I couldn’t resist – I made Paprika Patterns’ new Onyx Shirt Pattern, and I dyed my shirt with Paprika.
Lisa of Paprika Patterns put out a call for pattern reviewers and I was lucky enough to be selected. This is my first attempt at the pattern, in a cotton double gauze purchased online from Etsy shop Fabric Treasury. I’ve already purchased this Atelier Brunette cotton for version two. I used two vintage pearl buttons from a charity shop to secure my epaulets, and patterned bias binding from Guthrie & Ghani around the neckline.
This is actually the second Paprika Patterns’ pattern I’ve tried. I previously purchased the Jade Skirt, but haven’t yet gotten around to blogging it. I find their patterns very professionally presented and produced. The website allows you to create an account so you can always access the latest version of each pattern (and versions are numbered / changes noted so it’s easy to identify what has changed; which appeals to me massively as a project manager!). The website also has a tutorial section, separate to the blog, which includes a couple of nice little photo tutorials to support making the Onyx Shirt. The printed pattern instructions refer to these tutorials so you can’t miss them. The pattern instructions themselves are very cleanly presented, with clear and easy to follow diagrams.
Happily the pattern prints out in only 12-15 pages (depending on size selected), and a copy-shop version is also provided. Paprika Patterns split their pattern sheets into two files depending on your size, because they draft with two separate blocks for smaller and larger sizes. A one-page instruction sheet on choosing a size if you fall mid-range is included.
I cut a straight size 2 based on my bust measurement. I actually fall between sizes, but was able to get away with the smaller size due to the boxy fit / ease in the pattern. I really like the fit and the shape of the pattern – especially the rolled cuffs and epaulets. The shoulders are supposed to be slightly dropped, but mine appear to be much more so than the product photos. I may make a modification to raise the sleeves next time, although I actually don’t mind the dropped look.
All in all, this is a sweet simple shirt that is quick to whip up, but with enough detail to keep things interesting. It’s totally my style and I’ll be making more.
Although the finished colour of the fabric is quite subtle, you can see the difference compared with the undyed colour of the fabric below. This double gauze is lovely and soft, but creases like linen and frays a lot. Prior to dyeing it, I cut out all of the pattern pieces and tacked around all edges to prevent excessive fraying and keep the layers of the double gauze together, which worked a treat.
To dye my fabric, I dissolved a full jar of ground paprika from the supermarket (approx 46g) in a large stainless steel pot with enough water to cover the double gauze and some yarn I also wanted to dye. I heated them on a low heat for around an hour, and then left the fabric and yarn in the pan to cool for an additional couple of hours. One of the 100% wool yarns did felt slightly so I probably let the temperature get a little too hot, or agitated it a bit too much.
The yarns I dyed (previously shown in their undyed state) were (from left to right below):
♥ 100% wool DK (TOFT Alpaca, in Oatmeal)
♥ 100% merino wool chunky (Rowan Big Wool)
♥ 75% merino / 20% silk / 5% cashmere DK (Sublime)
♥ 100% cotton (Rowan handknit cotton)
You can see that the cotton yarn hardly took on any colour, but the three wools took the colour of the paprika to greater and lesser extents.
I dyed without mordanting, as I purchased the fabric prepared for dyeing. I’m aware that paprika is reported to fade easily, so will see if the colour does fade and if so will re-dye.