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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.