Wednesday, February 24, 2016

School House Tunic, Round 2

First let's talk about this fabric! I LOVE it. I bought it on my trip to San Francisco to see my new pals and colleagues at Betabrand.

Check out this post about shopping for fabric in the Mission District in SF.

I am a little obsessed with purple and blue as a color combo so I bought 3 yards of this with the School House Tunic in mind. I have a little less than 1/2 a yard left.

I wore my first School House Tunic yesterday so I could figure out what I liked / didn't like about it.

- It was way comfy.
- Fabric was SUPER soft.
- Got complements on it from people I saw.

Did Not Like
- Have to wear something under it. Is ok now but in a month or so it will be too hot. I like the idea of the slit front but in reality it does not work great for me.
- Bodice hit me too high on the boob.
- Neckline was too high - I have a thing with necklines. I always cut the neck out of t-shirts so this may be a personal issue.
- Too much volume in the skirt.
- Sleeves were too long.
- No pockets!!

Good thing is I know how to make all these changes.

First I changed the bodice. I simply put the bodice piece on the fold and scooted it over about 3/4 on an inch so that I would have a solid bodice piece and not the split front.

Then I lowered the neck like and created a squared off V neck. This allows for a little room for the "girls" and for pulling it over my head. But is not as a deep as the split front.  I lined it in the same fabric. But this would be a great place to put a contrasting fabric. However with psychedelic tie-die, contrast might be a bit much.

I like how it lays open without being too reveling. In addition to changing the neckline I lowered the bottom edge of the bodice about two inches.

It was hitting me sort of low-boob which was creating a weird across the boob line. I wanted to make sure the bottom of the bodice had enough room to go under the chest and accentuate the narrowest part of the body.

Speaking of narrowing, I thought that the shirt had too much volume. So I took out the pleats, front and back. To make it a-line rather than pleated. This cotton lawn is very soft and has a great drape, I am not as sure about doing this with a stiffer fabric.

Basically I folded the pattern piece where the pleat is marked and then pinched it all the way down leaving it the original width at the bottom but smaller at the top.

I simply used masking tape to tape the pattern piece. Since I had traced my pattern onto pattern paper I was able to do this and will be able to take the tape off and use the original pattern piece should I want pleats in the future.

Shortening the sleeve was easy. I basically just measured and cut two inches off the sleeve pattern piece. Now when hemmed it will be elbow length. My personal preference is elbow length or sleeveless / cap sleeve. I have largish arms and traditional short sleeve length accentuates the biggest part of my arm. No need for that!

Since I made the bodice longer (front and back) I also shortened the skirt by to inches. I will be wearing leggings with this so length is not a big issue. That said too long and I will look like an ompa loompa, another look we do not need.

I also added in-seam pockets. This is a generic pocket pattern piece that I drafted long ago and just keep around for times like this when something needs a pocket.

Tips for pocket placement.

- measure from your armpit to where you want the pocket
- baste on all 4 pocket pieces and make sure they line up before sewing the seams
- serge or edge finish pocket pieces before you sew the on to your garment

 Here it is all ready to be hemmed (which I did this morning). I allowed for a one inch hem at the sleeves and one and a half inch at the skirt hem. I like a wide hem.

Overall I am excited about this tunic. I live in a hot place and don;t like wearing shorts. But I do like wearing a tunic and knee or calf length leggings! I have a feeling these School House Tunics and maybe a couple other patterns will be some go-to wardrobe pieces this spring and summer.

Have you made a School House Tunic? What are your thoughts on the pattern?

Want to make one with me? Check out this class: A Tale of Two Tops

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