I was recently sent a copy of the Jasper Sweater/Dress from Paprika Patterns. I was signed up as a potential pattern tester – but instead they offered me the pattern (for free) to review, at the time of release. The email I received was very specific that I was under no obligation to review positively and all the opinions below are my own. I also have a pattern to give away to one commenter, whom I will choose at random.
I decided to post this one as a review for the CSC, rather than on my own blog, because I feel like this is a good pattern for the curvy sewer for a number of reasons.
Firstly, this pattern is a princess-seamed sweater. Princess seams are notoriously flattering and I think they make this pattern less likely to result in a swampy oversized look. Even better, they make the Jasper easy to adjust to fit a range of body types. The different lengths offered also accommodate more body types.
Secondly, there is both a good range of sizes (I am not at the top of the size chart, which I often am for indie patterns) and, more importantly, there is great sizing information. By this, I mean helpful guidance on how to best choose your size, information on the cup size drafted for, information on the amount of ease at certain measurements, and a finished size table.
All of these factors made it much, much easier for me to confidently choose a size (I sewed between an 8 and a 9) and get straight onto sewing it with no muslin. There is also a tutorial on how to do a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) in this garment, which is very useful given the princess seams in the design. Given the sizing and ease in this pattern, however, I didn’t actually need one, which was a welcome relief from every other pattern out there! 🙂
The pattern calls for a heavier knit with less stretch, like a classic sweatshirt fabric. I live in Sydney and would get less than a week’s wear out of such a thing, so I substituted for a mystery lighter weight knit (Spotlight…), but one that still matched the stretch requirements.
I also added accents of a light-medium weight grey ponte I had on hand.
Construction-wise, there were a couple of tricky elements in this pattern. The pockets have welts – the instructions for which detail a method that was completely new to me. I referred to the tutorial online, with its explanatory photos, and the end result was great. I also used the tutorial on matching stripes, as my fabric does essentially have a grid on it. This was mostly a success, though it took me a while to get the hang of it. There are a number of tutorials which accompany this pattern on topics like choosing fabric, picking a size, and sewing the hood.
The pattern comes with two main variations: dress or sweater length and “big collar” versus hood. I made the dress version, but then actually hacked about 6 inches off the end to make it more of a tunic length. I felt the dress was too overwhelming in the fabric I picked and that the tunic-length was more flattering on me. This was an easy alteration to make after sewing the main shell and trying it on to see where I thought it should end on my body.
My ratings are as follows:
Size Range: 3.5–4 (a reasonable range but great step through on how to choose a size plus supporting adjustment tutorials)
Instructions: 3.5 (mostly very clear – lost some points as I would have struggled a bit without the welt tutorial)
Construction Process: 4.5 (pretty straightforward and a quick sew once cut out and pockets done)
Final Fit: 4 (I didn’t like the dress length on me and it would have been even longer had I adjusted to add more for my height)
I think this pattern is well drafted, really clear about sewing and sizing decisions, and flattering for my body type (once I took out some length). It may well suit other types. The princess seams allow a good fit to the body and the different lengths open up some options as well.
If you would like to win a copy of this pattern, comment below with what colours or patterns you would make this from and I will pick a winner at random on March 31st.