Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Papercut La Sylphide shirt

Oh, I wasn't sure about this.  But I had just discovered Papercut and wanted to support a local company.  I got the fabric as a remnant, and buttons came for free with another purchase.  I wanted to check that the fabric was enough, so I cut it out while I was sick in between other things (in August!!!) and then let it sit for awhile...and longer...and longer.  Just no true inspiration to learn how to buttonhole quite yet.

Then I got buttonholes figured out and I got tired of seeing something sit around, so it seemed time to get on with it!  Also after making a few undercover hoods, I am more used to the Papercut method of explaining, and now having seen it elsewhere I'm not so puzzled by sewing the underarm/side seams all in one go (which rather mystified me back in August, really!)  The sewalong also kicked me into gear!  I have a dress version planned, but wasn't sure I would like the style enough to also make a dress of it.

Sorry for my washed out and headless photos...the self timer and I are still not friends.  This was about as good as it gets.

Even up to the last minute I wasn't that excited, must say.  It's a style of shirt (ie button-up) that never fits me well, and frilly bits like bows irritate the hell out of me.  But it's looked good, and not irritating, on other people.  And it was my first Papercut pattern, to which I'm growing an undying loyalty.  Also I already have the fabric ready for my upcoming Saiph tunic so it was a sort of bribe to get this one done with.

I cut an XS.  As always going from Lauren at lladybird, I sized up one size from her to fit my square 34.5-27 measurements.  The instructions were super clear, my cotton-with-lycra was so easy to sew, and this came together almost magically in 2 stints at the sewing machine.  The curious bits were - figuring out how to sew the sleeves on, but after just doing what the instructions said, it was obvious - and the same with the neck tie.  It seemed totally weird, but once I just did what the instructions said, it was completely obvious.  I didn't finish the inside much since it wasn't shedding, and I continued to feel like this was a sort of complete muslin.  As lladybird also mentions, the use of interfacing to make the sleeves and the placket is really nice and easily lends itself to a clean finish.  The only place I couldn't finish cleanly was the annoying crotch between the top of the placket and the bottom of the neck tie.  There is a tiny no-man's-land that I didn't get sewn into anything. It's invisible when worn, but I guess a very very close attention to detail when sewing the neck tie might get rid of it - you have to sew absolutely up to the placket but without sewing over it.

In the end I adore the fit -it's great on my wide shoulders and skims comfortably down from there without any gapping at the bust.  The darts are perfectly placed.  I still quite hate the ties and feel really stupid when I'm wearing it because of them.  I'm not sure what to think of the peplum but it does seem to look good.  The sleeves hit awkwardly at my elbow - I'd prefer either 3" longer or 3" shorter!  I will definitely do my dress, but I also have visions of a longer shirt style without the peplum, and maybe just ending the neckline and not having long ties...I can see a lot of pattern modifications in this pattern's future.  And it was super fun to make!


  1. Very cute! I know what you mean about the bow though - I've made up the La Sylphide dress, and I always feel a bit odd wearing it with the bow, but then it looks fine in photos so I suspect it's just part of getting used to a new style maybe?

    I've been debating about making the top version with the sewalong, so it's nice to see one made up and looking good. :-)

    1. It was so much fun to sew that I'm really tempted to go ahead and make the dress too...but I was considering just cutting off the neck ties at the front and making it like a semi-sweetheart neckline. I got loads of compliments on the shirt - they said it looked "unusually professional" at work!