Tag Archives: Papercut Coppelia

For me, winter means purple

I’m not sure why, but it’s my go-to colour in winter. Purple, that is. Purple coat, purple scarf and gloves, purple jerseys, purple tights, purple shoes. (Don’t worry, not all together. Or not most of the time, anyway. 😉 )

So when the days were getting colder, and I felt the need to make a new cardigan (since for some reason almost all of mine are RTW ones), purple ended up being the colour that was pulled out of my stash.

(To be fair, I did pull out a burgundy merino as well, but the purple won out in the end.)

Since I’m on a bit of an indie-patterns-I-can-still-wear-while-pregnant kick, I pulled out my trusty Papercut Coppelia cardi pattern (yet again – sorry! I promise I’m two thirds of the way through making up a non-Papercut pattern at the moment, so you’ll get to see that next).

Blueberry Grape Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Would you believe this is the first and only time I’ve made it by actually following all the instructions? That’s right, no modifications at all. The sleeves are the length the pattern calls for them to be (nice and long, by the way! Having suffered through my teenage years with sleeves always ending before my wrist bone, I am rather appreciative of sleeves-that-are-slightly-too-long. Over-correcting? Maybe. But they’re also super snuggly when it gets cold.).

Blueberry Grape Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The cardi is the length the pattern told it to be (rather than dress length or hip length). Yep, I actually followed it all!

And I’m rather happy with the result.

Blueberry Grape Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

In fact, I kinda made this back near the start of May, since I needed some me-made cardis to wear during Me-Made-May (plus it was Sew Stretchy month over at The Monthly Stitch, so it tied in nicely to both challenges), but I’ve been wearing it so much since it ended up in the wash every weekend and as a result I never quite managed to get photos of it.

But the weekend just gone, the lovely Nikki and I caught up for tea and cake and ventured up to Truby King gardens for a little photo shoot. (Wait till you see the dress she had finished making – I want it!!)

Check out that bump – it just keeps on growin’! Luckily since this is a wrap style, it’ll do good for quite a while. And a waist-length style, so I can always wear it pulled up a bit in the front to go over/around ‘the bump’.

Blueberry Grape Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, if you think this cardi is looking a little too big, I must admit, you’d be right. I’m not sure what happened there. I made it the same size as my Strawberry Shortcake Coppelia, and that fits perfectly. I can only assume it was the fabric – quite a thick wool blend, it just seems to want to be bigger than it’s meant to be. But hey, I’ll be bigger soon as well, so we’ll be perfectly matched. (And heck knows, it hasn’t stopped me wearing it a few times each week!)

Oh, and can I just point out the blue-ness of my hair? I’m rather happy with the colour at the moment – it’s my new favourite. Midnight Blue from Directions. I’ve been playing around with a couple of different shades of blue lately, and I’m definitely leaning towards the darker shades on me. For the moment, anyway. 😉

Blueberry Grape Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia top

One of my TNT (tried ‘n’ true) patterns is the Papercut Coppelia wrap cardi. I’ve made it four times now, with plans for more on the horizon! For two of those versions, I extended the pattern – one time to create a hip-length wrap top for my sister-in-law, and the other time to create a below-knee-length dress for myself.

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Dress-length Coppelia

Extending the wrap-around version of the Coppelia is pretty easy to do, and you can make it however long you want. A Coppelia maxi dress, perhaps? Or simply a slightly longer wrap top to wear over jeans? It’s up to you! Here’s how I did it….

Coppelia cardi | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hip-length Coppelia

Of course, most of the changes are made when you’re cutting out your pattern. Are you ready? Here we go!

Cutting out the back

The Coppelia wrap top ends on the natural waist. So when lengthening it, you need to account for your waist-hip curve.

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Flare out gently from the waist/bottom of the pattern piece, to allow space for your hips and to move

You’ll also need to account for natural movement in the garment. This is especially important for extending the Coppelia to dress length – when you walk/sit/run/play, the movement of your body (particularly your legs) will kick the skirt fabric out wider. If you don’t make your top/dress wider as it goes down your body, you may end up flashing a bit more leg than you expect to. 😉

Aim for an a-line shape, flaring out gently from the waist (i.e. where the Coppelia pattern piece ends). Mark your extended cutting line (I used pins as tailors chalk and this fabric weren’t getting along).

