New make: Papercut Patterns Kyoto tee


This is my contribution to the 2017 trend-set of ruffles and “statement sleeves”. I’m not a person to take on trends for the sake of it, but when I saw the brilliant new Sakura collection from Papercut Patterns, the Kyoto tee was one of the patterns that jumped out at me – and it just happened to have a ruffled sleeve. I immediately had in mind the short-sleeved version in a graphic knit – and here is the result.


I really rather like it. It’s treading a fine line of ruffle-cool versus part-time flamenco dancer, but I reckon the drop-shoulder and styling of the tee help it retain a modest modern vibe.

David James Photography

This is actually my first completed pattern from Papercut Patterns. I do like their patterns (their packaging is amazing!) and the launch of the Sakura collection seems to have been widely met with praise from the online sewing community. I don’t know about you, but I snapped up three of their designs in the launch sale. As well as this Kyoto tee/sweater, I got the Saporo coat and the Kobe dress.

The tee was a pleasure to make. It’s an oversized tee by design and I made size L, according to my measurements. I could possibly have gone down a size, but I do like the intended loose style. The Kyoto has very dropped shoulders in any size making the sleeve ruffle more of an embellishment than a statement and I like the balance. There’s a long-sleeved sweater version too, and that may well end up appearing in my autumn/winter sewing plans.


It was mostly a case of normal tee construction apart from the ruffle on the sleeves. I used a serger for most of the seams, but a normal machine to create the ruffles and also to attach them, in case I screwed it up. The instructions told you to pin the ruffle first and then gather, but it seemed easier to me to first gather to the approximate length and then pin onto the sleeve and tweak. This was a minor digression; the instructions are concise and straightforward with good diagrams. I think this would be a satisfying project for a confident beginner who wanted a to make a solid basic with a twist.


The fabric is a blue/black graphic knit from Girl Charlee. I can’t tell you much about the content as I got it in a knit fix BST exchange, but it definitely has a little lycra/elastane in it and is a medium-weight knit, which gives the ruffles a little weight and allows them to sit nicely on the sleeve. Girl Charlee don’t do much in the way of graphic knits, so I snapped up any good ones when I got a chance during the knit fix period, and this particular fabric has been sitting patiently in my stash for at least a year.


I spent a little time working on a good fit for the neckband as that is one area that is undoubtedly tricky on a knit top. I was using self-fabric and ended up taking around an inch off to get a nice smooth finish on the neckline. I’ve decided to start using a ratio of 0.875 neckband to neckline and tweaking from there. I read somewhere that’s the base ratio they use in the garment industry, so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! It worked out about right for this tee, at any rate.


All in all, this was a pleasurable and fast sew. I used around 1.5yds of fabric and it took just a few hours. I recommend it and look forward to more Papercut Patterns patterns! (That must get annoying sometimes). I leave you with my favourite pic – I look like I’m coming in to attack my photographer husband (actually I’m just squinting in the sun, but sometimes we do feel like this after a photo sesh).




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