Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Simplicity 8094 - A Fall Tunic

I've loved this pattern since it was issued. However, I'm such a dress girl when the weather gets warm that I knew I would never make it as a summer topper. But in a nice ponte or sweater knit for fall, yes, I can do that!

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.

Supplies ~
Stay tape
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 ~

I made that first version as a Sunday Sew. I wore it to work on Monday because the temps were back into the 70s-80s and it was really warm. Though after wearing it with black leggings, I kept thinking that I wanted to make it again without the side splits. I hated that the sides fell open and exposed the sides of my legs. Also the fabric is an ITY ~ thin and clingy ~ not my friend. So while I love the fabric's pattern, I was uncomfortable in how the tunic fit.

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 ~ 

However based on wearing version one, I made a second one closing up the side seams adding godets to them. 

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 ~

Conclusion ~
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... always more later!


  1. I love your two different takes on this pattern. What is with Simplicity patterns and treating knits like wovens? It wouldn't hurt to have fabric-appropriate instructions.

  2. you look fantastic. those cheekbones :-)
    and thanks for showing some great options with this pattern.

  3. Love them both! You do look fabulous, and the godets are perfect!

  4. Great look on you! I actually prefer the first one, but I'm a "longer is better" kinda person. You always inspire me carve out time in the sewing room.

  5. I like the first one too probably because of the fabric design. Glad you found a way to wear it as I don't like clingy knits either. Both tunics look great.

  6. I really LOVE the fabric of the version 1! and thanks for the idea of making sleeveless turtlenecks to wear under sweaters. That's such a great idea!

  7. Love the second one. Love. Love. LOVE!!!!

  8. Both versions are nice, but I really really like the second one on you! And I definitely had a good laugh about sewing a knit sleeve in the round! Yes, I did that! It was horrible, but I didn't know anybody better because I was a beginning sewer!

  9. Looking great Carolyn! Is that a new hairstyle? I'm loving the bangs. :-)

  10. Fun!!! And I'm loving the up do :)

  11. I like the first top best but maybe it's the wonderful print. Both are very wearable though!

  12. very cute tops, great look for fall/winter.

  13. Love both tunics and you look great. I love the bangs and hair!

  14. Yup you're right this is s great pattern and I love your sleeved versions!

    1. I've always liked this pattern but really was interested after the amazing version you made for Mori!

  15. You look great in both, but I think the first is my fav! Well done!

  16. Two very different looking tops but they both look great on you.

  17. I like both tunics, but the fabric on the first one really speaks to me. You are looking good. It appears that you are still losing weight. Good job.

  18. I noticed the bangs in your last post. I really like the look on you. The godets are a great idea, especially since they are the same color as your pants. You get the look without the grief. The second top is by far my favorite, even though I like the print on the first one.

  19. They're both great garments, but my fav is #2 - it's the godets!
    Also love the blocked sleeve on both versions, I'm going to try that!

  20. Really like the new hair cut. Love the band on those sleeves. More food for thought...

  21. I love this pattern too and your versions are both really nice. I think I might do that wool thing too! Thanks for the ideaspiration!

  22. Love the new hair style, and especially with it pinned up in back-I don't think I've ever seen you with your hair up! Very elegant! I have looked at that pattern and wondered what to do with it, and of course you took it and showed me how it's done!

  23. I just found your blog and I love it. You give so much valuable and practical information. The tops you made are gorgeous, so is your choice of fabrics. Excellent taste. As I am a sewing fanatic as well, I'll keep following your blog. Thank you for taking the time to write it and show us all the pics. Greetings from The Netherlands :)


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