Papercut Patterns Saiph Tunic – DIY colour block ponte tunic dress

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

This is the Saiph Tunic, by New Zealand company Papercut Patterns. It from their new Constellation Collection.

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

If you follow this blog you will know that I generally sew patterns from the Big Four, and from time to time sew things from independent pattern companies. I like to keep an open mind. I don’t favour one pattern company over another. When I saw this tunic pattern I liked the simple, modern lines and the variation in hem treatments. There was a slight reduction in price when I purchased it, and I paid just under £12 including shipping.

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

First of all I have to say that I love the finished garment. I made this tunic dress using ponte fabrics supplied by my sponsor, Click Fabrics, and the pontes used are so soft and warm, it is just so easy to wear and I can see me wearing this tunic dress a lot over the coming months! In terms of the tunic itself, I did have to remove a lot of fabric from the side seams (I ended up using approximately 1.5 inch seams!) but that may be because of the fact I used ponte double knit, and perhaps should have sized down. I do like the easy casualness of the tunic and, although I am not normally a pocket- on-dresses fan, I like how they sit in the seam of the lower band and they are well positioned.

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Not sure how I feel about the back. It is supposed to  be a loose fit tunic, so I didn’t want to overfit it, but next time round maybe a swayback adjustment and…I don’t know…?

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

So anyway, in terms of design of tunic I am very happy. Very wearable and I think I will definitely make it again…there are so many variations you could make of this tunic and in so many different fabrics.  BUT, I am being honest when I say having paid what I consider to be a premium price for this pattern, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed with the instructions/ pattern itself. Here are the specifics:

  • There are no shorten/ lengthen lines for this tunic. It does come up very short (I added 5.5 inches to make it more dress tunic length), but shorten/ lengthen lines would have been appreciated.
  • There are no finished hip or waist measurements.
  • There is no mention of stay stitching the necklines to prevent stretching out.
  • I found the facing to be approximately 3 inches too short and had to add an additional piece on to the facing….
  • The tunic features French darts. These were not marked on the pattern – the user is told to fold the darts in, matching notches and stitch in place…sure fire way to end up with uneven darts if you ask me. I drew the legs of the darts in and used tailor tacks to mark them.
  • The instructions do tell you to set the sleeves in flat, which I did as I was working in ponte double knit and it allowed me to get the fit right. However, I am not sure I would do this if I was making this tunic up in a woven like linen or wool?

Sorry if this is controversial, but like I say, I treat all pattern companies the same, and if this had been a pattern from one of the Big Four I would have said exactly the same thing. I love the finished tunic, and I admire anyone who has the gumption to strike it out on their own and run their own business, but when you are paying a premium price don’t you expect a premium product? What say you, readers?

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

An easy fit tunic with french darts and two hem variations.  One straight with in seam front pockets and the other circular for a feminine touch.  Both have centre back seam with slit and loop closure.  Neckline is finished with a neck facing.

Pattern Sizing:

XXS – XL (approx. 32 – 42 inches bust).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Kind of…mine is much longer.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

See below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished product. Really. I think I will wear this tunic to death and make lots more variations. It is genuinely a pattern which I can see working all year round. BUT, having paid what I consider to be a premium price for this pattern, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed with the instructions/ pattern itself. Here are the specifics:

  • There are no shorten/ lengthen lines for this tunic. It does come up very short (I added 5.5 inches to make it more dress tunic length), but shorten/ lengthen lines would have been appreciated.
  • There are no finished hip or waist measurements.
  • There is no mention of stay stitching the necklines to prevent stretching out.
  • I found the facing to be approximately 3 inches too short and had to add an additional piece on to the facing….
  • The tunic features French darts. These were not marked on the pattern – the user is told to fold the darts in, matching notches and stitch in place…sure fire way to end up with uneven darts if you ask me. I drew the legs of the darts in and used tailor tacks to mark them.
  • The instructions do tell you to set the sleeves in flat, which I did as I was working in ponte double knit and it allowed me to get the fit right. However, I am not sure I would do this if I was making this tunic up in a woven like linen or wool?

