Hello to all you lovely people out there, it's Alex from the Sew Creative team. Following on from Kate's review of the Kew Skirt, I'm here today to give you a review of the Kyoto Tee by Papercut Patterns, alongside a review of the Lady McElroy Cobra Corsage crepe jersey fabric that we have in stock. This is a fabric that I have admired from afar for a long time. I would see it in stock at online retailers, pop it in the basket and then chicken out. This is because it is on the pricier end and, without being able to see it in person, I was just a little hesitant. When I started working at Sew Creative in February and was able to finally see the fabric in person, I knew it was time to take the plunge and got myself one metre of it.
So what to make? The print is fairly large scale and I wanted something without too many style lines in order to make the most of it. It is also a fairly bouncy fabric with plenty of structure so I had to bear that in mind. I decided to go for the Papercut Kyoto tee, as I've heard such wonderful things about it.
I've set up my #isewlation station on my dining room table as the natural light is lovely and I get to see the garden. I'm using one of our Husqvarna Opal 690Q machines and made the decision to sew both the seams and the finishes on this machine. This is a change for me because I love my overlocker and would usually tidy up all my seams on there. Laziness however prevailed and I didn't much fancy running up and down the stairs between steps, so zig zag finishes it was.
Having cut out all the pieces, I started sewing. It was a pretty straightforward make for the most part and I chose to use a combination of a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch. I opted to use a regular straight stitch for some of the seams because, although the Cobra Corsage fabric has a little stretch, the pattern has plenty of ease and I didn't really need the seams to stretch too much.
When inserting the neckband binding, things got a little tricky. Because this fabric does not have as much stretch as the pattern recommends, my neckband came up a little bit short. I thought about recutting it but I had squeezed the pattern onto 1m of fabric so didn't quite have enough. Luckily, through perseverance, I was able to ease the neckband into place with a little fiddling and pinning.
As the Cobra Corsage is a bouncy fabric, I therefore trimmed the neckband seam down to 5mm before topstitching it in place with a zig-zag stitch, to keep it lying nice and flat.
The rest of the construction was much as you'd imagine with a simple stretch t-shirt. The fabric sewed like a dream, in fact, far better than I had anticipated. Previously, when I have used thick scuba-type jersey, I have ended up with multiple skipped stitches, however this just wasn't a problem with the Lady McElroy.
The stand out feature of the Kyoto is the ruffle sleeves, and I found their construction interesting and a new learning experience. Rather than attaching the ruffle to the shoulder seam as I had expected, you gather the ruffle down and baste it to the sleeve, before pinning it onto the main body. This meant that I was able to ensure that the gathers were even and there were no puckers in the seam. This is definitely a technique that I'll be using for other ruffle-adding sewing adventures in the future.
Once the sleeves were attached, the rest of the make flew by. It was just a case of sewing the underarm seam and finishing the hems. I decided, again because of how bouncy this fabric was, that I would hem this top with a zig-zag stitch. That way I could catch the seam allowances in the stitch and avoid them peeking out when worn.
Overall I'm really happy with this make. The sleeves are not a style I would usually go for, however, I think the structure and shape that this fabric gives to the ruffles, makes them a key feature of the garment. I also love the length of the sleeves, as they are slightly longer than usual tee patterns. The overall fit of the tee is lovely and ultra comfortable, without it being too oversized and boxy.
The star of the show, however, has to be this fabric. The vibrant colours against the dark background make it a stunning print to show off in what is a relatively simple garment. Although the print is dark, I think it works really well for Spring and Summer, paired with lighter jeans or shorts.
Treat yourself to a metre or two and make yourself a statement piece to perk up your #isewlation wardrobe!
Keep Safe and Happy Sewing, Alex from the Sew Creative (working from home) team xx