Not Sew Simple


I spent all day yesterday debating rather to blog this make or not.  As much as I want to be.  I’m just not in love with it.  Which is unfortunate, because I am in love with this fabric: a charcoal and white double knit cotton with stripes on one side and dots on the other.  Its silky soft too.

When I bought this fabric over two years ago, I planned to make a tank style, reversable, maternity dress.  The project was about number three on my sewing list, but by the time I got to it my old machine had developed a taste for fabric.  It ate everything I tried to put through it.  So, the fabric went into the stash and by the time I had a new machine I had moved on to other things and I was no longer pregnant.  I rediscovered it this fall and have been obsessing over it for a few weeks.  I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but I didn’t want a t-shirt.  

Enter the thrifted pattern.  

Usually, I sew for me using self drafted patterns.  I gave up on commercial patterns years ago when I realized that I was spending more time resizing them than I would spend actually making the pattern myself.  Plus, I never quite follow a pattern the way it was designed.  However, this pattern was simple and basic.  That’s exactly what I wanted.  What could go wrong.

Why did I ask?

I started out with a pattern size smaller than what the manufacturer recommended, because I didn’t want my tunic to be quite as boxy as the one pictured.  Even then I had to size it down.  The very first thing I did was take 3/8 inch off all around the neck line.  Still it was enormous, so I did a little tricky thing with the collar by handstiching in a box pleat and embellishing the detail with two vintage buttons.  

Oh and yes, my facing is on the outside and made with an entirely different process than the pattern intended.  

I also took 1 inch off the bust at underarm on each piece (a total of four inches) and tapered it out to the waist.  Then I lowered and set the bust point back by 1 inch in each direction.  Thankfully, the fitting on the bodice is perfect.  

Thinking I was in the clear, I stitched it all together and discovered that I had forgotten something very important.  I failed to size down the shoulder (and the collar is still larger than I would prefer).  

The excess size makes it a little more relaxed than I had intended.  Layered under or over another garment it is feasible, but on its own it feels like a night shirt. I sure the fabric choice and lettuce edged hems don’t help.   

I have thought about removing the sleeves and doing the alteration to the shoulder, but mentally I have already moved on to bigger and better things.  Layering is my look anyway, so I’ll just go with it.  

Which leads me into an older make. My favorte upcycle jacket that will more than likely become the constant companion to this tunic.  It’s pretty simple and to the point, but I love it.  


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