Be warned that the back slit is huge! Approximately 9 inches. That will probably be fine for a floaty summer version, but I didn’t fancy having all that skin exposed in the winter, so I just sewed the length of the back seam up and the tunic is fine to pull on over my head.

Fabric Used:

Ponte double knits. The specific ones I used were these: grey and cream.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Lengthened the tunic by 5.5 inches and moved the bust points inwards by approx. 1.5 inches. I also attached the lower bands to the front and back of the bodice and sewed the side seams up last to get a better fit. I ended up using 1.5 inch seam allowances in the sides (probably because this was made in a ponte; next time if using a ponte I would size down).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes and yes.

Conclusion:

Very versatile and very wearable tunic perfect for year round wear.

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Papercut patterns Saiph Tunic

Until next time, best wishes for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, and happy sewing!

 

 

 

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About sewmanju

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing projects....now everyone can get to see mine.

19 responses to “Papercut Patterns Saiph Tunic – DIY colour block ponte tunic dress”

  1. Sam says :

    Fab! Love the colour blocking and it looks like an ideal dress/tunic for this time of year with boots and tights. I’m totally with you though, if I pay that sort of money (or more!) for a pattern I would expect good, detailed instructions. Having said that I paid that much for a Marfy pattern which comes with no instructions at all!

    • sewmanju says :

      Thanks Sam. You make a good point re. Marfy patterns but they are aimed at a totally different level of expertise and if you are sewing at that level I am guessing you don’t need/ want hand holding?

  2. Carolyn Norman says :

    I like this color combo on you and the front pockets are very kewl. As far as a pattern review goes, I think you should always be truthful about your experiences. It can only help other sewists who may have purchased the pattern.

  3. SeeKatSew says :

    This looks great on you, and I think it is always helpful to post the details of the patterns that were missing, or were fantastic. For a newbie sewer like myself it is extremely helpful to have reviews of each pattern.

  4. Angela says :

    It looks great and I know you will get a lot of wear out of it. I actually thought you were wearing the skirt from Vogue 1247 with a white top until you turned around:)

  5. Debbie Cook says :

    Obviously *I* think one should be truthful in reviews (only “funny” if you follow my blog). I think you did a great job of being honest and fair. I also think you ended up with a great tunic – love the color combo and proportions. I wouldn’t worry at all about the back. It’s casual. It’s knit. And I bet it looks 100% fine when you’re actually moving around and not frozen in place for a camera shot.

    • sewmanju says :

      Thanks Debbie. Yes I do recall the recent post you did as “an open letter to indie designers”. Finally started following you so now won’t miss any more important truthful reviews 🙂

  6. Mikayla says :

    Hi Manju! I came across of your blog yesterday. I like it much. I love your creations. It’s good to hear that you can buy patterns in your place. I usually make mine before cutting the fabric. It takes time before I can make one outfit, specially that I have a regular work at day time. Anyway, I look forward to sharing thoughts with you. Thank you for sharing your creations and ideas. More power!

  7. Sew, Jean Margaret says :

    This looks so cosy and comfortable and those pockets are a great feature. I appreciate your honest review too. Great tunic.

  8. Kaci says :

    What a gorgeous finished item! I think your criticisms are very fair and its clear that you are knowledgeable. Don’t feel bad about having less than positive things to discuss- I adore your aesthetic and have the same body shape, so reading about your modifications makes me want to buy this pattern more!

    When I first started sewing I didn’t realize that patterns for the Big 4 went on sale frequently. I discovered indie patterns and at first it didn’t seem too expensive. But now that I realize I can get new big 4 patterns for a dollar…it makes it harder to justify an indie pattern unless it’s something really special or I’m in the mood to support the sewing goddesses. Fair or not, I agree that I tend to expect a higher level of instruction and general involvement from the pattern maker. Someone buying an indie pattern puts more energy into doing so and likely creates better fitted garments, let’s at least get some lengthen/shorten lines, sew alongs, etc. for our efforts!

  9. HouseOFpinheiro (@HouseOFpinheiro) says :

    Great wardrobe builder. Color blocking is so effective xx

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  1. Papercut Patterns / Saiph Tunic | Le fil à la gratte - December 17, 2014

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