papercut patterns | coppelia wrap

a while back i began to think that the coppelia wrap from papercut patterns would be a great addition to my wardrobe, in particular to wear with my skirts and over a couple of my dresses. i obsessed for a few days over having a wrap sweater and, before long, caved and put in my order. even though it was coming from the other side of the world, i was super impressed with how quickly it showed up! the fantastic thing about papercut is that they don’t charge extra for shipping. nothing i hate more than finally splurging on a more expensive pattern, only to get hit with an extra $5 in shipping. so, as others have stated, this makes papercut patterns’ pricing comparable to many other indie companies.


i had a hard time selecting a fabric, but finally found a cotton/rayon/spandex interlock in a nice weight and in that perfect shade of red. i mentally checked off several things in my closet that would match (like my zinnia!), and in the cart it went (purchased locally from fabric basement, $7-ish/yd i believe).

i had pretty high hopes for this pattern, especially after seeing Lladybird’s numerous variations (this one is my fav!). however, my initial reaction to this sweater was one of disappointment. now, i had seen all the other reviews and complaints of this running large and, well, those reviews are certainly to be believed. it’s been a while since i actually sewed this, but i know i went down a full size to start with, and i took off another inch or so at the underarm. i puzzled over this pattern for a while, trying to figure out why it was so large and funnily shaped around the bust/underarm/side area. it seems as though this is drafted more like a dolman top with raglan sleeves. the pic below shows that all the weird pulling goes away with my arm at a 90 deg angle. so, instead of continuing to trim down the side seam little by little, i think perhaps the sleeve/body seams need to be taken in as well. if i alter this one (or make up future versions) i’ll need to do some comparisons to other raglan sleeved patterns.


p.s. the sleeves are super long! yay for my monkey arms, but maybe not so much for someone shorter…

the slouchy fit seems intentional. however, i just don’t have the bust to fill out any part of the top, so it feels a bit frumpy and unflattering. that said: i’ve worn this quite a bit and only have minimal interest in altering the fit.

other than strange fit issues, i have a few nitpicks with the construction, specifically in regard to how the hem band is attached. you are supposed to sew one side of the band to the right side of the hem, then fold the inner SA of the hem band and stitch all the way around to catch the underside. now, i don’t know about you, but that just sounds like it would be a hot mess on the inside. it can be challenging enough to catch woven fabrics that way, but a knit? i don’t think so! plus, the hem is one of the few areas that needs to retain stretch, so doing this on my straight stitch seemed like a bad idea. i decided to cut the tie part of the hem band off and attach it separately. i’m not super happy with how that came out, and weeks later a much better way of doing the whole hem band and ties dawned on me. i’ll show you what i’m talking about later because i made wrap tops for my two ballet-dancing girls and took a few pics.


all in all i have mixed feelings about this pattern. on the one hand the fit is odd and the construction isn’t awesome… but then again, it’s all highly fixable for future makes. the only reason i don’t want to jump ship and try a different pattern is because of the raglan sleeve. i LOVE raglan sleeves. they eliminate all my shoulder adjustments and who doesn’t love to “set in” a sleeve by sewing two nearly straight lines? winning!


okay, that’s all for now. i have so many projects to share, and so little time to do it, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada… same song and dance as everyone this time of year. hopefully i can get caught up before 2014 rolls in! hey, don’t laugh. it could happen…

—lisa g.

19 thoughts on “papercut patterns | coppelia wrap

  1. Cation Designs says:

    My first thought was that I love this color on you, especially paired with your Zinnia! But on closer inspection, I can see what you mean about the sizing and pulling. I, too, was enamored with Lladybird’s Coppelias, so it’s good to know about how it can look on those of us with smaller busts. I think I might try to make my own pattern for this now. Thanks for an unbiased review!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! i do love the top with my zinnia, i was so happy the reds matched. and, you would have no problem using a t-shirt block to draft your own, it wouldn’t be too difficult at all!

  2. Jess says:

    I love that you do unbiased reviews of patterns … Most often than not, i only read of how great this or that pattern is …
    And as a beginner sewer sometimes I wonder when sewing that exact pattern if I’m maybe too stupid that somehow I have problems with a great pattern that has many great reviews …
    And I also love that you share your knowledge with us, showing easier or more foolproof ways of sewing something …

    Love your blog and have a happy holidays!!!!!

    • lisa g says:

      thank you! i feel like i would be doing a huge disservice to gloss over parts that didn’t quite work for me. i’ve been in that boat where i felt like i was the only person who didn’t “get it.” so glad you all find my reviews useful!

  3. Molly says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Sorry to comment here but would you mind doing a short post on what kind or brand of interfacing you use to sew your archers?
    And do they bubbles after washing them?

    Thank you so much …

    • lisa g says:

      to be honest, i haven’t tried any of the better interfacings. i usually end up with the pellon brand i pick up at joanns. more often than not, if my interfacing bubbles after washing, a good steam press fixes it. except in the case of rayon–every time i’ve interfaced on rayon i’ve had bad results! i’ve switched to underlining with muslin instead. sorry i can’t be more helpful than that at the moment, when i try out better interfacings i’d love to do a post of comparison!

      • Molly says:

        Thank you Lisa, I only have access to Pellon brand interfacing and I read that it is not good but now that you mentioned you use it then I will go ahead and sew my archer using Pellon.
        One more question, do you use the shirtailor or 101 shape flex, sorry for the million questions, I’m kind of new at this sewing things …
        Thanks so much and happy holidays!!!!!

      • lisa g says:

        i believe it’s the shirtailor, and if i remember correctly you have to pre-shrink it. i usually machine wash and dry it first. it has bubbled for me, though it almost always re-adheres with a good pressing. have fun making the archer, and enjoy your holidays!

  4. Vanessa says:

    I have never heard of this indie pattern company before, but the pattern is SO NICE!!! I think you did a great job on the top, and could easily tweak the fit like you said. It would be so worth it because the red looks great on you.

    • lisa g says:

      thank you! this was my first papercut pattern, so even though i had some issues i’m very interested in trying some of the other designs. i’m not usually swayed by pretty packaging, etc, but these are very high quality and printed on good paper! hope you give them a try.

  5. Katie says:

    The fabric is beautiful at least! I just got Coppelia and I’m hoping to sew it up after the first of the year. Sounds like I’d better do a muslin. Since I’m breastfeeding, I at least shouldn’t have any problem filling out the bust 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      the fabric is wonderful for sure! i should really scout out for more colors… i’d love to hear your experience with this pattern. fortunately it sews up super fast, but i definitely wouldn’t use your good fabric on a first run!

  6. Carolyn says:

    That red is gorgeous with your Zinnia! : ) I’ve seen some other reviews of this pattern, and as you said, everyone seems to be having the same issues with the fit and proportion. I was thinking about getting this pattern but eventually decided against it because of all the issues. It’s too bad because the design is a great idea! Hopefully you’ll be able to tweak it a bit next time. For now though, this top is totally wearable and a great color for winter – don’t sweat the imperfections. : )

  7. Carolyn says:

    It’s a pity you’re not completely happy with it, but it does look really good. Maybe it is designed to be loose-fitting. I guess you could go down another size, or two! next time to make it more form-fitting! 🙂

  8. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) says:

    I haven’t made this pattern yet, but I have made a couple of the Circle Tops, which has a band around the entire circumference of the top, which is put on, in what seems like “reverse”. But I just followed the pattern and the end result was fantastic. I’ve now used that technique in a couple of other garments since. Maybe going down a whole size might be worth a go next time. I love the colour of your Coppelia 🙂

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