No matter the outside temperature, I’m always chilly at work, even with a lab coat on. Working in the lab or on the computer, I always roll up my sleeves—most sweaters just get stretched out in the wrist cuffs. I found this great RTW sweater at the consignment shop that has ¾ length sleeves that I’ve wanted to mimic, so when there was a call for reviews for the Zircon sweater/dress, I leapt at the opportunity. It was a great way to have more brightly colored sweaters for work. I was so excited about finally getting to try the cocoon silhouette that I made a sweater and a dress.
Pattern name: Zircon Sweater/Dress by Paprika Patterns. The pattern includes both a dress and a sweater with a relaxed fit and an interesting geometric yoke. I made the dress and sweater.
Size range: 1-10
What size did you make? I made a straight size 6
What are your measurements, height, and body type? I’m 5’5”, with a long torso, and would generally describe my body as a top heavy hourglass.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? I made a straight size 6 to fit my bust and did not grade down in the waist/hips since I thought that it might alter the cocoon shape of the pattern. Additionally, I shortened the sleeves to just about the elbow, which took a negligible amount of time. After finishing the sweater, I took in the sleeves for the dress by about 1.5”; this took no additional time since I just sewed with larger seam allowances (I was making both garments (mostly) in tandem).
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
- Overall, the instructions were clear. There is a guide for choosing and printing your size, as well as handy tips throughout the directions.
- The construction was extremely straightforward.
- This is a great pattern for getting familiar with knits/stretch fabrics since it uses stable knits (5-20% stretch). There is a handy guide for determining the stretch percentage included in the pattern.
- The yokes were fairly tedious but nothing overly difficult; there is even a tutorial to supplement the pattern directions.
- The construction is broken down into sections, i.e. neckline, which made it easy to find good stopping points during the sewing process. Each section had at least one diagram that really made it easy to decipher the fiddly parts of the sewing process. This really helped in areas where the construction was a bit fiddly.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
- I really do not like the fit of the pattern on me. I’ve always wanted to try the cocoon look, but I really do not feel great wearing these garments outside of work. I think need to exaggerate the cocoon style a bit more so it looks less frumpy. Maybe the weight of the extra fabric is preventing the dress from looking as much of a cocoon as I would prefer.
- However, overall, I have two comfortable makes to wear for work, and I always smile when putting them on because of the bright colors!
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
- I will likely make this pattern again. I am curious to see how it would look in a non-sweatshirt fabric and bringing in the waist.
- I really like the statement yoke and it was a great way to work on precision sewing skills.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up? Consider how cocoon-y you would like your dress when choosing your size. There are lots of tutorials on-line for working with knits, but the pattern instructions are helpful for finding the right type of stitches for each part of the construction.
Pattern Rating System
Size Range (1-5): 3
Instructions (1-5): 5
Construction Process (1-5): 4
Final Fit (1-5): 4
Overall Rating (1-5): 4