Does anyone else feel like sewing gives them a creative license they don’t usually feel when buying clothes off the rack? I am one of the slowest to adopt new trends when shopping at the mall (I usually spend a couple years bad-mouthing them before sheepishly jumping on board and hoping everyone has forgotten my remarks), but when I sew something, I feel like I can go a little farther out of my comfort zone. That’s one of the goals I have for myself in 2018 – pushing the limits and exploring my own sense of style. (For more musing on my goals for 2018, check out my goals post here).
When it doesn’t pay off, its…. frustrating. But when it does- BOOM! I’m happy to report that the Kyoto Tee (Papercut patterns) is one of those successes- the ruffled sleeves are just subtle enough to take the been-there-done-that dolman top up a notch, without screaming “I’M WEARING MY FOUR YEAR OLD”S SHIRT” (whyyyy does everything for little girls have a billion ruffles on it??)
I made the smallest size out of a rib knit sweater fabric from Discount Fabrics in San Francisco, the result of a recent shopping trip. It’s a wool/poly blend, and is surprisingly warm for its low/medium weight. It wasn’t labeled, but I’d guess 220–250 gsm?
I love the hunter green color, another unusual choice for me- it feels very appropriate for winter. I did make a couple small alterations- smoothing about the curve where the sleeve attaches to the bodice, based on feedback from another reviewer, and also lowered the neckline several inches, both for easy nursing access and because I feel like the proportions of a loose-fit sweater are better balanced when I can show a little skin at my neck.
The sleeves were quite long on me, and I considered just hemming them, but because my cover stitch didn’t like the loose weave, I decided to embrace the more casual effect of adding bands to the sleeves. Before attaching the bands I took out about 3″- so if you’re especially long or short armed ( I tend to be somewhere in the middle), you might want to take note.
I was a little anxious about hemming the ruffle, but it took a narrow hem quite well with my sewing machine, and the way it lays down and is sewn into the side seams means that it won’t be regularly visible from the wrong side. I really love this little top, and I think my closet could support one or two more of these.
In fact, with all the ease, I think you could get away with making it in a floaty chiffon/woven for summer if you added a faced keyhole neckline. It pairs perfectly with jeans or leggings, and with a little chunky necklace added could even be dressed up for a fancy dinner (not the kind at Buckingham palace-which one RTW faster needs to actually make clothing to attend- yikes! More the sushi with the girls type of night).
Side note: If you haven’t tried a papercut pattern yet, its worth buying the paper version just to see the packaging. The recycled paperboard opens up into a little hanging envelope (no pattern storage issues with these!) that’s just too cute and is an art form in itself. The shipping from headquarters if free, but takes a little time due to international travel.
I’m glad I pushed myself out of my usual jeans and a tee box to try the Kyoto sweater- and now that I’ve hopped on the ruffle train, I’m also crushing on the Style Arc Keely sweater, and the Style Arc Harmony Woven top.
What new trends will you try this year? What makes a trend “work” for you, or not?
Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers on the tour below- and find out what’s new for them in the New Year!
Sunday January 28th: Sew Haute Blog