“There’s no limit to how much you’ll know, depending on how far beyond zebra you go.”*

You might have worked out by now that I quite like the Papercut La Sylphide pattern.


(La Sylphide the first, second, third)

Hey guess what?

I made another one! 😉

I was in The Fabric Store when I really shouldn’t have been (my meeting up that end of town finished early so actually it’s my clients fault…) when I saw this cute bolt of zebra printed silk. I picked it up and carried it around for a bit and by my second store lap the chubby little zebras had convinced me I wasn’t leaving without them.

I bought 2 meters along with some dark blue poly-cotton blend. I already knew this was going to be my 4th La Sylphide.

I underlined the dress bodice and lined the skirt with the blue poly-cotton. I kept the side seams free below the waist and hemmed both skirts separately but caught the lining into the button packet at center front.

I “Frenched” the skirt side seams (that’s a sewing term) and we all know French seaming on silk goes better when paired with white wine.

I don’t really need the instructions anymore but I still find hemming is the worst part of this pattern for me, especially with naughty fabric and ALL my versions have been made with naughty fabric! To make it even worse this time I had to do two hems.


So I hung the dress for several weeks before I could be bothered to be extra sure it had fully dropped. Then I had an epiphany and decided to hem the silk with hug-snug.

Then I just turned the dress inside out and pressed the lining hem up just a little bit shorter than the silk and stitched a simple double-fold hem.

I’m really glad I underlined/lined the silk. The poly-cotton is nice and soft to wear and it should help the dress last longer.

I had a lot of help from Harriet for my photoshoot.

She loves being outside with her humans and the Kowhai tree was just starting to flower so that means lots of birds to watch and unsuccessfully stalk.

I chose simple black buttons from Spotlight.

Spot my creepy stalker cat…and I’ll leave you with my failed twirly pictures.


Pattern – Papercut La Sylphide, size S

Fabric – Chubby zebra silk and blue poly-cotton from The Fabric Store, Wellington. Buttons from Spotlight, Porirua.

Other notions – Invisible zipper, interfacing

*Dr Seuss

Silk Twill La Sylphide

This will be a short post with more photos than words 😉

This is my third Papercut La Sylphide. I wear my Owl La Sylphide ALL THE TIME, it’s one of my all time favourite makes. My second La Sylphide I hardly ever wear. I did something weird to the button placket, I think I cut if slightly off grain, so it doesn’t sit right. I’m also not sure that the lighter colour combined with diagonals suit me…so I needed to make another and when I saw this silk twill at Fabric-a-Brac I knew exactly what it was destined for.

This time around the fabric was way too narrow even for the reduced skirt width that I left marked from my Owl version so I had to piece on the corners. I cut these, as usual, from the selvedge, so that I could leave them unfinished to reduce seam bulk.

I feel like I’ve written ^^that ^^ in almost every blog post recently 🙂

But it’s a good trick and no one has ever pointed out my pieced on skirt-triangles in the 4 or 5 dresses I’ve done this too 😉

Red buttons!

There’s not much else to say, I really want to make another, I just have to wait for the right fabric to pop up again. It’s nice and swishy, maybe a bit too swishy sometimes for the Wellington wind, but mostly I just LOVE the colour.

Was a bit windy…

Harriet says, “Sew more! MOAR!”


Pattern – Papercut Patterns La Sylphide dress, straight size S

Skirt lengthened approx 16cms, full width of skirt pattern piece used.

Fabrics – Silk Twill found at Fabric-a-Brac, $15.00 total, bought 2nd May 2015

The lengths we go to for photos…

Refracted La Sylphide

I haven’t spent a lot of time online these holidays (I don’t even want to look at my unread count in Feedly!) but I have done quite a lot of sewing and acquired some new “toys”.

Yay 🙂

I’ll share these with you soon and round up my 2013 sewing year but first I have my last two projects to share.

Late last year I made a rule for myself that I wouldn’t put a new item into my wardrobe rotation until I had posted about it. This was supposed to encourage me to get out of my photography slump and take some great photos – and it actually worked! I’m enjoying taking photos of my items more and I feel like my creations are getting better and better. I am particularly proud of the last two makes of 2013 so I really need to get them posted and into my wardrobe 🙂

First up, another La Sylphide – sort of sewn-along with Lauren but mostly sewn along with Kat. Oh yes, it’s another “Twinsies” photo shoot, our favourite kind 🙂

We found a great new photo location too: Hello Wellington, you’re looking gorgeous!

These photos were taken up on a hill in the suburb of Maupuia. That morning it rained so much I thought we would have to cancel our plans. I’m glad we were patient, Wellington weather has been tricky these holidays and we were eventually rewarded with sunshine and 360 degree views of Wellington!

You can see the transmitter mast of Mount Victoria on the left, the location of our last twinsie shoot.

Water storage towers with amazing graffiti – perfect for amazing sewing photos 🙂

I don’t have a lot to add to my previous comments about this pattern – it’s just great and you should make one too!

I made this version to wear on Christmas day, the cotton is bluey-green and pink stripes, a twist on the traditional Christmas green and red.


Ok, maybe that is pushing it.

I can tell this dress will get a lot of wear, it’s prefect for work and I think it will be great in winter with a blazer, tights and boots.

