Jun 28, 2017

A Navy and Cream Tunic

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the bodice left over after refashioning the lower half of the dress into a skirt.  Even though I have made several tunics lately, this left over piece was just destined to become yet another one...they are very comfortable after all!

  I began by putting the bodice on my dress form to determine my cut.
I cut it higher in the front and lower in the back.

The plan was to add some lightweight cream colored fabric to create the lower portion of the tunic.  WARNING...these next two steps are what NOT to do!

I first cut two of the following shapes, thinking I would sew them to the lower edge of the bodice and have a natural high/low hem effect.  Oops, it looked ridiculous!  I picked it out and started over.

Fail #2 began by cutting the upper edge of the front piece to follow the same curve as the bodice.  I even used the part of the bodice that was cut away as a guide.  After cutting a piece for the back, I stitched the side seams together and then stitched the whole thing to the bodice.  Another ridiculous look and just too tight across the chest.

I then scoured the thrift shops looking for a cream colored blouse or shirt that I could marry to the bodice.  No luck.  But, I did happen to find a piece of lightweight knit for $1.99.  It was thin, somewhat lacey, and had the potential of hanging very nicely.

After two fails, I gave up on process pictures...sorry!  I ended up cutting the upper edge of the lightweight knit fabric to match the curve of the bodice like I did in Fail #2, but this time I cut the whole thing a lot wider so that I could gather the upper edge.

After gathering along the top edge and stitching it to the bodice, I was much happier with the results.  The fabric hung nicely, and there was adequate room for comfort.  Now it was just a matter of the finishing touches.  I shortened the sleeves by turning them under two inches, stitching, then folding them up to create a one inch cuff.  I tacked the cuffs in place.

Using my serger, I kept the hem simple with a rolled hem.
I stretched it a little as I went to give the hem a little more frill.

Since the cream fabric was so thin, I didn't want to see the bodice seam showing through, so I pressed the seam upward and top stitched it into place.

The cream colored fabric is very thin and I considered lining it, but in the end, I didn't want the added bulk and settled for a tank top underneath.

Success took a little more time than expected, but like the saying goes,
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

I like to link to these great parties!

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  1. I love this look. Nicely done. I also REALLY appreciate that you posted the failed attempts. I make SO MANY mistakes along the way and i'm always convinced that other people are getting it right on the first try.

    1. Thanks Kathy! Just so you know, I have more than one seam ripper and they have all been used often!

  2. So cute, Susan! I have made several mistakes when trying to refashion, so I can relate to your problems, too. Thanks for sharing that we don't always get it right the first time! I really enjoy all the sewing projects you share with us. Thanks for your inspiration!

    1. Thanks Libby! Since refashioning usually doesn't involve a traditional pattern, I find that my seam ripper gets a lot more use as I "experiment" with different possibilities!

  3. My seam ripper is definitely one of my most used and most loved tools. I love how you showed the discovery process that happens so often in refashioning. Your tunic series has been delightful. This is one of my favorites so far. I hope you're having a wonderful summer. :)

  4. The perfect Summer top, Susan. It's so, so pretty.

  5. Susan I saw your top @ Pam's Features post today and had to come for a closer look - it's beautiful! I too am glad that you posted the design decisions that didn't go as expected - it's always nice to know they happen to others :D You persevered, and ended up with a lovely, lovely top - you must be very pleased - it looks so comfy and floaty!

  6. Susan,
    I REALLY appreciate the refashions you choose because they cover up. At my age and with my religious commitments (same as yours) it's important that I wear things that are flatteringly modest.

    Your pictures are SO helpful in the tutorials. I really wouldn't mind seeing a fail picture as I'm new to the refashion world and can learn from fails also.

    Beautiful blog..so glad I found you.

    Andi / Utah


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan