the pattern pieces for the cropped length on it.

Since this was my second pair it came together really quickly. Overall the pattern and instructions are great, and I would definitely recommend this pattern! The only tricky part was the waistband. I had a lot of trouble doing the foldover method in the instructions, so for this pair I did my usual elastic insertion method where you sew a tube with an opening and thread the elastic through. This worked a lot better for me and this waistband is a lot neater than my first one. I did still have trouble with the buttonholes though. My machine does NOT want to make buttonholes on knit fabric. So they’re not too pretty, but they’ll do the job.

I didn’t follow any one tutorial, but kind of amalgamated the information from a few different ones. The process was basically the same in all of them. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Put some bleach in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, and spray some galaxy clusters onto your pant pieces. I just used some bleach-based bathroom cleaner that was already in a spray bottle. The orange spots take a few seconds to show up, so don’t spray too much all at once. You want to build up gradually. I let mine sit for about 30 minutes, and then washed them to stop the bleach from eating away at the fabric too much. Then I let them dry in the sun (which took about 5 minutes because it’s so hot).

Step 2: Using a sponge, build up layers of purple, blue, and white fabric paint (in that order). These should also be built up gradually, as you can always go back and add more later. The color fades a little as it dries, so I went over each piece twice. There’s no real method to this – just do whatever looks good to you! I concentrated the blue and purple around the outside of the orange clusters. This is what it looked like before I added white:

Step 3: Add stars by dipping a toothbrush in white paint and flicking it onto the pant pieces. You may want to practice this on a piece of scrap fabric first. In this picture you can see my finished back leg pieces with my bleached-only front pieces, as well as the sponge and toothbrush I used for painting.

Step 4: Let the paint dry overnight, and then sew up your garment as usual! I chose to leave my waistband, cuffs, and inner pocket black.

Let me know if you have any questions! And thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay