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Anima Pant Competition-Update

Posted by: papercut patterns on 11:37 AM
Hello ANIMA angels!

Due to public demand we have decided to extend the ANIMA PANT COMPETITION to Sunday the 27th July! Which means you have 4 DAYS left to enter! Winners will still be announced on the 31st of July right here on The Papercut Collective blog.

Also, when uploading your photo to instagram please make sure your account is set to public, otherwise we cannot see your beautiful creation! If you'd prefer to keep it set as private you can also upload your picture to our flickr page which can be found here.

We are so impressed with what you've all entered, this is going to be SUCH a tough decision!

Papercut x

Making the SOMA Pants

Posted by: papercut patterns on 1:46 PM
Alright ladies, let's get down to business. It's serious SOMA sewing time.
For our first SOMA post we're going to run you through making the SOMA bikini bottoms!
Sewing a pair of lined bikini pants has never been easier.
We'll show you why...

Place front and back right sides together of both your main and lining.

Keeping the fronts and backs as one, place lining pieces on top of main so that the wrong side of the fronts are together. The two fronts should be sandwiched between the back pieces.

Pin through all 4 layers at the side seams and crotch seam.

Sew seams together, with a long narrow zig zag stitch.

Trim any excess seam allowance.

Hold each edge of main fabric ready to turn through to outside.

Pull the main through to outside so that all seams are enclosed and that lining is now on the inside.

In one simple movement your pants should look like this! Seams are hidden, and the right sides of fabric are facing out.

Seams are neatly enclosed.

Neaten all remaining edges around leg and waist openings, so that main and lining are one.  This can be done with a zig zag stitch if you don't have a serger.

Before you sew on the elastic, you want to make sure you use the correct tension. It's a good idea to have a play around on a scrap piece of fabric first. We've created 3 examples so you know the correct and incorrect tension to use and what to look out for. We use the slight tension which means stretching the elastic ever so slightly onto the fabric. If gathers have formed you've stretched the fabric too much.

Now it's time to sew the elastic on. Using a wider zig zag with a short stitch length, stitch your 1cm/3/8'' elastic on to the lining of your leg and waist edges, right on the edges.

Stitch the whole way round.

With your needle down, stop about 2cm from the end. Cut your elastic exactly where it hits the beginning of the elastic.

Zigzag the rest of the elastic. There should be no overlapping.

Fold your seam inwards, wrong sides together, so the elastic is enclosed. Stitch with a a wide zig zag with a short stitch length.  Do this for both leg openings and waist opening.

Voila! You have a beautiful new pair of bikini bottoms.

Now wasn't that easy!

Papercut xx

SOMA Supplies

Posted by: papercut patterns on 3:10 PM

Alright, so you've decided to make the SOMA swimsuit.  You've bought the pattern, cut it out, but what next?  What fabric should I buy?  What thread should I use?  Never fear, we are here to help!  If you've never sewn a swimsuit before it can definitely feel a little daunting, but we're here to ease you into it and show you sewing a bathing suit really is a piece of pie.  In little to no time, you'll have a new suit for every day of the week.  If only it was summer all year round...

Let's talk fabric... 

An assortment of stretch fabrics have been used for swimwear but generally a Nylon Lycra or Spandex is best as it's a four-way stretch fabric, that's also quick drying.  The Fabric Store is our #1 choice for the best quality and range of fabrics.  The Fabric Store is based in New Zealand but also has stores in Australia and one in LA in the US.  Here are a few examples of the types of gorgeous fabrics they supply... the fabrics will vary, so pop in to see what's in store.

If you're not lucky enough to have a "Fabric Store" nearby, check out your local fabric shop for their selection of fabrics or you can buy gorgeous swimwear fabrics online at any of these websites...

Girl Charlee
Spandex House
Spandex World
Funki Fabrics

Let's talk supplies...

First check with your local sewing supplies store but if it proves difficult finding what you need, we've compiled a list of different places that have the appropriate swimwear fabric and notions.  If you do find a good supplier, please share with us and comment on the bottom of this post!


hairyfairy.co.nz-Fold Over Elastic
diycraftsupplies.co.nz-Fold Over Elastic
newzealandmerinoandfabrics.co.nz-Fold Over Elastic
etsy.com-Bra Rings
etsy.com-Bra Clasps
etsy.com-Bra Strapping


etsy.com-Bra Strapping Elastic
thefabricfairy.com-Fold Over Elastic
corsetmaking.com-Bra Clasps
corsetmaking.com-Bra Rings



A 100% polyester thread is best for sewing swimwear fabric as it is strong, durable and has excellent sunlight (UV) resistance.  You never want to use a cotton thread as the chlorine and harsh sunlight will cause it to deteriorate quickly, leaving your beautiful swimsuit as scraps of fabric!


A lining is necessary in swimwear as it stops the swimsuit from going see-through once wet and also adds strength and extra coverage around the bust and crotch. When choosing your lining it needs to be of a similar stretch to your outer fabric, so that the swimsuit stretches as one.  A synthetic four-way stretch fabric made of 100% Nylon is ideal. You can use a nude or black lining depending on whether you use a light or dark coloured outer fabric. If you can't find the right lining or would like the swimsuit to be thicker you can use the same fabric as your outer for your lining.


In our SOMA swimsuits we have used bra strapping elastic as it is firmer and has less stretch than other elastics.  This is vital as some other elastics can stretch out of shape and can quickly turn your new swimsuit into a saggy mess within a few wears.  Strong elastic also gives you much more support in the bust.  However, bra strapping can be difficult to find so if you can't find it, don't worry, we will be releasing a post on how to make your own fabric covered strapping, which will give it a similar strength to the bra strapping.  There has been a bit of discussion about the incorrect elastics deteriorating quickly, but after a bit of research and talking to a number of people, we have concluded that as the elastic we have recommended is the same composition as swimwear fabric, they should deteriorate at a similar rate.  No matter what you use, your swimsuit isn't going to last forever, however, if you rinse your swimsuit after every wear and don't dry it in direct sunlight it should stay looking beautiful!   


For binding the edges of the fabric we have used a fold over elastic, which is easy to use and gives a clean, neat finish. If you'd prefer to use something else we will be showing you how to create your own fabric binding very soon! 


In general, when sewing stretch fabrics without a cover seamer or overlocker, you want to use a narrow zig zag stitch which allows the fabric to stretch without breaking. You want to use a wider zigzag when topstitching the elastic down, and narrow zigzag when sewing seams. It's best to play around on a piece of scrap fabric before you start sewing to make sure the tension and stitch lengths are correct.  Stretch the fabric to check that the thread won't snap.  If your sewing machine has a stretch stitch function, you can also use that.


For highly elastic, synthetic knitwear, stretch needles are definitely your best bet. They help prevent skipped stitches, which can sometimes be an issue when using ball point needles.  Similar to a ballpoint needle, Stretch needles have a round point so they won't cut the fibres of your fabric, which will leave you with holes in your seams. 

That about covers it... next up we will be showing you step by step how to make the bikini pants!

Watch this space...

Papercut x

Everything SOMA!

Posted by: papercut patterns on 2:08 PM

Hello bikini babes! 

Loving the SOMA swimsuit as much as we do? 
Unfortunately in the Southern Hemisphere we are shivering our butts off and have to admire our new suits from afar, but for those of you who are lucky  enough to be feeling the heat of the Summer rays, we hope you're flaunting your suits with pride! 
We're all abuzz about SOMA so we've put together heaps of tutorials about making your own straps and bindings, adding support and lots of how-to's.... basically everything SOMA!
We will be releasing these posts over the next couple of weeks.
Sewing a swimsuit can seem a little daunting, but with our help you'll see it is seriously a breeze.  
If you haven't already got your hands on a SOMA you can do so here

In other news, the end of the month is drawing near... which means you have a few weeks left to enter the Anima Pant competition!  How is everyone's coming along? We've already seen some super cute entries but know there's plenty more on the way... we can't wait to see them all!  You can keep up with the competition on our Anima Pant Competition page on our website.

Papercut x

How to sew a Neck Binding

Posted by: papercut patterns on 4:41 PM

When it comes to sewing on a neck binding, there are various different techniques.  This is the method we use for our Ensis Tee & Undercover Hood Sweater.

Fold your binding strip in half lengthwise with right sides together.

Pin together the short ends.

Stitch in place.

Press seam open.

Fold the binding in half, wrong sides together, matching seam lines.

Press binding in half, widthways.

Pin binding to neckline matching the binding seam to a discreet seamline or position it so that it sits at the centre back point of neckline.

Find the opposite point on the binding strip and the neckline by folding in half from the pinned point.

Find the half way point between those two points.

Then find the halfway point between those points, so that the fabric is distributed evenly.

Stitch together, stretching the binding to fit neckline as you sew.

Neaten edge.

Topstitch edge. It's entirely up to you if you want to do this last step, it looks nice but isn't necessary!


Anima Pant Inspiration

Posted by: papercut patterns on 4:01 PM

Looks like we have quite a few of you up for the challenge for our Anima Pant Competition!  We're really excited to see what you come up with!
Here's a bit of inspiration to get you started...