All of them are on my fall to sew list. As I was choosing garments to add to my cut pile, I thought it would be great to add one of the new patterns. This one really jumped out at me.
I chose a lightweight pinstriped denim shirting purchased from BlackBird Fabrics last year for the tunic's base. Originally I was looking for a pleather scrap to add as an accent but touched the leftover scraps from this shirt and an idea was born. I love a floral/pinstripe match and there's just enough white in the background of the floral to "tie" both fabrics together.
That was the genesis for this project. However, this is a new pattern so I'm sure you're wondering about pattern alterations. I started out by measuring my pattern pieces and cut a size 22. Got the top put together and realized that my head would never fit easily through the opening. Tried the top on and struggled to get it on and off. I needed an opening in the back so it's not such a struggle to get the top on.
I had to figure out how to make it work cause I wasn't giving up that print mix! I ended up adding strips that were the length of the bodice and 1.5" wide. Then I added a 11" invisible zipper which opens up the back and allows me to put the top on easily.
The raglan sleeves were wide enough for my bodacious biceps so no alterations were needed there. I didn't need to worry about a waistline since it's gathered. It is a relaxed fit pattern and one of the reasons I chose it.
(Just excuse the junky sewing cave background photos)
I was sure the tunic would fit now...ummm no! This is how it looked on Daphne, the dressform, because I'm not putting a picture of how it looked on me on the interwebs. It was tight...a little too tight for my comfort. I was pissed! Pissed I tell you. I used good fabric and the last of my floral scraps to make this and now it wasn't wearable.
So I folded it up and put it on the edge of my cutting table. As I was turning out the lights to go upstairs for the night, the pattern starting whispering to me to not give up on it. Long story short, I pulled another piece of fabric and decided I would make pattern alterations and remake the tunic. However that was the last night of my short vacay and the tunic/fabric/pattern sat.
Last weekend, I picked the tunic up to move it from the cutting table. I needed the space and realized maybe I didn't have to ditch it. Maybe it could be saved. I removed as much as I could from the side seams and the piece I inserted into the back. It gave me an additional 2" and took the bodice from tight to looser fitting.
It meant that I had to take the tunic apart...
- open and resew the side seams with a 3/8" seam allowance instead of 5/8"
- rip open the back side inserts
- reinsert the invisible zipper
- resew the seams with 3/8" seam allowances instead of 5/8"
- added the skirt back but put in small pleats instead of the gathering and like it so much better!
Tried it on and yes it works. It's not as loose as I've been making things (well in my head cause when I look at my back pics my dresses are fitted) but it works.
A couple more things...
* I omitted the pockets. I cut them out but it just seemed like too much on the tunic front.
* The back facings had to be recut since I changed the back opening. I made them longer to cover the zipper.
* After the facing was added, I topstitched it down.
* Two inches were cut off the bottom of the tunic and it was machine stitched with a one inch hem allowance.
A Few Pictures ~
I'm glad I took the time to alter it and make it work. Honestly, when I finished I wasn't loving it. Though after my daughter photographed it, I was a lot happier with the top. I probably won't make this pattern again. There are just too many patterns and shirts to be made to work on a pattern that I'm only so-so about.
Along with finishing this up, I washed, dried and ironed a pile of fabric that will become more shirts and tunics. They will be coming to the blog soon.
...as always more later!