Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Tunic Pattern

 Per request, this is the pattern I am using to make these tunics. It is out of print but doing a search just now, it is available from several different sites, like Etsy and Ebay, at reasonable prices.
HOWEVER, I have made several different modifications to make the pattern work for my tunic idea. I wear a size 12 and I used the size 16 pattern size, for a much looser fit around the hips. I added length of course, and on the first edition I added slits on the sides, which if you've ever made a kick pleat in a straight skirt, you will know that that requires providing for self facings, that fold back and get top stitched.
 The most important thing I have found in my search for the right shape is to make certain that the shoulders and sleeves fit properly. I don't want drop shoulders, so I looked for the set-in fitted sleeve and remembered this pattern had that feature. I wanted straight sleeves, so the rolled up look wouldn't pleat or bunch. I had to made that change just slightly with this sleeve.
But the more important change is to flare out the body, from the points under the arm, about mid-bust. This keeps the fit proper around the bustline but then provides a clean sweep down the sides for ease. This eliminated the slits, which I don't miss.
I am using my serger to make this tunic. This requires trimming the seam allowance on the pattern from 5/8" to 1/4", which is another change, but now that I have done all these changes I have the thing I really wanted and if you have been following for a while you know I had some troubles with my other attempts.
First I sew the shoulders, and then fit the sleeves and baste the first on my home machine before serging, because the easing in of the sleeve cap can cause pleating which I hate to see. Then I serge the sleeve cap and then the sleeve-sides all the way to the hem. I also have placed the bottom of the sleeve even with the selvedges of the fabric, eliminating the need for a hem. This means that the sleeves are not running vertically on the fabric, but horizontally.
May I also suggest that the fabric I used, batik, is pretty great for a tunic like this because it doesn't cling around the body. I also have some linen/rayon blend which I think will make a nice Spring tunic.
All of this may sound like a lot of work, but all three are great fitting and now I have a pattern that I can make with lots of variations.
And just now on Pinterest I saw this pattern,ordered  . . . i've avoided it until now thinking I would draft my own, but since that hasn't happened, figured I'll support this business and at least get closer to actually making the darn thing!
 http://sewliberated.com/products/schoolhouse-tunic-sewing-pattern...which looks wonderful.
First edition

1 comment:

  1. Melody.
    what a great pattern.As a lapsed home ec major, i love the camp shirts especially sleeveless as ,well. they are comfortable for where i live.
    the tunic is intriguing as combined with leggings, they are a comfortable look with variations to explore for each sewist:a sewer that is artistic?me !
    i am happy to see pugs and gardens and fabric that you do so well and share with us ,again.
    be well, sonja