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After going down a jeans sewing rabbit hole last Winter, I've found myself happily reaching for jeans most days since the weather turned cool. But there's a hole in my wardrobe for a high-waisted, midi-length, straight-ish skirt *jeans alternative* and the Papercut Aura pattern looked promising.

 

Aura includes a pattern for both a dress and skirt, the feature of each a wonderfully wide wrap tie (the dress has some appealing balloon sleeves, but that’s for another day!) A word on sizing: this pattern is inclusive of sizes 1-8 (or UK 6-20), which translates to waist/hip 56/82cm to 98/124cm or, in the old money 22/32.3 to 38.6/48.8 inches. This places me near the top of the range, and leaves out a helluva lot of other sewists. In an email to stockists recently Papercut indicated that they are currently putting their energy toward expanding their size range; we look forward to that change.

 

 


 

Fabric

This black version is made from our Japanese textured linen/cotton twill. It’s a great basic light-medium weight fabric, nice and soft but not cardboardy, but with some stability and structure; we have it in four colours and have all used it with great results for pants - and now a skirt. You could also use one of our mid-weight crumple texture canvases, or washed linen for a floaty warm weather version.

 

Construction

Someone recently asked on Instagram why we thought this pattern - ostensibly a fairly straightforward wrap skirt with no extra closures - was rated for intermediate sewists. I suspect that probably has something to do with the side seam opening for one of the ties to pass through. The method used to make the opening falls squarely in the ‘just do what they say and trust the process’ camp. The resulting opening is a nicely designed one that’s well finished, so well worth any jumps of faith required. When it came to putting the skirt side and back pieces together to complete the opening, I called on old-friend seam ripper as I couldn’t get the top skirt edges sitting quite as flush as I wanted first time, but other than that, this was smooth sailing. I can’t speak to the dress iteration of the pattern but I think the Aura skirt could be happily sewn by an advanced beginner. Once you join both the front pieces to the skirt back, the resulting piece of fabric takes up quite some real estate on the sewing table, so clear some space around your machine!

 

 

 

Wearing

The ties can be tied at the back or the front. So far, I feel most comfortable with them to the front, but like the look of it tied to the back in the pattern booklet, too. There’s a lot of fabric to wrangle when you put this on for the first time, trying to figure out which tie goes where; the ties sort of scrunch down a bit and cross over at the back, if you’re wondering!

 

 

As it’s June, I’m currently wearing this with tights and boots. The fabric does catch a little if I’m walking at top speed and it honestly doesn’t bother me, but I could investigate some kind of slip if push came to shove. If making this for cool climate wear only, I’d consider underlining it. That said, I’m looking forward to teaming this with a tee shirt and sneakers in warmer weather, too.

 

 

 

Modifications

I measured across two sizes so graded from an 8 at the waist to a 6 in the hip. I checked the finished measurements, took a risk and didn’t make a toile figuring there would be wearing ease from the wrap. On reflection grading was possibly not completely necessary given some excess fabric at the back waist, so I could have gone down a size or so there. Luckily, it’s a wrap skirt and these are minor adjustments, so I will pull those ties in and move on! 

 

Regrettably, the Aura skirt has no pockets. I didn’t add any and I’m really missing them! I'd rather not add a patch pocket so not to distract from that lovely curved seam at the front, and one in the side seam may interfere with fit at the hips... but this skirt is on notice; a pocket may be installed before Winter is out!

We are currently sold out of the Aura paper pattern but the PDF can be downloaded direct from Papercut. 

 

- Fiona xx

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