Pattern Testing: The Sigma Dress

13 Nov

Umm, have you guys seen the new Constellation Collection from Papercut Patterns? Obviously, I’m biased here, but it’s pretty freaking amazing! Katie has really killed it this time, with the release of six fabulous new patterns – including a bomber jacket (which, duh, totally making that). I was lucky enough to test a pattern in this round, so I ended up making the Sigma Dress. Want to see? :)

Sigma Dress

The Sigma is a simple dress that can be made up in a variety of views/fabrics to create a different dress each time. What I love best about this pattern is the pure simplicity of it – it can be embellished however you please. Add a sweet detachable collar, sew it up in a fabulous brocade for the holidays, tough it up with an exposed zipper – it’s super versitale! And, I should point out, it’s a great pattern to sew up in a lovely plaid ;)

Sigma Dress

My Sigma has the skirt from variation 2 (small gathers at the waist; kind of hard to see in this fabric, ah!) and a weird mishmash of sleeves from both variations. I reeeeeally wanted this dress to have long sleeves, but I totally borked up the cutting, like, immediately (I blame it on the kidney stone), so I just made the sleeves as long as my fabric would allow me to. Soo, elbow-length it is!

Sigma Dress

I cut the size XXS, based on my measurements, and it was a near-perfect fit straight out of the envelope. I did have to add two small 1/4″ darts at the back neckline because it gaped a little, but that’s a pretty typical measurement for me. I also sewed in a lapped zipper at at 5/8″ seam allowance (these patterns use a 3/8″ seam allowance), to tighten the waist seam and also because I didn’t want to math.

Sigma Dress

Fair warning, this baby is SHORT! This is the actual length you see on me, and I’m 5’2″. Katie and I discussed the length, well, at length (hee, we’re like a mini-focus group), and she ultimately decided to keep the original short length because it’s cute as hell and add lengthen/shorten lines to the skirt so you can get on with your bad self and make it whatever length you want!

Sigma Dress
Sigma Dress

See that strange lightened area around the pocket? Yeeeah, that was where I applied interfacing to the wrong side of the skirt, sewed up the pocket, stuck it on the dressform and realized my stupid fabric was identical right/wrong side and I had used the wrong side as the right side. Meaning, my unbalanced plaid did not match at ALL at the waistline. After mulling over it for a couple of days, I carefully shredded off the interfacing and tried to wash the glue off, but as you can see – a little still remains. It’s not totally noticeable, but it *is* there. Something to keep in mind if you’re making this up in a plaid – make sure you’re using the correct side of the fabric ;)

Sigma Dress

“Wait, did someone say pockets? In this dress??”

Sigma Dress

Yep! Yay for pockets!

Sigma Dress

If you were wondering about my fabric choice, it’s really not anything special – some lightweight cotton plaid I got from a friend (who I think originally bought it at an estate sale). It’s actually a bit toooo lightweight for this dress, as it loves to wrinkle up whenever it has the opportunity. But, you know, that’s the beauty of this pattern – you can make it in practically anything. Anything!

Sigma Dress
Sigma Dress

I also think the neckline is just perfect for showcasing those little choker-esque necklaces that I can never figure out what to pair with.

This was my first experience testing for Katie (although not my first rodeo with her patterns, yeehaw!), and it was a very pleasant experience! I really liked that she had the patterns printed and shipped directly to us, as opposed to sending out PDFs to be printed and assembled at home. For one, I hate printing PDFs (and I don’t even have access to a printer anymore after quitting my office job, sooo it’s not like I could print even if I wanted to. Ok, I could go to a copy shop but you and I both know that’s not gonna happen), and for two, I’m not really sure how accurate they are when it comes to testing purposes. Seems like an easy way to fuck things up, size-wise, in my opinion.

Sooo, now that I’ve waxed poetic about this pattern for an entire post, who else is excited to get their hands on it? Or anything from the new collection? I think the next sewalong we have on the Papercut blog will be for this dress – just because I reeeeeally want to play around with different looks (which you can’t really do with a tester pattern, I mean, not the slicing and hacking type of playing :)). Speaking of which, we have a La Sylphide sewalong going on right now if anyone is keen to join!

Sigma Dress

Right now, through 11/15, you can get 15% off this pattern (or any pattern in the new collection) with free shipping! This is a great opportunity to try out a Papercut Pattern, if you’ve been on the fence before. Not to mention, Katie added a new size so they go up to XL now :) What are you waiting for??

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35 Responses to “Pattern Testing: The Sigma Dress”

  1. gingermakes November 13, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Oooh, this is mega cute! I really like this dress– it’s basic, but not boring, and has such a sweet fit on you!

  2. craftsanctuary November 13, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    GAH LOVE IT! I’m still perfecting mine…but I’m thinking 3/4 sleeves may be the solution to all of my problems :)

  3. Lola November 13, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    this plaid is to die for. i saw the collection yesterday and have the bomber on my list of things to make. i cant wait

  4. sallie November 13, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Ooooh!! I didn’t know they had a new collection out!!! Ruh roh… 15% off you say….? Anyway! Love the dress! such an awesome pattern staple with so many possibilities. And, girl, you are just rocking the plaid this year!

  5. Nakisha November 13, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    I’m an “who needs extra length when it’s winter and tights exist” kinda gal!

    That dress is so cute on you! I have yet to use a Papercut pattern…time to change that perhaps!

  6. Janine November 13, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    So simple, so cute! You brought up a problem that I too have run across from time to time: How to remove interfacing glue from fabrics. I came across this You Tube demo on how to deal with this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhhKZIPksKE

    One day if possible I would love it if you could write a review of what I call “alternative” pattern companies. I rarely venture away from the “Big Four” and would love to hear your opinions. For example, I often check out Style Arc and Sewaholic pattern companies, but rarely “pull the trigger” due to the inconvenience of waiting around for them to arrive by mail.

    I am so happy to see your success and enjoy reading your blog. You are a great inspiration to the new sewers as well as the old hats like me!

    • redricrac November 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      have you tried patternreview.com? they have reviews of patterns from Sewaholic and Style Arc and probably billions of other indies. (btw, I love Style Arc-well worth the wait and expense.)

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      Interesting topic idea! I do tend to sew with indie patterns for the most part, although I will occasionally make up a Big 4 pattern (I actually bought a fistful the other day because, $1 JoAnn sale haha). I definitely think the lil’ guys are worth the cost/wait, though. Anyway, I’ll see if I can drum up some type of post for that topic, I think that would make for a great discussion :)

  7. Rachel Mercado November 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I love Papercut’s patterns, but I have never bought one before. I purchased the Saiph Tunic yesterday and I am so excited to make it up in something sparkly and wonderful for the holidays. This dress looks adorable on you:)

  8. Taryn November 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I think this turned out great, kidney stone-induced mistakes or not, it’s really cute! I have a question: I’ve been stuck on a Peony (my very FIRST dress) because of bodice fit issues. (I’ve moved the darts already & a couple muslins, but I’m a semi-beginner and frustrated!) Since I’m learning, I’d like things to FIT if I’m going to take the time! Do you think the Sigma would be a better alternative, or possibly combining its bodice with the Peony skirt and matching up the skirt darts? You’re in my thoughts on the kidney stone issue BTW. I know it’s not a walk in the park.

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Honestly, yessss! I know the Sigma and Peony are fairly similar in style, but I found the Sigma to fit sooo much better straight out of the envelope. Obviously, everyone is shaped differently, and what works for me may not work for you, but the Peony seems to have dart complaints across the board, as well as some large back issues. So, yes, try the Sigma because I think you’ll have better fit-luck. The skirts are also similar, so you could either merge the two patterns together or just take the pegged Sigma and turn it into an A-line. Either works :)

      • Taryn November 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

        Excellent! I’m not unusually proportioned so I think anything close to an “out of the envelope” fit is definitely what I need for my first dress. Thank you for the advice!

  9. Lisa Carver November 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Super cute dress, thanks for the heads-up about the sale. I think I’ll have to order up a Sigma to make a plaid version myself. I really want to do the La Sylphide sewalong, I got the pattern for x-mas last year and still haven’t done it. However, with work and school I’m probably going to have to start late. I already have the perfect sheer navy blue polka dot material for it though, now I have to do is figure out how to draft a lining for it.

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      Do it do it! You know the posts will always be there when you need them (and you can totally holler at me if you have a question that’s not covered in the posts, even if it’s like a year later haha). That sheer polka dot fabric sounds amazing! Honestly, I’d skip the lining and just wear it sheer with a slip underneath. We will be covering that in the sewalong, IF YR CURIOUS ;)

      • girlintheflamableskirt November 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

        Sweet. I was hoping you’d cover sheer fabrics in the post. I’ll definitely look into the sew-a-long when I have some more free time and probably hit you up with questions too. You’re definitely my most experienced sewer friend, so I try not to call you every time I have a sewing question because I don’t want to annoy you, but since you offered ;)

        • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

          Haha, girl, you know I don’t make empty offers :) Feel free to ask questions, I love feeling needed haha :)

  10. Zoe November 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Very sweet! Nice fabric too.

  11. Rosalia November 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Love the dress! Sorry to hear about the kidney stone. As someone that has suffered through 3 kidney stone passings, I can definitely relate. Hope you have a heating pad to help relieve some of the lower back pain. Have you tried cranberry pills? I have been taking them and they seem to be finally kicking in.

  12. thecuriouskiwi November 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh I saw this on your Instagram but I totally didn’t click, duh, haha! I love that this dress is nice and simple so you can totally go wild and make it to suit your own personal style. I also think it compliments the rest of the collection perfectly :) Looking forward to seeing all your great ideas for the next sew along xx

    I am making a second La Syphide for the current sew along, with some “slicing and hacking” ;)

  13. crystalpleats November 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Perfect fall dress in perfect plaid. You look great. I am just as in love with this release as everyone else seems to be. Love the two jackets and the blouse especially.

  14. fionaparker17 November 14, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    O this is so cute! The fit looks amazing on you and those are some plaid matching SKILLS you’ve got right there!

  15. Kat H November 14, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Oh man, this is soooo friggin’ CUTE!!! I’ve been debating about getting this pattern (coz, you know, I may have at least half of the new collection at the top of my to-make list already and I was trying to be vaguely realistic, hah) but hey, if you’re having a sew-along for it, I guess I’ll just have to join in. ;-)

  16. Emily November 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    This is super cute! I have a perfect plaid flannel for it too, nice brown and blue… and several other pieces of fabric that would work well!
    This and the Bellatrix blazer are now on their way to me!

  17. lifeisjustduckie November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    I love the plaid fabric, and the 3/4 sleeves. I just visited Papercut’s site and now want so many patterns…

  18. Eugénie Poisson November 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    J’adore!!!!

  19. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) November 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Okay, so I think you and plaid had a secret marriage ceremony and didn’t tell us! The dress is super cute – I quite like the shortness of the skirt, it is quite flattering and can always be worn with thick tights or leggings. The fit out of the packet is amazing :)

  20. nicole_boldgoods November 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Ordered my Sigma pattern last week, can’t wait for it to arrive! This is adorable.

  21. Kim November 20, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Great dress! I think it is a very versatile pattern and I really like the sleeve length.. It looks super cute in plaid too! *putting yet another pattern on xmas wish list..*

  22. sbucha004 November 23, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    I bought this pattern after seeing it on your blog and I really love it! However it’s a good thing I made a muslin because I have to do so many fit adjustments! I raised the waist 1″, lengthened the skirt by 2″, took away an angled sliver from the front middle (at the fold line), and straightened out the weird circular hips. I also adjusted the bust darts, which is what I wanted to ask you about. I thought mine were too high so I lowered the side one by an inch, and redrew the bottom one to stop an inch sooner. But the placement of them in the original muslin looks just like yours, and yours look fine. Do you think that means that I should do an SBA instead? I’ve never done one (that’s why I was avoiding it). Sorry for the super long comment/question! I’m trying to avoid making another muslin haha. I do think that once I get this figured out, I’m going to remake this pattern in about 5 fabrics! It’s just the basic shape I was looking for and the sleeves went in so easily!

    • sbucha004 November 23, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      PS Sorry to hear about the kidney stones, my grandpa had them and he said they were worse than the war (WW2)!

    • LLADYBIRD November 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Hm, I don’t think that means you need to do a SBA, but I could be wrong because I’ve never needed to do one of those, so I’m not really sure when it’s needed. Looking back, I do think the side darts need to be lowered just a little on me (they look a bit high, oops!), so I think you’re on the right track :) Of course, it’s hard to tell without seeing it, so if you want to email me photos I’ll do my best to give you my thoughts!

  23. missjoiedevivre November 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Very cute and a very cool plaid!

  24. sarah January 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi,
    Love your dress!

    I bought the pattern after seeing your post! Quick question… Did you put the sleeves in like it says in the instructions… Or did you do it the ‘usual’ way (like in the peony instructions)?

    And, do you know why the sigma puts sleeves in in this way? Is it better/easier?

    Your blog’s fab!

    Sarah

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Since I was testing the pattern, I followed the instructions exactly as written. I don’t think the flat method is any better than setting sleeves in the round, but it is definitely easier, which is why I think Katie chose to include that method in the pattern instructions. Hope that helps :)

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