So even though the temps are up and down here lately, I decided to make my first version to wear now. I really want this in a merino wool for later in the winter cause I can always add a sleeveless turtleneck under it for warmth and wear it over my skinny jeans.
Fabric choice for version one ~
It's made from a rayon/lycra knit that I won from Elliott Berman last Thanksgiving with black ponte sleeves from Metro Textiles. When I first pulled the fabric out of the pile, I was worried that I didn't have enough to make the body of the tunic but it worked out.
Fusible stay tape
Pattern Alterations for Version One ~
I know that this appears loose fitting on the pattern envelope, but the pattern only goes up to a size 20. So I was a little leary about how it would fit me. I added 1/2 inch to each side seam from the underarm down to the hem. I wanted to make sure that it skimmed my bodacious body.
The biggest change was to the sleeve since the pattern only has short sleeves. I used the long sleeve pattern from my TNT dress pattern and made a pattern sandwich. TNT pattern, Simplicity pattern sliced and spread and tracing pattern on the top then I altered the pattern to insure it fit my biceps.
Those were the only changes made to the pattern pieces for version one.
Construction Info. ~
Honestly, I just glanced at the pattern instructions especially after they suggested that you sew the knit sleeves in the round. I NEVAH sew knit sleeves in the round. I always sew them in flat and that's what I did with this top.
Also, the pattern suggests that you use bias tape to finish the neckline. I mean I understand why they suggest it but my knit is a little thin and I thought this would make the neckline bulky. So I applied some fusible bias stay tape to the neckline, pressed it flat and stitched it down using a twin needle.
The other change that I made to the tunic besides lengthening the sleeve was to add a piece of the body fabric to the sleeve hem to tie the look together. I just eyeballed this but I did make sure that I added a 5/8" seam allowance to the top of the insert.
Here's a pic of the sleeve with fabric choices ~
I also sewed the side slits lower than the pattern suggests. I didn't want the sides of my abdomen showing and scaring people so I sewed my openings to mid-hip.
A few pictures of the first tunic in action ~
Fast forward to picture taking day and it was only in the 40s outside, so I wore a cotton tank top under it which then solved all the clinging issues. I even wore my black skinny jeans and while my side view leaves much to be desired (hahahahaha!) I liked the top much better.
Version Two ~
I made the godet pattern piece by pinning the front and back pieces together from the underarm seam down to the notch where the side seams were left open. Then I traced the opening and added 5/8" seam allowances.
To add a little more width to the front and back pattern pieces, I did a pivot and slide on the fabric adding an inch at the waistline to both pieces and two inches to the hemline.
I also two toned the sleeves of this version using the fashion fabric that I bought from JoMars during my trip in June. The black ponte is from Metro Textiles. The godets were made in the black ponte to tie everything together.
Another change was the neckline. When I tried the top on to make sure that everything fit the way I wanted, I realized that I liked the neckline just as it was. So I rambled around in the notions collection and found some black foldover elastic and added it to the neckline so that it wouldn't change.
The last change was the length. This version is considerably shorter than the first one. I just didn't like this fabric in the longer length so I cut 6" off the hemline and hemmed it using a 1" hem.
A few pictures of Version Two ~
This is a simple to sew tunic. There are no big surprises and would be easy for anyone from beginner to advanced sewist to construct. What makes mine different are the design details I've added. Long sleeves vs. short sleeves, color blocking the sleeves and adding solid color godets to the second version. I think these details give it that Chicos Chic look that I've been trying to sew lately.
I like both of these versions ~ the second just a little more than the first ~ however, I'm putting the pattern away and moving on to other patterns. Maybe I will get back to it when the weather gets colder making a merino wool version...maybe.
The next top up is a heavier weight summer linen that I'm wearing into fall...
...as always more later!