Saiph Dress – It all turned out ok…

Fabric: Foliage Canopy Crepe

Pattern: Saiph by Papercut

“Sometimes bad things happen to good fabric” When I was making this dress that is exactly what was going through my head. I had added quite a bit to the length (about 25cm) as when I measured the pattern it was hardly going to cover my bum. With the flippy frill round the base of the dress, my dignity stood no chance. Plus I’m not much of a short skirt wearer. Anyone who has spent more than 3 mins running around after a 3 year old knows that young children and clothes you can’t bend over in simply don’t mix. My plan was a long sleeved dress that was long enough to wear now with tights, then bare legs and trainers in the spring.

At the final fitting, frill added but hems still to do, I was excited to see what this dress would look like. Bearing in mind I had already stalked the High St to find a very similar shape in ‘& Other Stories’ that I could try on to see if this style suited me. I had high hopes.


These hopes were cruelly dashed once I turned round and looked in the mirror. Maybe it’s because I’m wearing  my slippers, I naively thought as I rummaged around for a pair of heels in the bottom of my wardrobe. But alas, these had no impact on the Nora Batty reflection that stared back at me in the mirror.  The only things missing were the curlers and house coat.

The issues started with sleeves that were too tight at the elbows, apparently I have wide elbows?? Who knew? The extra length I had added to the dress did NOTHING for me, with the exception of making me look the oldest and frumpiest I have ever looked.

Plus, where I had graded from the smaller size on top to a bigger size on the bottom I had somehow included extra bits for bumps over my hips that simply don’t exist on anybody. The result was quite frankly terrifying.

I pulled it off in frustration, not before showing it to my other half so we could have a good old laugh at me. Sometimes when things are this bad the only thing to do is walk away for a while to reflect. Sensing that without some drastic changes this dress was never going to make it out into the wild I ran through some options:

  1. Forget all about it (the fabric is too good to give up on)
  2. Chop it off into a top (but the sleeves were so tight I couldn’t lift my arms up)
  3. Hack it back. (YESSS…)

So I took out as much of the original length as decency would allow, cut the arms right back to cute capped sleeves, and resolved that I would find an occasion to wear a short sleeved dress that was so short that I could only wear with black opaque tights.


As luck would have it the very next night I was going out for dinner with the girls, determined not to waste the fabric or dress, I put it on and guess what? I LOVED it. The changes worked, I even got complimented on it as soon as I entered the restaurant. You know, that amazing moment when somebody says ‘I love your dress’ and you get to turn round bursting with pride and say casually ‘Thanks, I made it’


So although I didn’t end up with the dress I planned and if the sun ever decides to show it’s face again then this dress will have to go back in the cupboard till black tights season starts over again.  But hey on the plus side it’s forecast snow again this weekend so that may not be for a while yet.


Happy sewing, Josie xxx

9 thoughts on “Saiph Dress – It all turned out ok…

  1. Jo says:

    That looks really cute on you! I might have to buy some of that fabric, I can use it as camouflage in the Singapore Botanical Gardens!

  2. Ann Marshall says:

    Worth all your trouble. You look fabulous. Love this fabric with the black tights and I’m sure the dress will still look great with bare legs and sandals.

  3. Carol Monks says:

    The wide elbows are a curse aren’t they? I have similar problems with some patterns and high street clothes (Zara, I’m looking at you!). The finished article looks fab. Well done for persevering.

  4. Justine McGrath says:

    This is lovely and the fabric 😍 I’d wear it in the autumn with jeans. I’ve lots of dresses that are too short now and it gives them an extra lease of life. This looks the perfect style for that.

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