Trying New Shapes, Papercut Saiph

Lately I’ve become intrigued with trying ‘new stuff’. New patterns, different techniques and shapes.

I’ve always loved something different – even if it’s not something I fall in love with or adopt as ‘my thing’. I’m simply interested in experimenting. To me this is the huge appeal of sewing and blogging. I find the thought process, the making and subsequent photography fascinating to analyze something new. I’m ok if it doesn’t work, I’m just curious to try.

Papercut Saiph Tunic - it's loose!

Papercut Saiph Tunic – it’s loose! The armholes are also a little large. I finished these with white bias binding

I’m the first to admit that I skimmed right on over the Papercut Saiph tunic when it was released. I found it a little shapeless for my taste and was rather bamboozled that it was called a ‘tunic’ but presented as a dress. The length also seemed SUPER short.

The ‘drop waist’ was also a deterrent as I’ve only ever worn that style as a school uniform – which I always referred to as the ‘H Line’.

Papercut Saiph Tunic - back view

Papercut Saiph Tunic – back view

Then as I looked towards summer (if it should ever really arrive…) the appeal of shifts, sacks & shapelessness reared its head. Suddenly I wanted to try new styles & shapes that I traditionally shied away from. So perhaps expect The Summer of the Shift from me. The timelessness of ‘the shift’ interests me. And well… I can’t explain my fascination with sacks…

However a few Top Notch posts triggered my curiosity and I finally gave in. Then low-and-behold Rachel of House of Pinheiro popped up with her glamorous one photographed in than Paris while mine was winging it’s way over the seas from New Zealand.

I decided to make my Saiph as designed. No fitting alterations. The Full Sack if you like! I wanted to see if me and sack dresses could be friends.

That’s not to say that this dress doesn’t have any shaping. It has French darts which are an interesting and fun addition.

Papercut Saiph Tunic - inside (sorry heading off to Sydney for a shibori workshop - no time to iron! #badblogger)

Papercut Saiph Tunic – inside – I was heading off to Sydney for a shibori workshop – no time to iron! #badblogger

But what to make it in?? I decided I wanted something with some weight but drape…. and remembered the rayon viscose ottoman suiting range at Spotlight. I’d always wonder what on earth to make with it but it seemed the perfect choice for this. It’s lovely to sew with I must say!

These were the options and I decided to go with the more graphic black/white/red fabric (I love it when Instagram polling matching up your gut instinct!).

Papercut Saiph Tunic - material options

Papercut Saiph Tunic – material options

I made the XXS and added an inch to the ‘waist’ as I am quite long waisted. I also cut the skirt length to XL as I’d read how short this design was. I omitted the sleeves as I saw this as a summer dress option.

Nothing terribly exciting to tell you about construction. I ended up lopping 1/2 inch off the skirt as the extra length seemed to exaggerate the roominess of the dress on me. I finished it with a rolled hem – not using my machine foot as this fabric was quite heavy.

I used a piece of thin black cord (ratstail – the sort you can use to make piping). I created a little loop and sewed this into the seam where the facing mets the shell at the back neck opening. I think it’s a nice little detail however it is also strong and quick to create!

Papercut Saiph Tunic - button closure

Papercut Saiph Tunic – button closure

I don’t think the Saiph translates well in photographs – not on me. I really don’t. That said, it is lovely to wear and ELH commented as he took the photographs… “I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be but it’s strangely sexy”. Perhaps it’s the shorter length with the flippy full circle skirt or the way it swings and floats around the body, hinting rather than revealing… it’s a mystery. OR ELH has a penchant for sacks?

Papercut Saiph Tunic/Dress

Papercut Saiph Tunic/Dress

I’m glad I made it, I do think in cotton it would make a great summer dress/tunic. Super cool, loose & feminine. I think it could be cute in wool with long-sleeves and tights in winter…

This image is ‘blown out’ due to the bright sunshine but I popped it in as it is one of the few without my hand on my hips – must have been unconsciously searching for myself in this loose-fitting dress!

Papercut Saiph Tunic - front view

Papercut Saiph Tunic – front view.

I’m not sure I’m sold on the Saiph – which isn’t to say that I wouldn’t make it again as I think I have space in my life for loose summer dresses. This make got me curious and I experimented with another idea… coming to a blog soon!

Pattern: Papercut Saiph Tunic
Fabric: Viscose Rayon Ottoman

16 thoughts on “Trying New Shapes, Papercut Saiph

  1. This is definitely a departure from your usual style (saying that, you have some awesome chameleon tendencies!) but I like it! I think the use of a graphic, abstract print stops it being ‘cutsie’ and gives it a bit of an edge. I can imagine it’s going to all sorts of amazing to wear on a hot day.

  2. Interesting. And very shapeless. But it doesn’t look to bad on you (nothing does).
    The blue dress in the photo from the designer is too short though, I totally agree. You wouldn’t be able to do anything but stand up straight in that one!

    So envious of you guys who are headed for Summer now…

    • I decided that I needed to sew done different shapes so this seemed like a good place to start… it’s been so fun to try something completely different. At least I can eat a big lunch in this one!

  3. I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve been thinking about this shape on and off. I think if anyone is going to carry it off it’s someone with a slim figure like yours. But I’m trying to put a finger on why you’re not totally sold. I think the sleeves help the shape. That slight bell cuff balances out the skirt. I think the only reason it wouldn’t work is with hands on the hips!! It creates another waist above the dropped waist! But it’s an awesome ‘arms-down’ kinda dress! x

    • You know I was thinking exactly the same thing with the sleeves – but left them off because summer was approaching. I think it might make a cute autumn tunic – and then I can do sleeves! It’s funny I don’t often do the ‘hand on hip’ thing but it was a constant feature in all these photos!
      I’ve made a much slimmer version and now working on version 3 – I’m rather addicted to this ‘trying new things’!

  4. This shape in dresses was very popular when I was in high school, about a hundred years ago. It looks fabulous when fitted on a slim silouhette – like yours. Unfortunately I am a pear, so it was not flattering on me. I say make another, fit it a little closer, drop the flounce another inch or so, and you will might like it more. You have the figure to be able to wear anything!

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  6. This is a shape that I fear, but it looks modern and fun on you. I hate hate hate a dropwaist dress on me, but I’ve been considering it after seeing Sown Brooklyn in the Malvarosa dress… it’s surprisingly cute!

  7. You looked fabulous in everything! This included! I too have just made my first loose fitting dress and I think that a shorter length is necessary to pull it off well.

    • I think you are right Margo. I think it longer turns a sack into an enormous sack! I’m glad I cut much of the extra length I added off the skirt during the hemming process. I’m loving playing with new shapes.

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