I’m not the best at sticking to sewing project timelines. This dress was one of my intended fall sewing projects that just so happened to avoid getting done til January. Luckily, we are having a very mild winter so finishing it now does nothing to diminish it’s wearability.
The Saiph Tunic from Papercut patterns has a very unique silhouette that can seem a bit daunting to people, myself included. I don’t have anything like this in my wardrobe, as I tend to find comfort in more fitted and shaped garments. However, I felt like it was time to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone and try something a little more unique with this unfitted bodice and drop waist ruffle. I also kinda dug that the shape gave off a swinging 60s vibe. Very youthful and flippantly fun.
As I was wrapping up this dress, I had another very mod style dress in the works and took the opportunity to have a lot of fun with my work. I rallied some very talented friends and put together a stylized photoshoot for the dresses. Though Saiph is totally wearable on the daily, what better way to capture it’s spirit than by going all out and playing up the fantasy of it. Plus who doesn’t love playing dress-up and tapping into a hidden alter ego?
Sewing this dress was a breeze regarding the technical aspects, which was great as it allowed me to just work slowly and focus on executing it well. This was my first time sewing a Papercut Pattern and the diagrams and resources were very clear and easy to follow. I also have the Sway Dress which I CAN’T WAIT to get into this spring.
As many people noted online, this dress is SHORT, so I added a whopping 15 cm to both the waist and sleeve lengths to spare me some decency. When I first tried it on sans ruffle, it had great shape and fit well. The sleeves were the perfect length for me (the longer the better!) However, once I basted the ruffle on, it looked WAAY to much like a vintage night shirt (and not in a good way). I really liked the look of added flounce at the skirt, so I removed it, took up the bodice length about 4 cm and reattached it. It was at this point I conceded I can’t do a totally shapeless design and took in the side seams about 2cm each. These changes helped the pajama factor, as well as reduced the excess fabric bulk at the waist if I decide to wear it with a belt.
Because of it’s unique shape, this dress was definitely one of those garments I couldn’t decide if I liked or not. I would put it on and be in love with it, while simultaneously zoning in on all the bits that look weird or ‘off’. At the end of the day I had to give in to the love, and hope that I just need to get used to the parts that strike me as odd. Either that or after a few wears I will decide it’s just too much. In any case, I just need to wear it a few more times to come to a proper conclusion. I would encourage those of you on the fence for this shape to just go for it and see how you feel in it!
The fabric is the first Atelier Brunette fabric from Anna Ka Bazaar that I have worked with since acquiring my haul in Paris last August. It was such a beautiful dream to work with. It was as stable as a quilting cotton, but with incredible softness and gentle stretch that makes this garment FEEL like pajamas (secret pajamas FTW!). I definitely had ‘the fear’ cutting into this special fabric for a project with so many unknowns (new brand, unique silhouette) but it was probably my preciousness of the fabric that really made me slow down and focus on my execution, instead of rushing to the end as per usual, and it definitely paid off.
Because if the lightness of the fabric, I should be able to get a number of wears out of this dress even as we go into spring, even with the full-length sleeves. I look forward to playing with layers of cardigans, scarves and belts for a more everyday feel. I do like this pattern and find it very interesting. I would like to make a version as a top but I think I’ll need a drapier fabric to avoid looking like a tent.
It was so much fun to dress up and play with the mod side of the dress for this post, and a huge thanks to Breanne Marie Photography, Dani White (hair) and Brittany Batt (makeup) for making the whole ensemble come to life. I can’t wait to share what other vintage goodness we have in store.