2 Papercut Pattern Array Tops

Part of the sewing journey is working out which patterns work better on different bodies. I want to experiment with more emphasis on my arms using ruffles and puffs. Who’d have thought? This pattern looked like a good place to start, with its dramatic sleeves elasticised at the wrist. I particularly like this chiffon version made by Stitchin Camaro.

Other reviewers had said the size ran large. My numbers are 88-73-93 but I didn’t head the online advice. I cut size 3 (88-68-94). I added my usual 2″ length to the body but this left no space to add length to the arms. I was squeezing every inch out of a medium-light Alexander Henry cotton (Frida Kahlo) from Voodoo Rabbit. I love it when there’s little wastage.

As you can see in the before-after photos below, the size 3 was MASSIVE. I took in the sides of the bodice by an inch (losing 4″ in total). It’s still got plenty of ease. I really should have cut the size down (and then some).

I quite liked the length of the arms before they were hemmed but afterwards, they felt short by an inch. As a result, I rarely wear this top with the arms down. They are comfortable to push up with the elastic though. If I wanted puffiness, I got it.

This was a pretty quick sew so next up, I tried it in a lighter fabric – a printed cotton sateen from Spotlight on sale. Again, I added 2″ to body length and this time I also added 1″ to the sleeve, since I had more fabric. Instead of using binding on the neck, I made a facing but it’s not sitting as flat as I’d like. I also sewed the sleeves ‘on the flat’ instead of ‘in the round’. That means attaching the sleeves to the body before sewing up the sleeve and body side seams in one long swoop. I detest fussing around with sleeves that need to be ‘set in’. I sewed on the flat for both tops.

Here’s the cotton sateen with the 1″ longer sleeves.

Some notes for next time:

  • Size down. Even though I cut back the body seams by 1″, I think the dropped shoulder seam is too far down and too low. I’d prefer to not have bat wings when the sleeves are themselves puffy. Sizing down should help address this.
  • If sizing down to size 2, add 2″ to arm instead of 1″.
  • Modify the neckline. My bra strap shows from time to time because my shoulders are narrow.
  • Add 2″ to torso length as usual.
  • Sew on the flat instead of in the round, as usual.

With that said, I highly recommend this pattern. It can be sewn up in different versions – open sleeves vs cuffs, belt vs no belt, dress vs top. I love the drape of semi-sheer fabrics like chiffon but never wanted to bother lining them. This pattern would be great for those fabrics (by doubling the body piece but not doubling the arms).

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