Monday, February 22, 2016

School House Tunic, Round 1

A fellow sewing gal owns a lovely sewing studio south of Atlanta called The Green Apricot. It is a bit far from my house. I am one of those ITP (inside the perimeter) people who typically does not go OTP (outside the perimeter) unless I am on an airplane. Traffic is such a beast in Atlanta and really unpredictable. However Angela and her little slice of sewing heaven lure me out there every now and again.

She has asked if I could teach some clothing construction classes and of course I said yes. The first course available is "A Tale of Two Tops". The plan is for you to make one of these in class and to learn the skills needed to make the other one at home. It is up to you which one you make. They are both simple to make and easy to adjust the sizing. If you are new to clothing construction expect to finish one top, if you are a speedy sewer you could do two. 

Both patterns are from Sew Liberated, which is one of my favorite pattern designers. I have made the Esme top several times, but I have never made the School House tunic. I figured I better give it a try before I teach it. As I suspected it is also well written and easy to follow. I made it almost like the directions say. I am not so great at following directions in general. I like to do things my own way.

The pattern has a placket, I did a lining instead. She suggests that you sew the skirt pieces together and then sew them to the bodice. I like to attach each skirt pieces to the bodice and then sew up the side seams. It just seams easier to me.

I liked my first attempt. I thought it was important to sew it at least once as is, so that I can talk my students through it. I am going to make more for myself but I am going to make some changes.

1. Lower the neckline
2. Make the front V less deep - where I live it is hot most of the year. So this deep V will work as a pool cover. But it is too hot to wear layers so I need to be able to wear this on its own.
3. Make front bodice longer to accommodate the bust. It will be more flattering and less maternity looking if I do this and then make the waist smaller.
4. Add pockets!

I am going to call this one a "wearable muslin". It is perfectly nice and I really will wear it as a pool cover. But that open neck just does not work for how busty I am. This is a great design for you smaller chested gals out there.

I used a cotton lawn so it is nice and light and soft. Which will be great for summer.

I did make some general fit changes.

- narrowed the shoulder
- deepened the arm hole

But that's it. Which is not a lot of changes. I usually make loads more.

I think this will be a fun one to have in a few fun fabrics and maybe even a couple solids.

The "Tale of Two Tops" is just one day of Angela's "Wardrobe Week". So check it out and sign up! I am also teaching, Two Pants - One Pattern! This would be a great chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe.  


  1. I also added pockets to mine.... And made a French cuff.... and used contrasting fabric for the placket/lining, pockets,cuffs and around the bottom.

    1. I saw your on insta-gram! I lOVE the changes you made. I am writing up the changes I made in a round 2 post...stay tuned!