Papercut Patterns Bustier Dress

I have noticed winter wear start to creep into the Aussi / kiwi blogs that I read, but it is still sunny days here.  Just as well, because I wanted to try out another of the Papercut Patterns.

This one is the bustier dress.

In this next photo I am laughing because a man nearly crinked his neck trying to see what we were doing as he drove around the corner.  We went out onto the road to take these photos at about 7:15, which I thought would be a time when early workers would already have left and those on the school run would be inside eating breakfast.  The skies have been such a beautiful blue that I wanted to capture them (only I didn't do this well...see top edge of first photo).  First a neighbour drove home and was staring at us.  I gave him a friendly wave, then this next man was really craning to see what we were doing.  That shows how exciting our neighbourhood is...you only need to hold a camera and everybody starts to stare.

Back onto the dress.  The dress is called the bustier dress, but I did not really want a bustier fit.  I wanted a day dress that I could wear comfortably.  I have other dresses that have a close fitting bodice and fuller skirt, but by the end of the day the boning in them annoys me.

I like that this one has straps.  The strap is a curved piece, which makes sense, because shoulders are not square, but I have not seen this in a pattern before.  I moved the straps slightly inwards at the front, to better cover my bra straps.

I like the skirt.  I am not too fussed on dirndl skirts, which seem a little infantile to me.  In this skirt, the gathers are limited to the centre front.  The skirt is more of a tulip shape, only using gathers instead of pleats.  Mine looks more straight than tulip, but that is because I went up a couple of sizes to accommodate my hips.  I cut a XS on top and M for the skirt.  If I wanted the skirt to look more like the that on the model, I could have brought the side seams of the skirt back to the XS lines by the hem.  I want this to be an everyday dress, so I am happy with a more practical, wider, skirt hem.

To get a M skirt to fit onto an XS bodice I added a second set of darts to the back skirt and just gathered the front skirt a little more.  The back photo shows that I could have done with a little more length over the hips.  I did alter the top edge of the skirt to allow more length here, but it looks as though I could have done with a bit more.

The seaming on the bodice is not dissimilar from Vogue 1174 (see here and here).  I never got a great fit with this seaming before, so although I did make up a muslin of this dress, I did not fret over getting a perfect fit.  I took about 4 cm of length out of the bodice, which is not an unusual alteration for me.  I removed all this length below the empire seam, but looking at these photos, I think that I could have got a better fit if I removed some of the length in the bust cups.

The instructions that came with the pattern were good.  The only changes I made were to use Sherry's method to attach the lining to the zip by machine and her trick for getting the zip to line up at the waist seam.  Next time I might change the pattern to insert the zipo at the centre back, as I prefer to step into dresses.

The fabric is a cotton from The Fabric Store.  It reads as a eucalypt green, but close up, you can see that it is patterned.  In the mirror, I really like the colour on me, though in this early morning light, it does make me look pale.

This papercut pattern also includes a top, which uses the bodice pieces and then has a separate below-waist panel.  I think it is the top shown in this and this papercut photo. 

This last photo is not to show you my dress, it is to show the roof that I painted on the weekend.  It is the roof of my sewing room.  I painted it with 2 coats of infracool, to reflect sunlight.  This paint is supposed to be applied with a sprayer, but I do not have one of those, so I used a roller with a corrugated foam fitting.  Not the best method of application and I think it still needs another coat, but it is a job that I am pleased to have done.  Don't want to get too hot doing all that sewing.  Of course, we won't really know how effective it is until next summer.


  1. Lovely dress. The shape is really nice on you. I like the curved wide straps. Looks perfect with the elk necklace.

  2. Great dress - I really like the shape of the top. Cool necklace too.

  3. Cute dress - take advantage of the warm days - it is getting cold down here already!

  4. Cute dress. It's freezing here in Sydney now so I don't think this will hit my radar untill September.

  5. The dress is gorgeous on you. I like the print, particularly in the close up photo. Why do photos minimise prints? They are quite evident in real life.

    I took my sundresses out of the wardrobe on the weekend , but have not broken out the winter clothes yet, just sleeves!

  6. I like that style on you.. Great job on the roof - any home maintenance is good to get done and then out of the way. It's just gotten cold here last night and tonight - tops of 22 in the day so it's not too shabby!

  7. It's a great style for you - so modern and cute - and pretty fabric. Well done on the roof - what a job!

    I don't envy you your climate - I would find the heat difficult, but also I enjoy the briskness of winter. Here in Auckland it's pretty mild most of the time, a warm jacket is enough. Some days I just long to be able to make a full length duffel coat, like I used to wear to bed in the deep south when I was young (old unheated house brrrrr).

  8. That is a wonderful dress, and the alterations you made to the skirt make it much more wearable! Love it.

  9. This has a lovely shape! Very flattering on you. It reminds of one of the new Colette patterns' sundresses. I hope you get some wear out of it before the cool weather set in.

  10. What a cool and comfortable looking summer dress. I love how the print makes it look green from a distance, and the fitting you did worked brilliantly. Way to go on painting that roof too! That does not sound like a fun job, but hopefully it will pay off big time in the hot summer months.

  11. Cute! I like the gathers in the front, and how you adapted the pattern for practical wearing... I too have a hard time with boning all day long. It's so fun learning to take pictures outdoors in public but even in the city here, people stop and look!