Snow Day Tunic


Nothing beats the comfort of a nice cozy sweatshirt, but that’s just not my style.  In my life, sweatshirts (hoodies) are for hiking or working outdoors.  For everyday, I want something cozy with a bit more cute factor.  

My fabric was two yards of a 60 wide poly/cotton blend double knit.  I knew from the moment I saw it on the bolt that I had to turn it into a winter tunic.  It sat in my stash for a few months while I found time to make garments for everyone else, but this past week I finally decided that with Halloween and Christmas finally out of the way I was sewing for me.  So I started drafting.

For a hint of causal sweatshirt appeal, I had planned to leave all my hems unfinished so they would roll.  However, once I started working I discovered that the fabric wasn’t going to hold up to that as I expected.  So I stitched the collar over, leaving a hint of roughness where the asymmetrical split falls open.  I did proper finishing on the cuffs and hem.  Looking at the collar now, I wish I had just gone and made a self binding. The seams were all serged, so it came together very quickly.  

The back has an arched yoke and a cute pleat detail, but I since I had to photograph myself again I was unable to get a good image of the back.   

I wore it to run some errands yesterday and since it was a bit chilly, I tossed my favorite cardi over top.  I was really happy with how the two layered.  My next project for me is going to be a black and grey skirt that I think will round out this look really well.  I’ve been wearing jeans for more than usual lately and it’s time to get back to skirts and dresses.  


Pretty Close to Perfection


Say “hello” to my new favorite top! 

I sure feels good when a make comes out exactly how you planned, especially when it is made from a pattern that you feel kicked your butt not that long ago.  This “Pretty Perfect” tunic was made using the same pattern as my not so great charcoal tunic earlier this fall.  Just after a few changes, of course.   

After taking an inch off each side, moving the darts, narrowing shoulders, lenthing the sleeves, and adding side gussets it was the perfect size and style.  I suppose I should have just used a smaller size, but I am infamously cheap and when the smallest size in the envelope (one size smaller than my measurements) is still mammothly huge I just make do.  I am going to get every penny I can out of this thrift store pattern.  

Talking about pennies…this entire sew was rediculously cheap, even though it doesn’t look it.  It was made from 2.5 yards of 6o wide crepe (I originally thought it was poly crepe, but from the way it behaves when wet I have decided it must be a poly-rayon blend) that has a lovely drape and weight.  It was a $3.00 thrift store find.  The “artsy lady” interior is a poly lining fabric that I bought an entire blot of of $1.00 a yard several years ago.  All together, with out subtracting the left over crepe, I have less than $5 in this tunic.

Use a darning needle to pull your serger “tails” back through the stitches for a nice finish.

Even though I lined this top, I used my serger a lot on this project.  I stitched then serged, but next time of this top I will serge all my pieces before stitching to avoid crowding in the gusset area.  

I also used my serger to make a rolled hem for this garment.  Since I was unsure how to deal with my hanging “tails” on the hem, I used hand stitches to tack them down.  It appears to have worked nicely, but I won’t really know until I launder the top.  

When afixing the lining at the armhole I did cheat a bit (having three small children, I allow myself to do that once-in-a-while).  I just zig-zagged the two serged edges together.  Not quite professional, but it is still quite neat and tidy so, I accept it for what it is.  

Wow!  My only pair of LuLaRue leggings are getting a bit big.  It’s sad because I love the houndstooth, but exciting because it means I’m trimming back down.

Really, I promise I’m just about done bragging for the time being.  First, I have to say one more time that I love, love, love this top and then I need to mention the wool scarf.  It’s another me-make.  I knit it for my husband the first winter we were dating and it is wonderfully warm and cozy.  I am wearing it here because I was just about to head to the grocery store when hubby shot these photos (I wanted him to shot outside, but he said it was too cold to stand around in the yard) and it makes a great accessory.   

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.