Papercut Coppelia

Posted by Blythe Tait
Every now and then, you come across a sewing pattern ‘unicorns’:
  • your creation fits well right off the pattern without modifications,
  •  it looks professionally made,
  • and best of all, it you like how you look in it. 
I call these sewing patterns ‘unicorns’ because they are extremely rare creatures.  Some would say they do not exist, but I must be lucky because I recently came across one of these unicorns.
The Coppélia by Papercut Patterns ( ) is a ballet-style wrap cardigan with raglan sleeves and two length variations: cropped and long.  I bought the pattern for the cropped version; I could see it going really well with circle skirts for a fun 50’s retro look.  I had been interested in the Coppelia for a while, but it was only when I acquired a beautiful, cheery yellow rayon knit from that I finally lashed out and bought it.  The rayon is quite sheer, and I thought that
  1. the sheerness of the rayon wouldn’t matter as much as a cardigan/wrap, and
  2. the crossover bodice would mean I would have a double layer of rayon on the front bodice.  Perfect.
When I am umm-ing and ah-ing about purchasing a pattern, I often go to to see what other people think.  The Coppelia rated highly.  I also like to do a google search for the pattern under images and see if anything strikes my fancy.  Again, most people who reviewed this pattern loved it. 
My rayon knit was pretty slippery to work with, and I never use starch or any of those other sneaky tips; I’m just too impatient to get started.   I do, however, spend the extra time pinning or clipping well.  The Coppelia was a super-fast project; the most time-consuming part is trying to get all the pattern pieces out of less than the recommended fabric amount.  I am a scrooge with fabric, and I am constantly trying to fit everything onto 1 metre of fabric, which is pretty funny, since the pattern calls for 1.6m.

I had tested the Coppelia on a sweater knit, so I was pretty confident I would love my rayon knit creation, but I wasn’t prepared for just HOW MUCH I would love it.  The rayon is so soft and cool, the sleeves are perfect- long enough that my wrists always stay covered even if I am reaching overhead- and, excuse my vanity, but I think the end product looks very professional.   A definite unicorn.

This cropped style of top goes very well with higher waisted skirts or pants.  When styling, if clothing is fitted on top, a good rule is to go for more volume on the bottom (and vice versa).  Think circle skirts, maxi skirts, flowing pants, skirts with frills or flounces.  Of course, ballet sweaters are usually worn with tights, and because we are familiar with that fashion, I think the Coppelia also works with fitted bottoms, like my jeans.  I also paired it with a recently made skirt with a flounce, and I think that looks nice, too.  I’d really like a white circle skirt to match the white dots, but I haven’t found a fabric I want to make one with yet.  It might have to be a woven pattern, in which case I am waiting until I get a Husqvarna sewing machine!!!
Accessories like headbands require so little fabric, perfect for using those last few scraps, yet they can make a big impact.  I added some netting inside my bow to give it some body. 

Last thoughts- I love this cardigan, and I would buy it from a shop, but I think shops would struggle to display this wrap well.  The rayon knit is so lightweight and drapey, it rolls up into a little ball (perfect for travelling), but it means it doesn’t look awesome as a flatlay.  They would probably need to hang it up, but that would put permanent hanger marks in the fabric.  It’s probably one reason why you don’t often see this kind of product in stores.  Hurray for homemade!


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