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Extend down as long as you like (in this case, a below-knee dress), in a gentle a-line shape

Then cut!

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cutting out the front

Like the back piece, you’ll need to widen the front pattern piece as it goes down below your waist. Since the front is cut in one piece (rather than on the fold like the back piece is) you’ll need to widen it at both sides.

You want to widen it by the same amount on each side as you widened your back piece, to make sure those side-seams line up nicely.

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Flare out gently from the waist/bottom of pattern piece on both sides, to allow space for your hips and to move

Before you remove your front pattern piece, mark where the waist is at the side seams. (I.e. where the Coppelia top pattern piece ends.) You’ll need to know where this is later on when sewing up the side seams.

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mark where the waist is, i.e. where the original pattern piece ends

Cutting the ties/bindings

With the Coppelia, there are two sections of bindings that you need – for around the neckline, and for the hem. When you extend the pattern, you no longer need the hem binding as the top will no longer end at your waist.

The hem binding on the Coppelia also doubles as the waist ties, extending out from the body to wrap around. Since you won’t be adding the hem binding any more, the neck binding will be extended instead to become the wrap ties.

However, we are going to use the hem tie pattern piece to get our neck binding/waist tie piece the right length.

In the Coppelia, the pattern calls for you to cut out three lengths of the hem tie pattern. For a longer Coppelia, you’ll need to cut out only two. We’ll then be joining these onto the neck binding to create an all-in-one neck-binding-extending-into-waist-ties piece.

(If you like you can lay the neck binding and hem tie pattern pieces end-to-end to cut them out so you don’t have to sew them together – this creates a nice smooth binding piece. If you do it this way, make sure you mark where the neck binding ends and the hem tie begins as you’ll need to know this later on.)

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

If you like, you can cut the hem tie and neck binding butted up next to each other so they’re in one long continuous piece

Since I quite like long waist ties, I also extended my hem tie pattern pieces by 24cm (since they’re cut on the fold, I moved them out 12cm from the fold to get that 24cm extension). This is completely optional – like I said, I just like really long waist ties. 😉

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

If you want to, you can lengthen the hem ties

Sewing it up

Important note: I have the older version of the Coppelia, that only has the wrap-around variation. The instruction numbers below match the ones found in that version.)

Attach the sleeves as per instruction steps 1 and 2, and join the two halves of your neck binding at the centre back as per step 3. If you cut your neck binding and two hem tie pieces separately, now’s the time to join one hem tie piece to each end of your neck binding so that you have one nice, big, long tie.

Skip step 4 for now – you’ll come back to this soon.

Carry on with steps 5 and 6. With step 6, where it talks about leaving a 3cm gap 2cm up from the waist line – this is where you’ll be using that chalk mark you made when cutting out, so that you know where the waist line is. Your 3cm gap will be 2cm above that mark you made.

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hole for the waist tie, nicely placed just above the natural waist

Skip step 7 – you’ve already joined your hem tie and neck binding, so nothing more to do here. 😉

Now, before you go any further, there’s a bit of edge neatening that needs to be done. On the original wrap Coppelia, all the edges are nicely enclosed in the hem and neck bindings. Now that we’ve lengthened it, the sides below the waist and the bottom edge won’t be enclosed in binding, and need to be finished neatly. This needs to be done before you attach the neck binding, or else it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder to get a neat finish on those edges.

It’s up to you how you finish them – I used a coverstitch for mine, but a twin needle on your sewing machine would also work well. Another option is to neaten the edge (zig-zag or serge/overlock), fold under 1cm and stitch down. You’ll need to finish three edges – both sides below the waist (i.e. below where the neck starts heading off on an angle) and the hem.

Tutorial: how to lengthen the Papercut Coppelia wrap top  | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Neaten the side seams below the bottom corner of the neckline

Once those edges are neatened, it’s time to attach the neck binding/waist ties. You’re going to do this using a combination of steps 4 and 8 in the Coppelia instructions. Have a read of step 8 – you’ll see it talks of attaching one side of the binding first, rather than attaching it all in one piece like in step 4. Since our neck binding is going to extend into the waist ties, this is the way you’ll want to attach the neck binding now.

