Papercut Clover Dress

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress
I’m back from vacation in Jamaica (for now, still doing more traveling this month) where these pics were taken. We had fun but it’s good to be home.

I rushed to finish this dress before I left and even brought the embroidery thread with me to make the braided belt while I was there.

The Pattern: The Clover Dress by Papercut Patterns. I liked the style of the model photos with its drapey fabric, cool lace inserts, and fun tassel belt. I knew I wanted to use something flow-y like charmeuse or challis.

As I started cutting out my pieces I noticed some drafting details that I appreciated.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

For one – no dart on the raglan sleeve. Often for a woven raglan sleeve you need more curvature around the shoulder but I liked that the Clover was able to take that curve out of the sides and save me the effort of sewing darts or a two piece sleeve (also, no darts on the whole thing, yay!)

Also, the grainline goes straight down the center of each body pattern piece, swinging out on both sides at the hem. This makes the hem extra swing-y all around at each seam line rather than just swinging out at the side seams like if you were, say, cutting the piece on the fold. This also allows for more curvature at the center front, back and side seams at the waist.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

This isn’t a pure tent dress that you belt for shaping. It’s narrower and more fitted at the waist so you don’t have a major blousing effect when you tie the belt.

The Fabric: I used a rayon challis for the main fabric and leftover mystery, stretchy, knit lace-stuff for the inserts.
Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

The challis came from a now defunct local store and it’s made by Freespirit. The white lace came from some spandex warehouse in Dallas.

Challis is usually shifty so for this project I tried something new – dipping the fabric in liquid starch and popping it in the dryer. It certainly helped stiffen the fabric, about as much as spray starching it, however I noticed some areas were less well soaked than others and had to spot spray after drying.

I still had to iron the fabric afterward but this method definitely saved me lots of time. Next time I’ll make sure to thoroughly soak the fabric.

In the end, though, not even the starch could keep the bias edges of the pieces from stretching so I stay stitched every edge of every piece.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

For the belt I used the thicker type of embroidery thread and added a few more threads in my braid than the pattern called for. It’s a very narrow braid.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

The Changes: Only one major change – the way the fabric print ended up in the front of the dress produced this big red chevron effect up the center seam (you can see more of the red-splotch pattern on the back of the dress).

As much as I wanted to ignore the glaring arrow to the crotch, I couldn’t, so I sewed a wedge up the front from the hem grading to nothing to cut out most of the red area. This threw off the “swinginess” of the front of the dress a tad but I figured it was worth it.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

Because the lace was so stretchy I reinforced every single seam line that connected it to the regular fabric with stay tape. I think that helped stabilize the whole area. I sewed the center front seamline with a French seam because I figured it would be the best way to enclose the raw edges of the lace without using a serger. I added stay tape to that part, too.

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress

The Results: This dress is super cute! I love it! It’s fun and comfy to wear and the print is something I haven’t seen anywhere else. I love the pop of white with the lace and the belt. Obviously you don’t have to use something sheer, you could easily use a contrast opaque fabric, too.

It fit great right out of the envelope (I made an XS). I really think the tassels make the dress.

clovertwirl

I made a gif of the dress in full spin mode. Try not to get dizzy…

 

  • It looks so lovely! I think those colours are great on you and I love the tassel belt too!

  • Very lovely and summery dress. It looks great on you!

    • Thank you, Emily!

  • Gabrielle

    It looks great on you, and perfect for a holiday!

    Your comment about the lack of dart in the raglan sleeve is so interesting! When I made papercut’s undercover hood I found the lack of dart or curvature on the raglan sleeve kind of annoying, but I guess the drapier fabric in your clover dress makes a big difference to the way the sleeve drapes and fits… Either that or I have odd shoulders ;). Thanks for such a detailed review!

    • The tricky part about a raglan sleeve, I think, is you risk bunching of the fabric near the armpit if the curve isn’t good enough. This dress does have this a bit (you can see it best on the back view pic) but I’ve decided that it’s not bad enough for me bother with overfitting. It’s a matter of personal taste. I’ll take a little wrinkling if it saves me time from tracing and sewing a dart but I completely understand why people would want one.
      Thanks, Gabrielle!

  • Deb

    Gorgeous fabric choice. And the inset and belt match each other very nicely! :)

    • Thanks, I like the pop of white on the red and orange.

  • I think this is my favourite version of the Clover dress yet! Love that fabric so much!

  • Great minds think alike! I just finished a rayon challis Clover and I’m loving it. Question for you: are there any good fabric stores left in Austin? I’m visiting for the weekend and wanted to shop.

    • Aw, darn. I’m a little late (was traveling again, just got back home). Alas, there are not as many stores as there once was, however we still have a few. The Cloth Pocket has mostly quilting cottons but some apparel. Texstyles is like a candy shop but you have to check to make sure they’re open. Me & Ewe and Stitch Lab are two good options, too.

      • That’s ok, there’s always next time! I ended up with a piece of Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous from Stitch Lab and did check out Texstyles as well.

  • That twirling gif is everything. Clover’s definitely on my list for sometime soon!

  • It is so beautiful and intersting dress! I Like your outfit!

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  • Very cute! I’ve been meaning to make it up the pattern as well, though I’m not sure if I should lengthen it or not. Do you find the dress long enough? I’ve sewn up anther dress by Papercut and it came out quite short (I’m 5’8″) and I had to add a few inches to the hem.

    • I’m 5′ 6″ and it hits above the knee which is fine for me but you may need to add and inch or two. Thanks!