As my sewing improved, I wanted to venture in the exciting world of dressmaking. I have booked myself onto a course but it’s only in the Autumn and although I’m sure it will still be very useful, I really could not wait that long to give it a go. And there’s something very special in trying something new without having learnt it before… I believe it’s called a challenge!
One Friday afternoon, I sat in Waterstone’s Costa with a bunch of dressmaking books in front of me.
I fell in love with three and brought two home, thank you Michael for the contribution. The minute I set eyes on the tunic in this book I knew this would be my first project. It just felt right and I clearly believe in *love at first sight* projects. Small setback though – this book helps you design your own patterns and that would be a step (or several) too far for me at this stage, so… I needed to find a tunic pattern that resembled the one in book. I did.
Meet Simplicity 5197 6 easy tunic patterns, View D. It has raving reviews throughout the sewing community and was described as easy to follow, make and adapt (thinking ahead, peeps, thinking ahead!). Could I ask for anything better?
:: The fabric and how cool it looks on.
:: How comfy it feels.
:: I didn’t get the sleeves quite right. From reading the dressmaking book above, sleeves are tricky things to attach to the main body and in spite of all my reading I still couldn’t avoid a bit of ruffling. I assume my technique will improve with time and experience, as I have done all the steps to avoid this… probably just not very well. Such is life.
:: I think that while the tunic is lovely and comfy and very flattering on the neckline, the waistline could be better. I cannot work out if this is how it’s meant to look or if it’s due to my sewing or pattern tracing abilities (or lack of). Or if my body covers two different sizes pattern sizes and I should reflect this on my traced pattern. I guess I’ll find out as 1. I learn more about dressmaking; and 2. sew more of these tunics.
Thoughts on the pattern (view D)
Overall: I like it. It gave me a cute wearable tunic.
:: Simplicity knows how to write patterns for newbies. The instructions are very clear and really well explained so I felt I could do it and I did.
:: The pattern is so well written that includes all the little tips I found in the dressmaking book to ensure best look, including how to tackle the sleeves in order to not get the ruffles I end up getting anyway (all fiascos in that department are my doing).
:: The tunic details are lovely and really add to the final garment’s look.
:: Neckline: according to my Mother, it’s too conservative. Her daughter agrees.
:: Adding interfacing to the sleeves ads a bit of unnecessary weight to them, in my opinion.
What I would change in a future tunic from this pattern
:: I would make the neckline a bit deeper and a tad bit wider, turning it into a more obvious V-neck.
:: I would leave the interfacing out of the sleeves, I’m sure this would make them lighter and overall nicer. I would then finish the sleeves as you do the bottom hem.
:: I would look more carefully into this waistline bagginess. Is it meant to be like this? What’s causing it? And then fix it.
Do I recommend it?
P.S. - The photos... well, they have a story of their own really. I left it to the very last day, it was grey, I felt grey (and lazy!), I had just washed my hair the wind was blowing. I also need to work on the pose, it's so unfair on the garment that I look like I'd rather be doing something else... like knitting!