OK, I've got a review of sorts today, on the Papercut Patterns Coppelia. It's picture dense (on the dress form - I haven't washed my hair in 3 days...) and not entirely positive.
Let me lead with the good: The pattern is beautifully presented on paper that's easy to trace or store. The instructions are clear. The garment is very simple to sew and the designer employs some nice techniques (the neck band, hem ties and cuffs). For a relative beginner, I think this pattern is quite doable. Furthermore, the garment could be considered an au courant spin on a timeless shape.
Now onto my issues...
For starters, have a look at the envelope photo:
I can't begin to get into the numerous things I dislike about the styling (they could have shot this woman in so many more flattering and "attractive-to-purchaser" ways), but that's not why I'm showing it.
Do you see the way the sweater pulls on the left front near the armpit and along the upper bodice? Do you see how the sleeve ripples as is moves towards the armpit?
Sure, this look is modern and slouchy (like the kids these days, ahem) but I don't think that's why those pull lines are there. I sense the pull lines are a sign of suboptimal drafting. And when you're only working with 3 main pattern pieces, that's perplexing, quite honestly.
A note on this pattern's questionable sizing: On
reading other reviews (there aren't many), I opted to make the XS with a
modification. That mod was to use the size S for the front wrap - only
the front. I deliberately didn't impact the armscye in any way. I have rarely seen a pattern with sizing this askew. Moreover, as I'll discuss, the challenge originates at the sleeve piece, IMO.
Have a look at some shots of my version:
You can see similar pulls, a la pattern envelope shot, at the bust and at the arm.
Note that I made the arm in an XS and I still had to remove more than an inch from its circumference (tapering to the armsyce which I didn't want to mess with - though that's what really needs the work) and the arms are still WAY too baggy.
Do you see how low the raglan sleeve seam is on the front?
Do you see how high it is on the back?
Look, I'm no pattern drafter - that's why you don't see my cute marketing all over the internet - but I sense that the sleeve was designed to drop at the front to give some additional space for the bust curve. Alas, it limits mobility of the arm and it makes the side look weird and droopy:
What I think needs to happen here is that the front of the raglan sleeve needs to be made smaller (shorter, aka higher up the body) to provide a mobile fit in the armscye. Of course, that means that the front piece would need redrafting. As is, there's not enough length over the bust curve (sure, my bust requires a lot of length, but the model is practically boob-free and the same thing is happening on her). With an altered front armsyce, the need for more fabric over the bust would be increased still further.
I've been wracking my brains trying to figure out the fix in the front bodice (presuming that one altered the sleeve). I sense it would need a dart (one that you could move to the side if you wanted to) but it requires more fabric over the front which can then be shaped at the side bust.
Furthermore, do you see how my version is drooping at the front waist? That's probably cuz I tried to solve my "needs more room at the bust" issue by making the centre front line of the front bodice in the size S (vs the XS used for the back and arms). What I neglected to consider - at my peril - is that the negative ease that works to my advantage in the full bust, also applies at the waist. That means that this thing is way too big at the waist. When I pull the ties around snugly, a good 2 inches of the bodice follows the tie into the side-slit opening. It's a really bad look anyway you slice it and, while I can fuss with things to stop it from happening, then the front droops down because the waist is too big.
I should also mention that, as you know, my dress form is wider than me and has less-deep breasts. On me, all of the problems are more notable (though less unattractive, I like to think, what with me being sentient and having some pretty nice boobs to distract from the larger issues). I put a snap at the wrap point to keep things from gaping - not that there's much gape, but I would wear this without anything underneath and I don't want any slips. Alas, the fabric is so drapey, that one can see a slight pull where it attaches (when the snap is done up, which it isn't in the shots above).
Brief sidebar: I finally used my modal fabric and, Lord, that stuff is awesome. I'm sad that I spent it on this design - but it is the perfect drape and hand for a sweater of this sort.
I do recognize that the low front raglan seam and over-large sleeves might be a design feature, albeit one that I find universally unflattering. What I will say is that this design will work best on a tube shaped torso rather than an hourglass. If you have proportionately large arms, wide shoulders, small breasts and a waist measurement that is not so different from your bust measurement, then you're in the best place to get a "good fit" from this top. While the model, above, is very slender you can see that in broad strokes, that's her shape.
Will I wear this? I don't know. I've become insanely fussy on the fit front. Chances are I'll give it a go and, if in the real world, it stays put / is comfortable when I move, it might have a role in my wardrobe. What I'll say is that the fabric is beautiful and the colour looks terrific on me. Also, wrap tops are a flattering look on my body. I don't know that anyone else is going to be attuned to the fit challenge (as I see it).
I'm on the fence about ordering the Pavolva - basically the same look, though I suspect the drafting will be superior and done with boobs in mind. I think I'm going to wait to see how other versions turn out before I spend the not-insignificant amount of money it costs. I have more patterns than I know what to do with.
So, today's questions: Do you agree with me on the fit issues, or do you think I'm crazy, that this is merely a design element that I don't like? Do you like the top? Would you make this design? Do you think the cost is excessive (25 bucks before shipping - though shipping charges appear to be on hiatus at the moment)? I'm so intrigued to hear what you think about this!
Update to reflect my husband's opinion: OK, just tried the top on with jeans and my husband said: Man, that looks great! He then followed it up with: It's attractive, youthful, sexy and - if you wore it on a date - I'd totally want to do you. So, apparently, I might have been too hard on this pattern. Caffy's comment is duly noted...