Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pattern Review: Papercut Pinnacle Top

We are feeling the love for all things Papercut lately. Their last pattern release was a cracker (the Kochi Kimono has become a firm favourite in these parts), and now their new collection Geo has made its way into our hot little hands. There is much to love in Geo (check our online shop under Papercut for others, plus Jane is in the middle of sewing up another of the Geo patterns, so watch this space)… but for me, the Pinnacle Top immediately called my name.

Pinnacle is a boxy top that can be made in a few different ways: either as a knit sweater or from woven fabric, each variation featuring those fantastic geometric seam lines down centre front. I’ve been on the look out for a loose, long sleeved woven top to wear with jeans for a while now, so Variation 2 with the higher neckline and pretty tie-back elbowed its way right to the top of my sewing queue.

Fabric choice 
This Pinnacle Top is made from “11pm”, a 100% washed linen in deepest navy and one of our lighter linens at 160gsm. I’m having quite the moment with this stuff, it’s incredibly soft and swishy with beautiful drape and suits the oversized boxiness of this top perfectly. Not so easy to capture in a photo (the curse of all dark tones)... but trust me, it's quite lush! Many of our washed linens would work beautifully for this pattern, or a tencel blend like this.

Pinnacle’s non-standard pattern shapes (two triangles, two ‘body’ pieces plus some neck binding) make for really fun sewing. I admit to having a bit of a head-scratch when it came to sewing the two body pieces together at the centre front where all the seam points meet. I couldn’t get my head around the diagrams so pinned a couple of steps ahead in order to be sure I didn’t end up with a sleeve hem inadvertently sewn to a neckline. Seam ripping on delicate swishy dark fabric? No thanks!

I’d recommend some basting at this stage. Getting that centre-point seam to meet was tricky so basting saved the day. Once that seam is complete though, this top comes together very quickly: some stitching, some folding and turning right-side out… and somehow a top appears. This was a really refreshing change from standard set in/raglan sleeve construction.

The other thing I’d recommend is to handle your cut pieces with care, especially the small triangles. The directions didn’t stipulate any stay-stitching and I was concerned that the neckline in particular might stretch out. It didn’t, so probably a little overly cautious on my behalf, but I think if I was sewing this in a slinky fabric again I'd do some stabilizing just to be sure.

Papercut have categorised this as suitable for beginners, and whilst there is nothing complicated or time consuming, I’d definitely want some garment experience under my belt before I tackled this pattern. 

After cutting out this in size M according to my measurements, I read that a lovely Instagram friend had just completed her first Pinnacle top. She also measured for the M, but had gone down two sizes to get her preferred fit. So I was expecting this to be oversized… and it is! Not a problem in this drapey light fabric, but next time (there will most definitely be a next time!) I’ll size down, especially for a less fluid fabric. 

Measuring about 40cm from neck to hem, the Pinnacle is fairly cropped, perfect for high-waisted pants-wearers. For me, my mid-40s midriff and my jeans though, it’s a resounding no without something layered underneath, so I’ll need to try to lengthen the pattern for peak jeans + slouchy top goodness. Next time? I'm eyeing off some fine striped linen/cotton for this pattern. Can’t wait!

Papercut Pinnacle Pattern can be found here.
'11pm' 100% washed linen can be found here.

- Fiona & Jane xx