Excuse the back wrinkles, I drove us to our location and it was hot sitting in the car.

I did things a little different for this version – my fabric stripe ran diagonally from selvedge to selvedge so I thought it would be fun to cut the back panels to create a chevron effect.

To do this I added seam allowances to the pieces that are normally cut on the fold. I also cut off the button placket so that I could cut them with the stripe running vertically, then I interfaced the life out of them to prevent any warping.

I made a quick little tutorial on my pattern alterations, it’s not very complicated but I know sometimes just visualising the changes can help, you can find it here.

The La Sylphide dress is from Papercut’s Covent Garden collection so dancing seemed appropriate.

But watch out for that cheeky Wellington wind – I had several knicker shots to delete out of the 400+ photos we took!

Wanna see Kat’s dress too? Her post will be up soon but here are a few of our twinsie photos – there were far too many fun shots to choose from:

Papercut Love

Kat’s dress looked great against the blue graffiti – graffiti fight!

Just kidding!

Looking towards the Hutt Valley

Can you see any more twinsie photo shoots on the horizon?


Pattern – Papercut Patterns La Sylphide (Covent Garden Collection), dress, straight size S, skirt lengthened approx 16cms. Other pattern alterations as per this tutorial.

Next time I would like to lengthen the bodice by 1 or 2 cms, and lengthen the neck ties.

Fabric – 100% cotton (but I suspect may contain some silk) from The Fabric Store (formerly Global Fabrics), Wellington, $8/m

Other notions – 12 plastic buttons from Pete’s Emporium, Porirua

Credits – Big thank you to Kat’s sister Jenna, for taking some great twinsie photos and giving us a break from the tripod/remote set up 🙂

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat…

This is my Le Wise La Sylphide, because owls! 😉

I own my fair share of Papercut patterns but, despite showing you my Bellatrix recently, this dress was actually about 90% complete at the time so it is technically my first ever Papercut make.

It is made from a 100% polyester owl print I bought from Arthur Toye especially with this dress in mind.

Yes I said POLYESTER but could you have left these tiny owls behind in the shop?

No, no you could not have.

The fabric is slightly sheer so I French seamed the entire thing which was actually quite painless, especially since the sleeves are sewn in on the flat, w00t. Also 1cm seam allowances make French seaming a dream, sew right side out at 5mm, little trim trimmy, turn and sew inside out at 5mm: DONE!

Dreamy seams

I did add 20cms to the skirt length, (WARNING: She is short!) but I probably only really needed 16cm since I chopped about 4cm off while hemming.

Lengthening the skirt meant that my back skirt pattern piece (cut on the fold) stuck out over the edge of my fabric. I considered piecing the corner but in the end just folded a bit of fullness out of the skirt at the side seam, marked by the placement of my ruler. If you need to do this then don’t forget to repeat the same alteration on the front skirt piece. You won’t miss the tiny bit of fullness you lose, trust me.

I changed Katie’s construction order a little, sewing the side seams last so I could check the fit and take it in if needed. I cut a size small but it fitted perfectly with no adjustments, yay!


It took me aaages to hem this dress because I procrastinated over the length and fretted over getting it level – in the end I just went for it and it all turned out ok 🙂

I’ve always been a bit nervous about how full skirts look on me, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable in my Hollyburn. However I had seen a few versions of this dress on other blogs and loved the cute look. It was Kat’s “Purple Rain” version that finally sold me and I am so glad I took the risk because I LOVE this dress so much and, bonus, so does Nerdy Husband!

I can tell because he told me so, but also because I’ve just had to trawl through over 200 photos for this post!

I know owls don’t really belong at the beach but while trying  to come up with a witty name for my new dress all I could think of was the Edward Lear poem 🙂

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat…

We just had the most beautifully sunny weekend, it was amazing! I really wanted to take my photos around Wellington harbour but I knew it would be crazy busy in town and I would get embarrassed. Nerdy husband suggested Makara beach, we used to walk (more like hike!) the coast there when we first started going out and haven’t been back for about 8 years.


The “beach” really is actually lots of round stones, hence the lack of shoes, and it was a bit windy but I decided that I quite liked the effect.

I would also like you to know that I suffered for my art since I am slightly prone to car sickness and the car journey was much longer and more winding than I remembered, so I hope you enjoyed my photos! 🙂


I am already working on a second version for the sew along, it should look quite different and includes a few simple pattern mods that I will share with you after it’s complete.

Here is a little sneak peek:

Is anyone else planning a La Sylphide or sewing along with Lauren on the Papercut blog?


Pattern – Papercut Patterns La Sylphide (Covent Garden Collection), dress, straight size S, skirt lengthened approx 16cms

Fabric – 100% printed polyester from Arthur Toye, Wellington

Other notions – 12 re-purposed wooden buttons purchased at Fabric-a-brac in 2011

*The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear

In case you are interested, NZ does indeed have birds other than the Kiwi 😉 and we also have a few owls. My favourite is our native Morepork (or Ruru). They are very common all over NZ and we hear them all the time around our house at night. They call their own name and I think that is so cool. Click the Morepork link and listen to the “evening calls” and see if you can hear “More-pork… More-pork” 😉