Like in step 4, line up the centre seam of the neck band with the centre back neckline of the cardi. If you cut your hem tie and neck binding as separate pieces, line the join of these up with the bottom corner of the neckline. If you cut your hem tie and neck binding as one piece, find the mark you made showing where one ends and the other begins and line this up with the bottom corner of the neckline. As with step 4, pin the remainder of the neck binding to the cardi easing it in slightly. Stitch it down. (Remember, you’re only attaching one side of the neck binding at this point – the other side needs to be left loose like in step 8.)

Now jump to step 9 and stitch that waist tie together!

Carry on to step 10, only apply it to the neck binding piece instead.

Then complete step 11 to attach the cuffs.

You’re all done!

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Loganberry Coppelia wrap dress

Fitting note

Since the Coppelia is a cardigan, it’s designed to have enough ease to be able to wear it over other things. If you’re planning on turning it into a dress, I recommend cutting one size smaller than you usually would, as you’ll want a closer fit.

Loganberry Coppelia

I’ve set myself a little challenge over the past month, and plan to continue it all through June (which, by the way, is Indie Pattern Month! Woo hoo!!). The challenge? To find and sew indie patterns that are both maternity-friendly and that I can wear when I’m not pregnant and don’t look like maternity clothes when I’m wearing ’em.

Turns out there aren’t all that many different indie designers who have designs that fit that maternity-friendly category. I’m guessing it’s largely because of the strong trend Clio recently talked about around sewing people making dresses, usually with fitted waists, and that’s influencing the indie designers. (Or maybe it’s the other way ’round?)

There are a couple of indie labels that do have styles that I reckon will work for both maternity (or the before-I-look-like-a-whale-with-legs stage of maternity, anyway) and also post-new-small-persons-arrival. So apologies in advance, but you’re likely to see a fair bit of Victory and Papercut on here over the next month or so. Single styles from others will hopefully crop up from time to time as well to break up the Victory-and-Papercut monopoly (such as the Summer Concert Tee from Dixie DIY and the Plantain tee from Deer&Doe).

(For those of you who prefer the vintage styles that crop up on here, never fear. I have some ’50s, ’60s and 70’s maternity patterns up my sleeve for when the indie ones don’t fit any more! Including plans to try one of those weird 1950’s skirts with the circular cut-out for ‘the bump’, just out of curiousity to see what they’re like to wear. Uncomfortable, I suspect….)

And so, without further ado, I present to you the latest in my indie maternity-friendly creations – the Loganberry Coppelia!

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Coppelia is a wrap cardi pattern by Papercut. A ballet style with raglan sleeves, it ends at the waist with long ties. Which makes it pretty perfect for maternity, since you can wear it above the bump quite easily. (Fair and advance warning – I have another one of these appearing on here soon. And it’s unlikely to be the last. I may be in love with this pattern, it’s so crazy easy to make and wear!)

Papercut Coppelia cardi

Papercut Coppelia cardi

Since I’m a dresses girl at heart, I thought I’d experiment a bit and try lengthening the Coppelia into a wrap dress.

(Plus, it fits in rather well with the ‘Sew Stretchy‘ month challenge over on The Monthly Stitch.)

And sure enough, it turned out rather well!

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Or at least I reckon it did, and that’s what counts, right?! 😉 )

I lengthened the waist ties a bit as well so they wrap around both front and back and provide a bit of definition in the front in the longer style. They’re easy to tie above-bump, and since the Coppelia is made in a stretch fabric, it’s super comfy and will also look pretty good post-baby.

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It was pretty easy to lengthen this pattern, and I took photos as I went, so I’m going to put a tutorial up sometime in the next couple of days for anyone who is interested. Doesn’t matter how much you lengthen it by – a few inches to get it more of a hip-length style, or a full-length maxi dress, or anything in between, the process is the same.

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

These photos were taken on the War Memorial grounds, on an utterly gorgeous winter day. (Big thanks to Nikki, the lovely photographer!)

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I love the lion fountain near the entrance to the War Memorial park, it makes me smile whenever I walk past it. 🙂

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Why Loganberry? Well, I was going to call it ‘cranberry’ but the colour isn’t quite right. For some odd reason (since I’ve never seen or tasted one – we don’t get them over here in NZ) logan berries came to mind. I Googled ’em and they looked about the right colour.

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Plus, after these photos were taken the other week, we went for High Tea at Logan Brown. Berry coloured dress + Logan Brown = Loganberry!)

