One Sunday afternoon. Nothing else to do so I was watching TV. HSN? QVC? Showed this really cute *tunic. I want that. I can make that!
From deep stash i.e. Walmart fabric 15-20 years ago came a lovely double-knit. I didn’t give it the burn test. I think it is a cotton/poly blend from the way it feels, handles, sews, presses and wrinkles. It feels like cotton. Presses like cotton. Smells like cotton. But doesn’t wrinkle. Its double knit structure makes it spongy and thick, like two layers of cotton jersey.
I cut two four-inch strips and rouched them at the cover stitch then steamed and pressed flat. My point was to imitate the loose, rough pleating at the bottom of the inspiration tunic. If this fabric wouldn’t do that I’d have to work with something else. However, it pressed flat just as desired.
Next I created lace. Well I stitched 3 rows of ready-made lace together to make one wide piece of lace. So funny. It takes but a short sentence to describe 2 hours of playing with laces and 1 hour stitching them together. I used the Dream and a long zig zag (4mm long 1mm wide). We buy expensive, fancy machines but most often use the simplest of stitches. I did use a special foot. The hemming foot which came with my Dream. I used the little blade to butt two laces together. One of the laces, a 1/2″ cotton, came from deep stash. Deep, deep, like DM or DMIL. Maybe even DGM. It had a 10 cent per yard sticker. The other was a recent purchase, probably polyester, 1″ lace.
My pattern is my basic knit block and narrowed sleeve. I rounded the hem but since this was to be a tunic I did not shorten to offset the length of the rouching.
I made a pocket because my inspiration garment had a pocket with lace. I applied it to the front first. Have to brag on my Dream again. I used the laser to line up my stitching with the edge of the 1/4″ SA and then stitched straight to it. Perfect. First time.
I looked at the pocket and asked, ‘Why don’t I do this more often?’ The laced pocket was too darling and so quick and easy to make–not counting the time spent playing with fabric and lace that is. Oh yes. That’s right. I always feel like the ‘breast pocket’ brings attention to the breasts. I want people to look at my face not stare at my !itties.
I’m a little surprised by fit. It’s at the end of the day and I’m rushing first pics because I need to get upstairs for dinner. I wanted to get a look and see what if anything needed to be changed at my next and 3rd sewing session planned for the following day. So I’m tired. I’m slouching. I’m still surprised at the depth of the drag lines.
Especially since this pattern usually fits near perfect and often perfect. Remembering what a difference a cami made for my sweater knit garments, I’ll plan to wear one with this tunic as well.
The neckline was scooped 2″ deeper in front; 1/2″ wider and deeper in back than the default of my pattern. I did a simple binding i.e. stitching RST then wrapping up and over the edge before top stitching. I also did the quilter’s join which created a flat diagonal seam in center back of the binding. It was another opportunity to use the laser light which I’m so delighted in.
I like this kind of sewing. Yes I could have made 2 or more T-shirts in the 6 hours I spent on this single tunic. I spent more time fondling fabric and laces than I did sewing. I enjoy the planning as much as execution. The end result above is startlingly similar to the inspiration garment. I chose a color more flattering to me and my fabric choice is a bit warmer than theirs. I believe they included a third strip in their rouching, a printed chiffon.
I may not be finished. This is the first fitting. I’m puzzled at the drag lines but mostly concerned about proportions. Both the length of the garment and the length of the rouching to garment body are not quite right. I also regret rounding the hem. I had measured the length of back and front hem and cut the rouching/lace 2″ longer. I pushed 1″ extra rouching into each of the curved sections of the hem. It wasn’t enough. The hem won’t lay flat. Fortunately, it doesn’t look bad in either the pics or IRL. The pocket is a bit low. I think I’ll just mark my pattern for proper placement. Ripping could be eye-crossing painful. Changing the proportion of lace-to-garment will need some thought. I can cut the rouching off and attach higher on the garment body.. There are layers and layers of stitching covered by serging. Ripping would be a bear. Then again, I’m not accustomed to looking at tunic length garments on myself. It could be one of those things you have to get used to.
*Spent a couple of hours on-line looking for the inspiration garment. Could not find it. Was that just a Sunday afternoon dream?