I Dream of Jasper…

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika patterns Jasper dress - www.craftylittlesecret.comEven though I live in California, I still dream of warm cozy clothes in the winter. This winter I had been fantasizing about a funky sweatshirt dress that had some element of style that would make it special. I was thinking kangaroo pocket, I was thinking cowl neck. And I didn’t know it yet, but I was thinking Jasper.

I had pinned Paprika PatternsJasper hoodie before it was a pattern for sale. So imagine my delight when I found that not only had the hoodie been made into a pattern for public consumption, but that the pattern also included a dress and/or cowl option.

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika Patterns Jasper Dress - www.craftylittlesecret.com

In other news, I don’t know what’s with my camera. My photos were just poor quality this shoot 😦

Shortly after I bought the pattern for my Jasper dress, I saw Gillian’s blue version.  Wise woman that she is, Gillian advised me to cut a size smaller than I thought I needed because the pattern runs large. But I laughed in the face of wisdom! Then promptly spent the remainder of my time sizing down the pattern…. Ooops! In the end I took about an inch out of the back seams and all the way down the arms. I also brought the front seams in under the bust, but left them as-is at the actual bust and around the hips.

Extra fabric where I didn’t need it, and none where I did! Despite the pattern’s clear statement that this dress was intended for a 5’7″ frame, my 5’10” self cut the pattern straight out of the package without adding any additional length. I guess I’m not wearing this one to work!

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika Pattern Jasper dress - www.craftylittlesecret.com

Some other pattern instuction that should definitely be heeded, is fabric selection. This pattern requires true heavy sweatshirt fabric to hold up the structure in the neck (or hood), and there are great suggestions on the Paprika Patterns blog to help you find the right stuff. I found mine on Fabric.com and, again, decided to ignore the wisdom of those who came before me that informed me the fabric was lighter in person than it appeared online. That’s ok, I still like it.

I would also advise others to heed the pattern suggestion to use a lighter weight cotton jersey (instead of fleece) for the inner lining of the kangaroo pocket. Even with the lightweight lining, you can still see the lines a little on my dress.

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika Patterns Jasper dress - www.craftylittlesecret.comSpeaking of which, this pattern also marked a delightful first for me – my first welt pocket! I experienced a decided lack of vision with this part of the pattern and just couldn’t quite imagine how it would come together, even after looking at the instructional photos. But, I trusted in the instructions and, perhaps fool-heartedly, cut my pattern without first doing a practice run, and… it worked! My only ‘whoopsie’ was my use of a non-washable marker to mark my fabric pieces without realizing the marks would be visible in the final product. Meh, they’re just specks!

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika Patterns Jasper dress - www.craftylittlesecret.comThe one part of construction that I struggled with a little was top stitching the epaulet. I just found it difficult to sew through the thick layers of sweatshirt without distorting the shape of it. That’s ok, the adorable vintage wooden button I found in Portland a couple years ago will distract the eye from any imperfections! (I knew I was right to hoard random buttons…)

I finished up my dress in a weekend or so and concocted a plan as to what would be the perfect debut for Jasper…..a local sewing meetup at Britex Fabrics! Or, erm, what would have been the perfect debut if I hadn’t written down the wrong time and showed up just as the meetup was ending! Noooooo! But don’t cry for me Argentina, because I showed up at the meetup just in time to still get my 20% off coupon for Britex….which I promptly spent on some gorgeously soft black bamboo rayon (classic wrap dress, here I come!). Suggestions for the perfect wrap dress sewing pattern are welcome….

Crafty Little Secret - Paprika Patterns Jasper dress - www.craftylittlesecret.com



14 thoughts on “I Dream of Jasper…


    This is one of my favorite things you have made. Its so cozy and still really nice looking. You nailed on this one and the button really did finish it off nicely. Great work. Come wear it in the PNW…it will be perfect.

    1. Eileen

      Yes, perfect for the PNW. Too bad all my upcoming travel is to the South, this dress will have to wait until the fog comes in July to get any wear in SF.

  2. gilliancrafts

    This look so good on you! And I think the length is nice on you – I like winter dresses to be sassy and short! (Though I do bend over carefully if I wear one this length to work! But with leggings underneath, how bad can it be?) Speaking of which, also love your pink leggings. Why do I still not have any myself?

    1. Eileen

      Thank you! Brightly coloured leggings were actually the whole reason I even started imagining this dress. These are the opaque footless tights from American Apparel. They cost a small fortune, but I’ve had pairs last for years with regular wear and they never pill, so I think it’s worth it.

    1. Eileen

      Thanks Lisa! I love this pattern so much. I wish I lived somewhere colder so I would have an excuse to make a whole wardrobe full of Jaspers (ermmm….maybe I should be careful what I wish for). I love the navy and white striped version you’ve got on your website. I’m trying to decide whether I should copy that for my next version, or try a hooded sweater next….

    1. Eileen

      Thanks Dr. Sara! I was nervous that the thick sweatshirt fabric would be really unflattering but I think it turned out pretty well. I could totally see you wearing some variation of this dress.

  3. deadlycraft

    I just found your blog via crafting a rainbow – I love your version and it’s great to find another tall blogger (I am about 6 foot…). Your Jasper looks great!


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