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It’s funny, but I always feel a need to name the garments I make. Seems to make it easier to refer to them later by name, rather than vague description. Not that I find it easy to think up names. Erp. What about you guys? Do you tend to name things? Or how do you refer to them if you talk about them later? Got any good suggestions for how to come up with names for garments??

Loganberry Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Strawberry Shortcake Coppelia

Hey hey! Ready for some more Twinsies sewing?

While we were waiting on the votes for what we sew next to roll in, Mel and I caught up to get pics of our latest Twinsies creation – the Coppelia wrap cardigan from Papercut patterns!

Papercut’s Coppelia wrap cardigan

(Spoiler: this won’t be the last one of these you see on here. I may be in love with this pattern. More are planned for the fast-approaching winter, oh yes.)

Now, we always end up with rather different looking garments when we do our Twinsies creations, but I think this time is the most diverse yet! Mel lengthened her Coppelia and the waist ties. I shortened the sleeves on my one. Two very different results, no? (This is what I love the most about Twinsie sewing – we don’t talk much beforehand about what we’re doing, so it’s always a surprise to see what the other one has come up with when we meet up to do our joint photo shoots. As you can imagine, there’s lots of comparing and exclaiming going on at that point.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Despite appearances, we didn’t co-ordinate our outfits/hair. Even though my hair matches Mel’s top and the top she’s wearing under her Coppelia matches my Coppelia. Happy accidents for co-ordinated photos, let’s just go with that, ok?)

This is actually the second Coppelia I’ve made – the first was a gift for one of my sisters-in-law for Christmas, which I don’t have a photo of yet. (Mum, if you’re reading this, can you go get photos for me? Thanks! 😉 ) I lengthened that one though, so this is the first one I’ve made at the ‘proper’ short length.

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Conveniently, I also tried on the one I made for my sister-in-law, and found I needed to go down a size from what I was expecting to cut out, as it’s a looser fitting style that I thought it would be. Bonus fitting practice while gift making = all ’round win.)

This is a crazy quick and easy pattern to put together, with nice neat edges due to all the wide hem finishes and the wrist cuffs (if, like Mel, you make it with the full sleeve-length). Very satisfying to whip up, this one was!

I made my one out of a lightweight merino wool, purchased from the Levana textile outlet a year or so ago. I found three rectangular pieces of this gorgeous wide red-and-pink stripe in the remnant bin, for the grand sum of 50c a piece (crazy cheap!!). So naturally, I snaffled them up fast and clung on to them until I figured out what to use them for. (I mean c’mon – how often do you come across pink-and-red-wide-striped merino?!? Yeah, not often. Gotta get that stuff when you can.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since I only had the three (reasonably small) remnants, cutting this one out was a bit of a challenge! (In fact, I think it took longer to cut out than it did to sew. Hmmm.) With the raglan sleeves, I wanted the stripes to meet where the sleeves joined the body, so there was a fair bit of careful pattern placement to figure out how to make that happen, while still having enough fabric for the bindings and ties. Oh yes, let me tell you now – there was not a lot of fabric left when I was done! (That’s also what dictated the sleeve length – that was all I had. Indeed.)

I’m pretty proud of how it turned out though – kinda hard to see in these photos, but those stripes, they match up well. And luckily I could get the bindings out of the red rather than the pink, because let’s face it, pale pink next to my skin just Doesn’t Suit Me. At All. (Even though occasionally I forget about that fact. Oops.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Only alteration I made was stretching the bands a bit when attaching them around the neckline, to make sure they didn’t start to sag open a bit over time. That worked out well – it’s a nice, close fit. (I think I chopped about 5cm off each end of the neck band once I’d attached it? Can’t quite recall though, may have been slightly less….)

This hits me slightly below the waist – perfect for wearing with 1950’s dresses and skirts. (I can also attest that it layers well over long-sleeved tops on colder days.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel and I met up with the lovely Nikki for lunch to get these photos – picnicking out on the grounds of parliament, then posing with trees. Always a good thing to do on a break from work, no? 😉

(Big thanks to Nikki for playing photographer for us!)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And we can’t have a Papercut Twinsies photo shoot without the ‘Papercut love’ pose, now can we? This time, sitting in a tree. Just because we (sort of) could. Even though we were wearing high heels at the time and the tree was on a slope. Coz that’s the sort of thing we do for you guys.

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes