Moana from Papercut Patterns




It’s not a secret I love Papercut patterns so when Katie launched the AHOY collection early this year I had to snap it up my favourites: Moana, Startboard & Bowline. You will be seeing all them sewn on the blog eventually. You know you can catch up with all my latest projects on my Instagram account. Accordingly with the app this top was sewn 6 weeks ago while the bowline sweater 4 weeks ago. One of the reasons my sewing projects are taking longer to appear on the blog is that I’m frustrated by taking my own photos. Recently I cannot get them on- focus. What annoys me the most is that when looking at the camera they appear ok. I don’t like wasting time re-taking them as its precious sewing time! Sorry…Rant finished. I will get these re-taken eventually.


Moana means “sea” in Maori. Such a beautiful name as you can see the sea waves referenced on the design.The pattern is described as a relax-fit dress- top featuring a ruffle waist that dips slightly at the back with gentle shaping though the body. Ruffles is all over the catwalk and I love when pattern designers make fashionable relevant patterns.

moanatoppapercuttop16 moanatoppapercuttop19 moanatoppapercuttop17


I made a small change swapping the exposed back zip to a “key hole”effect and lengthen pattern by 5 cm. Personally the armhole is a bit low. Fabric is white crepe. It has a lovely texture. When sewing with crepe use a sharp needle, test& adjust your stitches beforehand. I cut the fabric with my rotary cutter. I didn’t use many pins preferring to secure the pattern with my ceramic buttons weights. A gift from brother for Christmas. Such a lovely idea! There is only one issue with this fabric. White gets dirty so easily.


Awkward pose so you can see the details-fit.

Making the pattern wasn’t hard but I made a few mistakes (bad decisions) which bothers me a little. Lining the ruffles being the worst. Such a bad idea… No matter how long you been sewing there are some days you are just off your game. It’s ok not to be perfect. I feel those off-projects make great sharing material. I want to revisit this pattern because the design is super versatile. I worn it with skirts and jeans. Everything seems just to work and I forget the little imperfections. My current favourite look features a ‘circle’ skirt and Belatrix jacket.


Jean Paul Galtier zipper skirt for Lindex+ Papercut bellatrix Blazer.


    lovely outfit Rachel and this top is just beautiful,I like the ruffles and the fact that it is white, it is so chic! what you say about lining the ruffles was a mistake, why is that? have not made any ruffles yet and don’t know if you’re supposed to line them or not, i like how your ruffles look though 🙂

    • They ‘loose’ their shape. They had a beautiful drape before. I would use a rolled hem ( baby hem). I’m loving all my white projects at the moment. Its a colour that suits me and I want to sew more versatile pieces recently.


        good to know, thanks for the info!

  • Hi Rachel, I think this top is lovely. I just made one of these Moana tops and wish I had lengthened it. You mention bad sewing decisions and that was mine! I knew it would be too short but I somehow went ahead and made it regardless. I really like it in white. Definitely going to make another one in a plain colour because it is a very flatterning top on you.

    • Thank you. oh dear.. we all have those days. At least you know in future. I automatically lengthen everything just in case.

  • Tomasa

    This top is beautiful on you. And the ruffles are very pretty even though you lined them.

  • So very pretty Rachel! I tend to make a mess of rolled hems so I usually go the lined route when doing peplums etc. I can understand that the lining does affect the drape of the ruffles, but yours still look lovely! If you make another Moana with a rolled hem, any tips on perfecting the hem would be appreciated!

    • Hi Sue, of course. I will set a little sample and put a tutorial on the blog. Probably next month

  • UsefulBox – Caroline Adams

    Wow! That is a really beautiful top. Your sewing on it is perfection! I’m off to get me that pattern! xx

  • Yay to ruffles. I’m curious to see how the rolled hem will do on the next one – I am always on the lookout for ways to reduce rigidity and enhance drape. love the crepe you used btw. Too bad for the out of focus pics, have you considered putting the camera on manual focus?

    • Hi Sasha, the amount of techniques I tried makes me cry out of frustration. I used reverse trip technique to focus. I focus on an object I’m standing in front-near, I have used auto, manual.. everything. My camera just don’t play ball.

  • Gorgeous Rach! I’ve got this cut out and ready to sew and now I can’t wait to get it finished!

  • Georgia Barnard

    Hi Rachel! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and always admire your projects. I was hoping that you (and you readers) could help me with a decision for an upcoming dress I’m making. I will be making this dress ( for a special event next year. I cannot decide on fabric. I am torn between a duchesse satin ( and a satin charmeuse ( or I really prefer the colour of the duchesse satin but am concerned it might not have enough drape. An alternative concern with the satin charmeuse is that it has maybe too much drape, and will look like a nightdress. I would be thrilled to hear your thoughts!

    • Hi Georgia, This dress is just glorious so great choice on pattern. Have you asked for samples on the fabrics you have in mind? Without touching them Its hard for me to give advice. You may need to play a little with different techniques like interfacing, lining etc as it all changes the drape of the garment. My advice is to get both samples first and have a good play. My personal choice of fabric for this dress is triple crepe because the drape is lovely but it has some body. you don’t a fabric that shows every contour of your body.

      • Georgia Barnard

        Thanks so much! I ended up finding a Satin Crepe that is nice, in between the two fabrics I was looking at before.

  • Antipodean Stitcher

    Great version of the top! I made the Moana dress a few weeks ago. I did have the same couple of minor issues as you, though. For the armholes I ended up taking the side seams in, and will just draft them in narrower next time. For the ruffle, mine sticks out a bit because I used cotton sateen, but it’s draping better after a couple of washes. Hopefully your ruffle will sit better after a few washes too (although it looks fine as it is).

  • What a lovely outfit!

  • Charlie [from blog Moments by

    Oh this is a really pretty top. I love the design!