Ikat Sigma dress

Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress

Sigma dress
Sigma dress

I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Papercut Patterns, recently they have just launched the new Constellation Collection in discount price so I thought it was the perfect time to get my first Papercut pattern! They also have free shipping which I like because the pattern price is really the amount I’m going to pay.

I especially love the pretty package, a brown box with cut out details and hanger shaped closure. The pattern pieces and the instructions are printed on brown recycled paper and the instructions can be cut and folded neatly into a mini booklet. So neat!

This is the Sigma dress, a simple semi fitted dress with front and back darts, side pockets, and variations of short/long sleeves and straight/gathered skirt. It also includes a separate waistband pattern if you only want to make the skirt.

My fabric is Indonesian ikat fabric from my sister in law. The color is iridescent green which unfortunately hard to catch by the camera. I made the long sleeve variation with straight skirt and omitted the pockets.

Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress

I cut the pattern is sixe XXS on bust, XS on waist, and back to XXS on hip. I might get away by cutting a straight XXS but I like the extra ease around my waist. After comparing the bodice length of the pattern to mine, I shortened the bodice by 3 cm. This is a pretty standard alteration for me. I also made swayback adjustment 0.5 cm on the bodice and 0.5 cm on the skirt back.

In case you’re interested on my shortening alteration, this is a photo of the bodice pieces. I used to shorten the bodice in one line but sometimes it resulted in too deep armholes and necklines. By dividing the shortened amount in three, I can shorten the armholes and neckline too. Then I revised the sleeves and neck facing pieces to match the new length.

You can see that in the bodice back piece, the shortened amount on the center back is 2.5 cm while on the side seam is 2 cm. The 0.5 cm is for the swayback adjustment. I then trued the grainline direction. On the back skirt piece, I only shaved 0.5 cm on the center back and made new curve to the side seam.

Shortening alteration lines

After these alterations, I cut my pieces in lining fabric first as I don’t really like making muslins. Once I checked the fit on the lining/muslin, I cut the fashion fabric. The pattern actually doesn’t have lining but I added it because my fabric is really clingy. I also ended up not using the neckline facing and finish the neckline using my lining fabric.

Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress

I really love the result! With such a simple looking dress, a great fit really matters. Although the price of the pattern is much higher that the Big Four patterns, I can see that I will be using this pattern over and over again. So many looks can be achieved with one pattern. The brown recycled paper also made the pattern pieces sturdy and can last a long time. This is not going to be my last Papercut pattern! They’re having a Thanksgiving sale now until Monday so I just snatched up another one.

Ikat Sigma dress Ikat Sigma dress

Getting a haircut
Getting a haircut

Now can we talk about the hair??

You might have not known it but actually I used to always have a short haircut. I don’t have beautiful mane so having long hair felt unnatural to me. They poke my eye, get tangled, and sometimes make my sensitive face itchy. They’re frizzy and thin and couldn’t decide whether they’re straight or wavy.

Sometime before I moved to Japan, I began to let my hair grow just to see how it would look like. But then for some reason, Sidra got attached to that hair. It may have to do with the somewhat chaotic life we had before and that he needed something that he can hold unto. Or maybe that’s just how some kids are.

So for the past six years, I would ask Sidra this question: “Can I cut my hair?” And these are his answers:

  • 2008 (kindergarten): Nooooooo! Noooooo!! NOOOOOOO!!! (followed by tears and tantrum)
  • 2009: No! Why would you do that?! That hair is mine! (clutching  the hair tightly. Ouch.)
  • 2010: No! You’ve promised that you would never ever ever cut the hair!
  • 2011: No! Okay… just a liiiiitle bit! You can cut the hair 1 cm! (Of course he didn’t really notice when I got more than 5 cm haircut.)
  • 2012: No (then focused the attention back to his Nintendo DS).
Sidra's haircut
Sidra’s haircut

I think by this time he just did it out of habit, so I decided to help him break the cycle -for my own benefit, of course-. I took him to Kaz Taira of Dude hair salon to get his first professional haircut. Of course he refused at first, but he finally agreed after I showed him all the cool haircut pictures that mother’s homemade haircut couldn’t get. What is it with boys that they always have to say ‘no!’ everytime they were offered something new? Is is just Sidra?

Anyway he was very pleased with his haircut, and it seemed that all his friends thought so too. He has gone to the hairdresser three times and never looked back to his mother’s homemade haircut again. Now that he’s converted, I asked him the question again and here’s his answer:

  • 2013 (5th grade): Okay, as long as the guy does it.

Mission accomplished!

After the haircut: My husband loves the pixie cut and said it suits me better. Sidra said that the short cut is good but he still likes my long hair better.

Pattern is Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns, size XXS on bust and hip, XS on waist.

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  • LoveYourSite

    I love your site.
    Your haircut looks nice too. Thanks for the patterns and tutorials.

  • I love your dress. The fabric looks like it was just made for that pattern and you got it to fit you perfectly.

  • Amy

    Wow! You did a perfect job placing the print in the most interesting way, and what a cute silhouette on you. I love your dress!

  • Sarah


    I love your dress- I’m in the midst of making mine- I’d love to line mine too- but I don’t know hw to line the sleeves! Do I sew another bodice complete with sleeves then just attach it at the neckline? How did you make your sleeve hems look so neat?

    I love, love love your dress and your hair is fab too!

    Sarah x

    • Yes I made another bodice with sleeves then attached it to the outer bodice on the neckline and end of sleeves. Then I made several handtacked stitch around the waistline and armholes.
      Thank you!

  • I’m about to make this (waiting for post!) and great to read about how you found making yours-really like the bodice alterations pic. Can I ask how tall you are? I’m 5ft1 so will need to do some shortening I suspect! Thanks

    • I’m 4’11” so I always do lots of shortening on commercial pattern 🙂

  • This wasn’t a pattern that took my eye in the new Papercut collection, but after seeing your dress, I’m really really likin it. I’ve got two more Papercut patterns that I must sew before I buy any more, but I do think this one needs to be on my list. I love your fabric, super awesome and your new haircut simply rocks!

  • Love your haircut and glasses! I also love how the dress turned out!

  • Your dress is beautiful, that fabric is amazing and your hair looks great! I can totally relate to how you felt about your longer hair. I have very fine hair and I hate the feeling of it on my face. I’m also edging nearer and nearer to a short cut but you carry it off so well!

  • Becky

    The hair, dress and shoes—you look fabulous! So does Sidhra’s cut! Btw, I had quite a chuckle looking at your dog’s face in all the photos with the new chi chi foster dog. Your dog has that expression of, “Seriously????? Who is this guy???” 🙂

  • The dress is great, that ikat fabric makes it!

    Love your hair! I’m glad Sidra could be convinced and he looks like big ol’ handsome dude now. Wow! He’s getting big.

  • Kathy

    Love your haircut. I cut my hair when my son was 4 or 5 and I still feel bad about that. He used to stroke my hair before he went to bed. I wished I had waited. I’m glad you waited until Sidra was ready.

  • Beautiful dress! It really showcases the gorgeous textile so well. Also I love the new hair! You rock short hair so well!

  • Ooo a border print ikat, so lovely! I love how this dress fits on you and the super gorgeous lining, I might have to try this pattern out and try the extra ease around the waist. Hair looks great too!

  • I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!! I’ve always had short hair myself and for some reason the last three years I just got lazy and let it grow…. and grow…. and now I’m kind of attached to it. But I think in my heart I will always be a short hair girl, and I get really excited when people that I know (or who’s blogs I follow) get a pixie. It’s just the cutest cut ever! Love Sidra’s new ‘do as well!
    And I love your dress! I just bought my first Papercut Pattern during the same sale and am excited to give it a try! The fabric you used is just beautiful! And I love how classic this pattern is! You could literally make it 100 times!

    • Thank you Sallie! Aww I would love to see you rocking the short hairdo! 🙂

  • I love the dress and the haircut! So gorgeous! And Sidra looks so handsome, too– I love his shorter haircut. 🙂

  • Love your haircut – I just went super short pixie again too – after about 4 years of long, unmanageable hair! I think your new hairstyle really works with the cool vibe of the dress you’ve made.

  • Seattlerain

    Oh, I do so love your version! I adore anything made with batik, so naturally I am envious of your ikat Sigma. Anxiously awaiting my Sigma and bomber to come in the mail. Maybe I’ll buy some other patterns during the sale, too! Your hair is fantastic!