Amanda vs The Circle Top

My dream winter outfit is flannel PJs. Yup. If I could get away with it there would be PJs rocked all the way through the chilly months. Who can say no to that perfect storm of comfort and coziness? Unfortunately for me, PJs are not acceptable for social outings and work functions. So what is a lady to do when she wants winter coziness and comfort PLUS style? Papercut Patterns Circle Top to the rescue!


The Circle Top is – wait for it – a simple circular top with two sleeves. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! I went with a size M for this Papercut pattern after previous sleeve fit issues (read: buff guns) on my Ensis tee and Coppelia wrap. Whilst this was great in theory of course this was the pattern with already loose sleeves in the design /facepalm.


For the Circle Top I wanted something super snuggly to wrap myself up in so finally decided to bite the bullet and treat myself to some merino knit. Holy monkeys hats this stuff is luscious! The top turned out so warm and cosy in this fabric that it has been worn everywhere. Hell, it’s even been worn to to bed over my PJs on a super cold night recently. Snug like a bug in a (merino) rug.

Papercut-Patterns-Circle-Top-BackConstruction wise, the Circle Top was pretty simple and all the construction bar the binding was done on the overlocker. The only hiccup I had was the binding. You’ve all seen The Neverending Story right? Well, this was The Neverending Binding- pretty much the same but minus the catchy 80s theme song. And Falcor.

My first attempt followed the instructions and it was pretty average (read: red hot mess). The top stitching was wonky and it felt like a not quite right finish for such lovely fabric. Regardless, I decided to stop being fussy and wore the top everywhere for two weeks. And then cracked like an egg and decided to redo it. If there is anything worse than The Neverending Binding it is UNPICKING The Neverending Binding. The binding was redone by overlocking the binding raw edges to the top, pressing this flat and then, using all the tips from peeps from my Coppelia Cardigan post, top stitching the sucker down. What an improvement! To get the topstitching looking good, the following collective wisdom was used: tension loosened a little, stitch length slightly increased and a walking foot used. Winning at knits!


Now, the Papercut site says that there are many ways in which one can style this top. So far I have found:

  1. Chillaxing with the circle draped round my neck meat.
  2. The circle part high above my head pretending to be an Ancient Egyptian sun god with my headdress already in place.
  3. Pretending to be Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars and rocking a faux hood (all that is needed now is lightning bolts to shoot from my hands!)
  4. Each half circle wrapped over so I feel like a snug little cinnamon bun.
  5. The whole cardi scrunched up in my handbag so it can be dragged everywhere.

I am finding option #1 and #5 are most commonly used. Though #3 has been dragged out in a surprisingly wide range of social situations BWAH HA HA!

Circle-Top-WrapWhat I liked about this pattern:

  • How simple it is. I state again – one circle and two sleeves. Magic!
  • The complete lack of fitting issues. Who needs to worry about bust and waist and hip measurements when you’re wearing a circle?
  • The comfiness of the finished result.

What I would change about this next time:

  • Go down a size and fix that sleeve width issue.
  • Try the recommended binding finish again. Slow and steady, Manda. Slow and steady.
  • I’ve got nothing else. It’s a pretty sweet make!


Pattern: Papercut Patterns Circle Top

Fabric: 2 metres superfine merino wool from The Fabric Store

Notions: Thread in stash

See also: Sew Wrong


My Circle Top has turned into one of my most used wardrobe items this winter. It is seriously like wearing a sassy blanket everywhere that you can wrap around yourself as needed. Winter win!

But let’s enjoy a little segue from winter to snow! A fortnight ago saw myself and my dear friend Jess headed to see the snow for the first time! It was crazy fun! We made snow angels, drank cocoa with schnapps in it whilst sitting on a mountain and went snowboarding. So awesome! And of course I managed to look like a giant pink goofball the whole time – teehee! Who knew the cold could be so fun?!



  1. Sooooo much coziness! Need one, want one… Am I to assume some of your current injury status can be attributed to your recent snowboarding escapades? Oh well, you can be snug whilst you recover 🙂

    • This is definitely a two thumbs up for coziness- heck, I’m wearing my cardi right now as I type!
      Only the sprained ankle is from snowboarding- the cracked rib is from coughing and the torn calf is from walking. Yup, I’m in the wars! 😀

  2. it looks amazing, I think it would totally rock as an on plane outfit, because it’s basically a blankey with sleeves and you’d be all warm on the plane and then step off the plane looking like some kind of yoga goddess? yeah that’d work!
    Also I totally want your pink ski outfit, can’t ski just want the outfit!

