When the fabric arrived I knew that my idea for it would be perfect. I wanted a bow-tied, button down, loose fitting shirt/tunic to wear over leggings or skinny jeans. Perfect for the weather now and add a cardigan in the winter which will make it perfect then too.
I was hoping to avoid extensive pattern alterations. I looked through the patterns again to see if there was something else that I could use but the vision I had was to strong. So I resigned myself to using this pattern and making the alterations.
2.75 yards of rayon/cotton crepe from Fabric Mart
(I originally purchased 3 yards and it shrunk that much in length during the prewash!)
1/2" covered buttons
lightweight fusible interfacing for cuffs
Pattern Alterations ~
1. First I determined that I wanted 10" of ease around my bottom area...remember I wanted loose fitting tunic/blouse.
2. To achieve that I removed the side curve on both the front and back pieces by adding an inch from the dart down in the front pattern piece and from the underarm down on the back piece.
3. On the front piece, I did a slice and spread in the front gaining 3" at the hip line and almost 4" at the hemline.
4. The back was also cut using a pivot and slide of 1.5" on the actual fabric. That helped me achieve the desired 10" of ease around the bottom of the blouse.
5. I wanted fuller sleeves than the pattern has and I needed to add space to the biceps area. So I just sliced the sleeve pattern up the center and spread ~ adding an inch to the bicep area and 2" at the hemline. The excess fabric in the sleeve was gathered into the cuff ignoring the pleat application the pattern suggests.
Cutting and Construction ~
I have a rule when cutting out a print, all of the pattern pieces must go in the same direction. All pattern pieces either face up or down ~ not any which way, to insure that the print runs the same direction throughout the garment.
As I was laying the pattern pieces onto the fabric, I realized that I hadn't checked the shoulder seams. So I made some quick changes to the shoulder seams on the pattern to make sure they "fit" my shoulders.
Of course I did a cursory glance at the instructions and missed the part on how the top of the button band was finished. So I had to go back and fix that. If you're making the blouse, make sure you look for that part in the instructions.
As I was cutting the blouse out and thinking about the buttons, I realized I didn't want them to stand out. I wanted them to fade to the back so I decided to use covered buttons for the top. However, making 14 1/2" covered buttons was a little challenging because the pieces are small.
The one thing I will change when making this again would be to shorten the cuffs by a 1/2". They are a tad too long but I can live with them. It's the only thing making this an imperfect sew.
A few pictures of the finished blouse ~
Conclusion ~The rayon crepe fabric was perfect for this tunic. It has a softness and a drape that really works for a loose fitting tunic. I know that this reads one big print especially since I used covered buttons from the same fabric but it's actually the look I was going for. It's crazy but I wanted it to all blend together! I think I accomplished that.
Now that the temperatures are dropping my fall sewing list is calling my name and I've got more tops to share with you!
...as always more later!