Monday, 5 June 2017

summer sewing: Papercut Yoyo dress, and also Yoyo skirt

Me Made May has left me feeling, for the first time in ages, that I really know my style. Not in the sense that I could distil it into a concept with a snappy title, but in the sense that I just know now. Inspired by this new and unfamiliar confidence, I've been itching to try new things. If I like something, it has to be worth a go, even if it ends up not suiting me.

The Papercut Patterns Yoyo dress is one I've been looking at for about a year. I bought the pattern six months ago, then sat on it because I couldn't find any examples of the dress on curvy women, and assumed that was probably because it was only designed for slim figures. Stupid assumption, I know, but there it is.

For my first attempt I bought myself some denim from Rolls and Rems in Lewisham. I hadn't been there before and it's great. Good prices, well organised, and whoever orders their fabric has a good eye for colour. I will be going back. It almost made me wish I still lived in Lewisham, but then I had to walk through the rest of Lewisham to get back to the bus stop and that cured me of my misplaced nostalgia pretty quickly.

I know everyone has made this dress in denim, but I wanted one too, dammit. (Please excuse the wrinkles, I'd been wearing it all day.)

I cut a size M in the shoulders, L in the bust and waist, and XL in the hips. I probably could have gone down a size in the waist, but as it's a summer dress I quite like that it's a bit looser there. 

The dress has bust and waist darts on the bodice, darts in the back and pleats in the front of the skirt, and one continuous facing to finish all the edges, like so:

(I finished the edge of the facing with bias binding. You will note that I ran out of the yellow about two thirds of the way round. I might be slightly more picky about my finishing these days, but I will never stray so far from my slapdash roots that I'm prepared to make a whole extra shopping trip just so the insides of a dress are uniform.)


My first attempt fit perfectly... except that it was almost indecently short in the front. I spent some time being quite grumpy, wondering who on earth this was drafted for and why anyone would recommend such a short zip. Then something prompted me to measure the zip, and that's how I discovered that John Lewis labels its open-ended metal zips by the length of the zip tape and not the length of the zip. This is a bad policy, John Lewis. I went back to the shop armed with a tape measure (much to the amusement of a couple of women in the haberdashery department) and got the right length. Having remade it, it's still pretty short, but that doesn't bother me if I'm not in danger of flashing anyone.

 I really, really like this dress. It's got a relaxed sexy vibe that I appreciate, and it fits my body shape without being tight or restrictive in any way. I'm also pretty sure I can wear it with tights when it's a bit colder so it won't be a hot-weather-only dress.

I also made the skirt version (worn with bonus black Coppelia for an accidental all-Papercut outfit):

I bought this fabric ages ago intending to make a tulip skirt, but then just sat on it because (ssshhhh) I don't really want another tulip skirt. I still love the pattern, but I have about eight of them in current rotation and that's quite enough. Based on the dress I decided to make the skirt two inches longer so it would be a bit more versatile. 

The pattern comes with a separate curved waistband for the skirt, and I fully support curved waistbands wherever I can get them. Next time I make the skirt I'll go down a size in the waist; the extra ease works for the dress but not so much for a waistband. 

(The sun went in between shots, because the weather is EXTREMELY co-operative right now.)

In conclusion, I really like and will make more of both the skirt and the dress, though I'll make any subsequent versions two inches longer than the pattern dictates.When I first bought the pattern I also bought some quite expensive fabric to go with it, and I'm now in the process of convincing myself that it's OK to cut into it. Gah.


  1. I *LOVE* the wrap top + skirt combo. Love. Love. Love.

    This is a grea pattern for you!

    1. Thank you! The good fabric has gone into the wash today ready for me to cut it out tomorrow!

  2. Oh, and cut into the good fabric. Do it!