It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tunic Love!

My short legs leave me with a tendency to usually avoid the whole tunic thing,  but I've now made 2 tunics in the last few months, and I love them both!  The first light-weight piece got a LOT of wear during the warmer months, and now I have a cold-weather piece that promises to be in wearing rotation just as much, if not more!  I made it on Sunday, wore it all day Monday; here it is Tuesday, and guess what?   Yup...wearing it again.  :)

This is the first pattern I finished in my new batch of Vogue patterns - V8962.   I had said that I hoped the shaping of the seams would work with my body, and I'm happy to report that it lived up to my hopes!  

If Vogue had not shown this piece made up in these dramatic black & white stripes:
I'm sure I would have skipped right over the pattern envelope.  I admit that I often rely on the vision of others who can see the potential in some of these cover drawings,  because my eyes glaze over when I see colors and postures like these!:


The good news on the fitting front is that I'm still giddy over the successful concept of using a basic TNT (Tried 'n True) pattern!  Once again, I just laid my own front, back, and sleeve pattern pieces over the pieces from the new pattern, made my adjustments, and was able to sew up a perfect fit without a muslin!    It still amazes me that it doesn't matter how different the seaming might be on a different pattern - in this case, a back yoke, and seams that angle from the underarm towards the center front, the TNT was so easy to make the adjustments with!

Now, if I can create a TNT for knit pants with the same results... but that's another journey...

The neckline on this pattern is very wide, (especially with my narrow shoulders) and deeper than I wanted, so I made the whole neckline quite a bit smaller.   Curiously, the sleeves were way bigger than the envelope made them appear to be - I actually narrowed them quite a lot (very unusual for me, since I'm often doing a full upper arm adjustment!)

I graded out to a size 14 at the waist and hips, and kept the length as is.  I think the back is a bit long on me, but I'm OK with it.   (the back is several inches longer than the front)

The fabric I used is a fairly substantial yummy-feeling ponte from Stonemountain and Daughter, with a minimum of stretch.  I had a serious fabric shortage - the recommended yardage with the cowl was 2 yards, and I had a shade over 1-1/2, but by shortening the cowl width-wise by about 2" (which was actually necessary because of the narrowed neckline), and by piecing on a bit of black ponte to the underside of the cowl, I was able to squeeze it all in.   I love being able to use nearly every scrap of fabric!
Showing the cowl with black fabric pieced on:

The fabric shortage meant that I wasn't able to match up the stripes on the front seams at all.   It wouldn't have been possible to match them all the way, given the uneven widths & 3-color stripes, but I would have preferred a slightly closer match.   At least I was able get the sleeve stripes somewhat matched up to the body :)

You may have noticed the curly edge on the cowl - this was a little bit of fun that I tossed in near the end!  The drape of the cowl was fine as is, but I decided to play with adding some shaping at the folded edge of the cowl and see what it looked like.   I used some moldable plastic that I got from Lyla Messenger at Artistry in Fashion last year.   Unfortunately, it isn't listed on her web site, and I don't have any details on it - I'll add more info and a link if I can find it (anyone?).  I sewed a seam about1/4" from the folded edge of the cowl, slipped the plastic inside it, and anchored it in place with a zig zag stitch - it gives some fun options for shaping the cowl!





The finished piece:



Overall, I really like this pattern!   It was super easy to sew, and I think that the shaping of the side/front seams is a bit more body-flattering than a lot of the angled tunics that are so popular.  If I make it again I might change the cowl shape, but I call this one a winner!

The pants I'm wearing are the new Donna Karan skinny pants - they'll be next on the blogging agenda :)

46 comments:

  1. Are the pants 1378?!

    I think the tunic looks great on you! The striped ponte is yummy :) I avoid muslins whenever I can so how nice that you've developed a TNT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, I'm loving that I at least feel confident enough about knit tops to avoid those muslins!

      Yes on the pants - 1378. They were a journey lol! Blog post soon.

      Delete
    2. Eeeeek. I just got done ironing the pattern sheets. Trying to figure out what size to cut. Any suggestions? Did you use your normal pattern size?

      Delete
    3. Eeeeek indeed! I will have much to say about this in my blog post (working on it now) The short version is I got the smaller size grouping, which tops out at 12, so that's what I cut, thinking I'd be OK. My measurements put me in a 14.

      I should have cut the 14....or maybe even a 16! But it's the LENGTH that's the killer. I had to shorten them by 5", and there is NO place to do so easily (other than above the crotch) If you're 5'6" or over, and/or have skinny legs, you should be fine. I was not fine. :( (but I figured it out in the end)

      Delete
    4. Oh wait. Are you asking about the pants? I assumed you were talking about the pants....

