Papercut Adrift Dress – a birthday dress

or When You Almost Exactly Copy The Pattern Envelope…

I had this lovely spotty rayon fabric in the stash and while I tried to resist more or less replicating the Papercut Patterns version, I couldn’t resist this pattern/fabric combination. My Grainline Alder Dress was made from the same fabric and has been a much-loved summer dress… so here we are with a new summer dress!

Hello Papercut Adrift Dress

Papercut Adrift Dress - front view

Papercut Adrift Dress – front view

This pattern comes with a skirt and dress variation. Obviously this is the dress. The skirt option has front and back waist darts and a waistband.

Described by Papercut as… A feminine dress for warm summer days. Features include gently ruffled sleeves and hemline, wrap skirt, bust darts and gathered waist with additional wrap skirt option. The wrap-around skirt option features a waistband with front and back darts.


Very simple. The pieces went together beautifully.

Skirt Construction

I did hit a snag as I traced the pattern pieces and constructed the garment without much (any) reference to the instructions – other than a cursory glance.

When I went to fit the bodice to the skirt, they did not match at all… after a ‘what is wrong with me’ message to ever-helpful Papercut team, it turns out the skirt pattern pieces have darts marked on them but do not indicate it is for the skirt option only.

So if you are a derp-head like me and don’t always reference instructions, then you will hit a snag. Darts are only for the skirt option – this is not indicated on the pattern sheet. Once I unpicked the skirt darts, it went together perfectly.

The instructions (when I did read them) have you attached the flounce/frill to the skirt pieces and then sew the front and back pieces together. I chose to sew the front/back skirt pieces together. Then the flounce pieces together. Then I attached the flounce as one piece to the skirt pieces. I’m sure that one continuous seam doesn’t make ‘that’ much difference to the overall flow of the flounce… but I would prefer to construct the skirt that way.

You do need to do the skirt hem before you attach it to the bodice as the front flounces are sewn into the waist seam. On the bright side, you won’t have a project hanging about that just requires a hem. This one forces you to hem mid project!

Papercut Adrift Dress - back view

Papercut Adrift Dress – back view

Seam Allowances

As the seam allowances are only 1/2 inch, I think it’s best to neaten all your edges before you sew the seams. In some cases the instructions do tell you to overlock before you sew the seam. In other cases not. Having sew a few Papercut Patterns I knew this was a issue and overlocked most things before I sewed the seams. I chose to overlock the skirt/flounce edges together after sewing the seam.

I find overlocking 1/2 inch seams a little more fiddly (after sewing a seam) and the results not as neat as those with a larger seam allowance. Some fabrics might distort while overlocking – so be mindful of that.

Neck facing

The instructions also have you top stitch the neck facing down. I’ve chosen to catch stitch it down at the shoulder seams and this has not been a problem.


The skirt and sleeve hems are finished with a narrow hem.

Papercut Adrift Dress - side view

Papercut Adrift Dress – side view (just befor birthday lunch at a local vineyard)

Waist tie

I did insert cord as instructed but didn’t like the look.  So I made a thin cord of self fabric instead. I think next time I will try inserting elastic as I prefer as elastic gathers in a skirt at the waist – much more tidy. This would also mean no buttonholes at the waist for the cord.

The cord and fabric cord doesn’t slide as easily and I tend to arrange the gathers to be more evenly spaced.

I also found having a white cord hanging at my waist amongst the flounce at my waist was a bit visually messy. Perhaps with a more patterned/floral fabric, the cord wouldn’t bother me – it all comes down to fabric choice and pattern.


I do rather love this.

A fairly simple sew – provided you have patience with attaching curved flounces and rather endless curved narrow hems.

Cute and fun. Feminine without being twee.

I love the sleeve/skirt flounces and the loose fit of the garment.

It’s best suited (in my opinion) for fabrics with some soft drape.

I thought I might add a little to the bodice length next time… I am 5 foot 4 but very long through the torso. Then again, the slightly raised waistline makes my legs look long when I wear heels… might not be such a bad thing? 🙂

Papercut Adrift Dress - sleeves

Papercut Adrift Dress – sleeves

I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of these on blogs and social media, it’s a nice little summer dress.

Oh and it’s the ‘birthday dress’… because I wore it today for the first time, took photos after lunch and it’s my birthday… counts as a birthday dress… yes?

Pattern: Papercut Adrift Dress, XXS
Fabric: Rayon (woven), Spotlight (Australia). Purchased during a clearance sale for $3!
Shoes: Jo Mercer
All purchased by me.

Also see: Carly in Stitches  |  tagged Instagram posts


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37 thoughts on “Papercut Adrift Dress – a birthday dress

  1. Oooh Happy Birthday Liz. Looks like a winery…how fun. I love your dress. I am swayed always by polka dot rayon and what a bargain. I love the flounces and it looks terrific with those shoes.

  2. I love the dress, and I’m also surprised that I haven’t seen it around the interwebs! The scenery in your photo shoot is lovely. Do you really live in paradise? Happy Birthday…sigh! Lovely!

  3. Lovely birthday dress, perfect for such a special occasion. It looks like an pattern, dressy, but not too over the top…It’s winter in my neck of the woods, so might have to give it a try come Spring.

  4. Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow and I don’t have a new dress to celebrate so congratulations to you for making yourself such a gorgeous dress for the special day. I am a huge fan of Papercuts (I’m just now making my 3rd pair of Ooh La Leggings and I can’t rave enough about that pattern!). I haven’t done this dress mostly because of the fitted waist which honestly doesn’t suit me at all. But it looks wonderful on you!

  5. I absolutely love this! It’s a beautiful pattern and the blue and white dots fit it so well. There’s a good reason to copy the pattern photo with this one!

  6. Ever so pretty! This pattern did pass me by I admit (the whole collection did really, as nautical isn’t my jam) but with yours I can see the lovely femimine – but not over-twee – detailing.

  7. Gosh this is pretty! Hope you had a lovely birthday. I’m often surprised how many interesting patterns seem to have been bypassed, a symptom of so much choice, I suppose.

    P.S. missed you last night!

    • I think some patterns get a lot of attention and they swamp everything else on offer – a bit like the Inari (which I love!).
      I cancelled Frocktails just a week out, my aunt is in Qld, my flights got changed – and it just got too hard. Due to the flight changes the airline refunded my fares. I’d love to say I’ve had a relaxing weekend but no! I’m tired tonight! See you next year.

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