    • OMG yes- this is the best plane outfit EVER! Tops idea 😀 And I must admit to winning at the ski bunny attire (in my own head). I figured when I fell you could at least see me on the ground 😉

  3. I like it, looks so snuggly for this cold winter we’ve been having! The binding looks great btw.
    I haven’t been to the snow since I was a teenager, looks like so much fun and I love your bright snow outfit!

    • Thanks, Suzy! So stoked with the redone binding- it looks much better 😀 And the snow was surprisingly fun- I expected it to be grim and wet all the time. Yay for exceeding expectations!

  4. ooooh I so love wearing my jammies in disguise out in the rest of the world. I’ve been eyeing this top for ages and your post makes me decide now to get it and make it. And wear it when travelling!

    The snow looks like so much fun, and extra so with bright pink snow outfit 🙂

  5. Best top EVER! I have a RTW top like this (from Witchery) that nearly has holes worn in it because no matter how hard I try not to, I still end up wearing it nearly every day in winter to layer up, (and sometimes even sleep in it, because it is just too comfy and warm to take off – I hear you there!) Thankfully, you’ve given me a solution for when it finally bites the dust…it could have been disastrous for my mental health otherwise…Loving your snow pics. Snow days are fun!!!

  6. Awww girl, this looks so cozy and nice! What a great top! Looks like you had a great time skiing! It’s funny to think about growing up without seeing snow! I grew up in a winter wonderland… it gets old! 🙂

    • I have to say snow was awesome for the first two days but on day three I sprained my ankle and ended up sitting all day with snow in my gloves. My love was diminished somewhat then… A whole season with snow would be full on!

  7. Haha I was just talking to some friends this weekend about the circle top and its never-ending binding! It’s a gorgeous looking pattern but I think my attention span is too short right now for the binding, but I look forward to seeing some more from you!

  8. The Circle Top rocks. I made two last winter, both NZ Merino and wear then relentlessly, just about all year round. On a windy or slightly drizzly day the ability to just pull up a hood or wrap like a scarf under a jacket – endless possibilities. I think it’s one of the those wardrobe must haves!

    • Sandra, I just checked out your blog and your red Circle Top is gorgeous! NZ merino is too lush for words! I’m yet to enact rain hood mode on mine but I bet it will be ace!

  9. Aaah you are certainly rocking this look. You have such patience to fix things, very admirable, and worth it, that top is cosy magnificence!

  10. It must be said – I love that you said ‘segue’ instead of segway. It’s like people don’t realise the latter is actually the leader in personal, green transportation (their words, not mine).
    But yes – how deliciously divine is merino? I’ve made one tee top in it that I wore all over Sth America, and still sometimes wear as a pj top alternating with also wearing it to the shops everynow and again. So very versatile. Love your make 🙂

  11. I’ve seen this pattern on the Pappercut website as I’m trying to figure out what to sew with some Merino Wool that Kat and Mel posted me from New Zealand, and I thought it looked too simple, and would keep falling off you somehow. But, I have been proven SO wrong. I saw Kat’s version, loved it, and now your version, LOVE it! I am now deciding between this and the Copelia wrap top for my wool use.

    • This is seriously a versatile piece. I’ve been wearing it everywhere and it is so crazy awesome! Though I have a soft spot for the Coppelia too, I find this a bit easier to wear with most things. Either are going to be fabulous though!

  12. Wow, I think you just blew my mind. It never occurred to me you wouldn’t have seen snow before!

    But back to the circular cardi of (merino) awesomeness, I’m disappointed that looks #2 and #3 weren’t documented but as your sewing awesome of awesomeness (there’s a lot of awesome going around here!) is so darn … fantabulously awesome I will forgive you. Another with for you Manda! Awesome!

    • The idea of snow always freaked me out- I mean, cold AND damp? Ugh! But it was really fun 😀
      And everyone needs to Emperor Palpatine in this top Fo. Sho.

  13. Hello!] love your circle top! I have also bought this pattern and I will follow to the letter your tips on fitting and binding. I have a question: would you have preferred to hace the sleeves slightly eccentric so that the top was longer and the shawl -like collar above the sleeves less voluminous? I am thinking of moving the sleeves slightly to the top because I am quite tall. thanks!

    • Hola! And thank you 😀
      I think length wise it depends on what you like to go with 🙂 One of the big draws for me with this pattern was the ability to wrap it around me snuggly at the top so I wanted to keep some length happening up there. To give you an idea- I’m 173cm and the bottom of the cardi hits my butt. Good luck! IT’s a fun pattern!


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