Yeah, I Made Them Myself

My lovely 76-year old neighbour Diane lent me 2 of her tunic tops to reverse engineer, or at least use as the basis of 2 new tunic tops. 

Yeah, I made them myself…and I’m rather proud of them too!

First up is my large scale floral tunic, with a hanky hem. I taught myself how to add an extra 5 inches to the end of an uneven/asymmetrical hemline, huzzah! And I must say I’m getting rather good at this bias binding malarkey. In this piece I topstitched the top of the neckline, to ensure it stayed flat.

Large scale Floral Tunic – front.

Large scale Floral Tunic – back.

And here’s Diane wearing it:

My 2nd Tunic top was made from an orange cotton-linen and a lighter cotton fabric with a 60s-feel circles-n-stripes design. For my past pieces, I’d pinned the parts together and then sewn them, removing the pins as I went along. But this one somehow demanded that I tried something new – basting/sewing into place. I don’t mean using “tailor’s tacks”, which are single stitches doubled over and then cut. I mean actually just taking big stitches with a needle, and just quickly basting the entire garment into place by hand. As in, all done but for the machine sewing. I found that this way, I could try on the garment easily without fear of getting pricked by any pins. And also, if I had to make any changes, I could just snip a few of the big stitches and redo a new line of big stitches. I like this technique and have decided in future to baste all my garments by hand before I start machining.

For this particular tunic, I had to quickly learn how to insert an interface for the neckline area, as the lighter fabric with the 60s circles was being pulled by the heavier orange cotton-linen, and if I didn’t put in some sort of support, it might grow out of shape or even tear. 

This was also my first garment where I used pinking shears to finish off the seams inside. 

Another first for this garment was the addition of pleating to the front. Topped off by a handsewn placket with a secondhand red button sewn on, that echoes the circles pattern of the fabric to either side of it.

I’d never attempted this sort of hem before, I call it a Fishtail Hem myself, though it’s probably known as something else. Quite pleased that it actually turned out well!

The front of the tunic. Sewing yhe lighter fabric to the heavier one was quite an achievement, especially around the curved parts. I think basting the garment beforehand certainly helped keep all the pieces in place!

Close up showing the pleats and handsewn placket with red button.

Back of the tunic. The “fishtail” hem is quite noticeable here.

Inside out, showing my “bib” of an interfacing, to support the lighter fabric on the left and right.

The tunic is completed with a scarf made from the circles fabric.

The accompanying scarf.

And now for the $64000 question -would it fit Diane?

Well, whaddaya know, it does fit her, and rather nicely too!

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