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A Spring Refresh with the Papercut Estella

As a sea of flowers take over the streets in an outstretched welcome to the spring season, it signals for an opportunity for a closet refresh AKA a good spring cleaning. While I don’t live in a cold place, I will not be swapping out my warm winter clothes for breezy spring attire like most but nevertheless, my closet would greatly benefit from an edit. I found myself adding a fair number of me made garments to my collection ever since I restarted my sewing journey last fall. Due to that, the amount of available space in my closet has grown smaller and smaller. Once I can free up some of that prime real estate, I aspire to be more intentional about the pieces that I add or continue to keep in that space (I may or may not have been inspired by The Home Edit). The concept of a capsule wardrobe or one that integrates a set number of clothing pieces that can be interchanged into a multitude of complementary combinations seems like a feasible solution to my problem. 

To achieve this going forward, I believe it’s best to recognize colors that I enjoy wearing (i.e. neutrals, purples, and pinks) and incorporate it into versatile patterns in comfortable fabrics. Thus when I laid eyes upon the Papercut Estella pattern, I was immediately smitten. I thought this pattern would go perfectly with the Vivaldi Linen in Purple Ash, checking all of the boxes for my capsule wardrobe building. At first, I thought I would make the dress version but in keeping with the desire to pursue the attainment of a functional capsule wardrobe, I settled on making the crop top with a maxi skirt. In this way, these two pieces can be coordinated together for a cohesive look or worn separately to be utilized in combination with other pieces. 

The Estella top can be worn in various ways. The amount of coverage can be controlled depending on which side the top is worn. For more coverage, the strap side can be worn at the back. For a more cropped look, the strap side can be worn towards the front and can be tied in many ways. Here are some of the tying options: 

The construction of this two piece set is quite cleverly put together. The only note I would suggest is to ensure that when pulling the elastic around the sleeve (step 13), to very securely pin down the elastic towards about 3/4 from the end of the casing before removing the safety pin at the open side. Due to a mistake of my own making, I found myself fumbling to get the elastic back out toward the open end as the elastic did not quite catch the stitching that was supposed to hold it in place. This made me sooo thankful for my loop turner as it was skinny enough to fit through the narrow casing for easier retrieval. But really, pinning it down as a safety net in case you’re a bit clumsy like me will be a lifesaver and time saver (take it from someone who managed to repeat this slip up on the other sleeve as well).

All in all, I really enjoy the multi-functionality of the top’s straps and I’m sure there are probably more tying combinations than what I came up with, which grants the opportunity to wear one top in many different ways. When worn in conjunction with the skirt, the set looks seamless like it was made to be a dress. However, I like that by creating a two piece look, I have the freedom to style it however I want to. The skirt comes in two lengths: long and short, so if I were to add a third piece (i.e. the short skirt), I could transform the look into a casual and playful one. The options are endless. I’d highly recommend giving the Estella pattern a go and experiment with its variety of styling potential for yourself.

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