At first glance I wasn’t really inspired by the Sewgirl Summer Tunic pattern that came free with issue 3 of Love Sewing magazine. It just didn’t look like my kind of thing. I envisaged it turning out baggy, shapeless and boring. Like a hospital gown.
I have since seen photos of other readers’ tunics made up, and they look nice – but I personally wouldn’t wear them. I don’t mean to cause offence (the ones I have seen look very professional and what they’re meant to look like); it’s just me and my body shape… I can see it swamping me.
However, there was a part of me that couldn’t see a pattern go to waste. Particularly as others have said it’s a quick and easy sew. I had to try it, didn’t I? But of course, at the same time, I didn’t want to waste 2 metres of fabric just so that I could say I’ve done the pattern; only for the finished garment to be thrown to the back of the wardrobe.
So, to get to the point; I pondered over making a tunic, and decided to go for it. On one condition; it wouldn’t turn out like I initially pictured it. In order not to fall down the hospital gown lookalike trap, I picked a lightweight, translucent fabric instead of a cotton. The idea being that the end result would be more of a summer cover-up than a tunic.
As a beginner, I was worried that I was biting off more than I could chew. The instructions recommend cotton-like fabrics; not something flouncy like I chose. The fabric I chose was from Minerva Crafts – it’s a black woven slub polycotton, to be precise. It has a lovely drape as it’s so light, and has an interesting texture to it. When I ordered it I didn’t realise it would be so see-through, but if it worked with this pattern, it would be perfect.
So, without further ado… here it is!
I’m quite happy with how it turned out; it fits my brief well! But it’s not perfect. Read on…
To begin with, the cutting out was a bit of a challenge, as the fabric is a bit stretchy and liked to move around to annoy me. I was thankful that the pieces were basic shapes with no markings; no darts etc, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Once the pieces were cut, and interfacing was applied where necessary, I began by making the little rouleau loop for the buttonhole. I was SO happy doing this, because I recently invested in one of those special loop turners. WOW, it made the job so easy. I fear it would have been very fiddly without it, because the fabric was already fraying a lot, and it’s quite holey. With this gadget, you simply slide it though the middle of the tube, fasten it to one end, and gently pull. It turns by itself so nicely and quickly; I was so chuffed.
In general, I found the construction of this tunic straightforward; I’m getting the hang of the basics of dressmaking now. The sleeves were dead easy because you don’t have to set them in like you do on other dresses. They’re just rectangles sewn onto the arms to give it more length. Without them, the tunic would be still have a fair amount of sleeve; you can see the seam is quite a way down my arm.
The first thing I don’t like about the finished garment is that you can see the facings through the fabric. I suppose this is where I should have used black interfacing. I’ve never bought it before! I’m annoyed about this, because it does kind of ruin the tunic a bit. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to use black interfacing! I suppose because I didn’t buy the interfacing especially for this project.
It looks quite awful when hung up, doesn’t it? But not so bad when worn, I suppose.
I like the little keyhole detail. I think without it, the tunic would look very boring. To make this, you make a cut into the facing and front of the tunic, once they’re sewn together. That was scary!
The other thing I’m not too pleased with is the pockets. Again, they’re interfaced in white, so it looks a bit odd. And, although I measured the placements, something must have slipped because they seem a bit out of place now. The photo below really shows up that dreadful interfacing – arghh!
That’s it for the mistakes though; not too bad. I think it would be handy for use as a beach cover-up. It’s difficult to know what clothes to wear it with, really.
It’s really comfy, because it’s so loose-fitting. I can see why people like to wear this kind of thing!
So, my break from dressmaking didn’t last long, did it? I’ve also bought some lovely cotton lawn for that Simplicity 1609 dress, which I think is going to be my next project. I hope it goes to plan, because it was quite a few weeks ago that I made the toile for it!
I also really like the look of the paper pattern that is to come free with the next issue of Love Sewing – called the Ruby dress. It’s nice and fitted; my kind of dress. It will probably be more of a challenge… I hope I can handle it! Keep your eyes peeled as I may just blog about it in a few weeks’ time 🙂 I’m trying to make all the dresses before summer’s over!
Oh, and my eldest has requested a rainbow dress – with very detailed specifications. I think she may be a little disappointed about some things. I’d better get cracking…