      Delete
  2. :)) yes the pants. Thank you! I would normally cut a 16-18 for pants depending of course on ease. I'm 5'5" but I normally need to add 1" to pants to have enough to hem.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely outfit and you do look fabulous in both tunics. The curvy collar edge using the moldable plastic is fun too. Looking forward to the SB pants post as these look like an interesting design although I imagine are challenging to fit if there is no side seam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dilli :) Yup, those pants presented a fitting challenge for me all right....

      Delete
  4. Darling, darling, darling! You are so lucky to be able to wear horizontal stripes! I've always wanted to play with the serger and fishline to make an edge curl. Have you ever tried that, or do you not have a serger?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mimi! I do have a serger, and made a very curly edge on this dress http://jillybejoyful.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-lil-ole-lady-dress-gone-wild.html (but not with fishline) - is that the sort of edge you're talking about?

      Delete
  5. BTW, I could live in tunics and boot cut stretch jeans. Love the look, and the comfort. I probably wear them, and my Dansko shoes way too much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll join the chorus -- great look, and love what you did with the cowl. Karen

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ohhh nice to see that fabric made up! I bought seven metres from my fabric store...it's patiently waiting for me to do more than walk past it and say hello...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7 metres - Yum! It's really a joy to work with, and I suspect it's going to hold up very well :)

      Delete
  8. Oh what a great choice of ponte. Tunics are so versatile and comfortable to wear that I think they make great wardrobe staples. Great work darling x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel - I think you're right about them being a staple.

      Delete
  9. I love your tunic, the stripe fabric is perfect for this. I like the plastic "thing" you used with the cowl neck. Like you I have short legs and was concerned over wearing tunics but have done so for a year or so now and getting it to the right length makes it work. You look great in this tunic. I would and have glossed over this pattern; like you I sometimes see the look of the pattern through others eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the right length - it's crucial for us "shorties"!

      Delete
  10. Your tunic looks great, Jillian! It's too bad that the pants gave you trouble, even after we spoke on the phone. Bad pants. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks shams! I think I would have crashed & burned & wadded w/o your help, but I ended up with pants I like!

      Delete
  11. I think you look fabulous in this tunic and it looks so comfortable to wear, just my style too!. I need to give this top a try. I love the seaming in the back of the tunic as well - a great piece for stripes. I also have some of that plastic tubing from Lyla and not really sure what it is, but I like how you have used it. I can't wait now for Vogue patterns to be on sale here again.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the cowl and the stripes. Although I'm not a fan of big tunics, you look so great that I'm thinking I should try it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would never have guessed that you have short legs. You look long and lean to me! Cute top and BTW, I love those plaques on your garage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an illusion Rhonda - and 2" platforms on my shoes lol!

      Delete
  14. I love that top...so cute in stripes! The pants look awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That tunic looks fabulous on you! Now I wish I had bought that pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOVE this! Consider me enabled! Vogues are $4.99 right now on line.... and I love tunics. We can compare versions at some point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh goodie - I love to be the enabler! Hopefully we'll compare soon :)

      Delete
  17. Well, I must admit that I didn't think horizontal stripes would look good on anyone that weighs over 100 lbs., but this is so flattering! I, too, am short and have veered away from tunics, but this is so cute on you, Jilly! I love it. As others have said, you may have gotten me to buy yet another new pattern. Great job on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My narrow shoulders can benefit from those horizontals, and the angled seam at front/side provides an illusion, so I think they work with this pattern!

      Delete
  18. Love the kooky cowl collar and the mis-matched stripes...they add to the flirty quality and fun. Sleeves...they can be a big surprise since pattern artists try to make the 7 ft tall models even taller with their unrealistic drawings! Love the way the tunic fits so well in the neck and bust area. You pants look perfectly proportioned and can't wait to see the top of them another time. Great job...it is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks mrsmole! Pants blog coming as soon as more pics are taken....

      Delete
  19. You just look fabulous in this! Now I must have this pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is so cool-I love the stripes, and the cowl. The curly cowl is a neat addition and I am going to try that with some floral wire. Now,, on to your next post. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love it- so hard to get a cowl to not feel like a life presever hanging around- this looks soft and frisky!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Totally love that moldable plastic and will be buying and using. Thanks for the tip!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is beautiful. I particularly love the back!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a great job you did with this top. Like you I sometimes rely on others for pointing out a good pattern that just did not appeal to me when seeing the envelope. I love the stripes and how you used them. I also like the cowl technique. This looks great on you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a great looking top! You did a great job with the stripes. The plastic molding is a great idea and will have to see if I can find something similar to try.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Adorable! I just bought this pattern and am hoping a can do something similar with the cowl.

    ReplyDelete