“the unlikely tunic”

Some ladies give their patchwork quilts names . . . I think I’m going to give my clothes-making efforts names . . . and today I come to tell you about “the unlikely tunic”.

It all started with me, going through a cardboard box of fabric I had inherited from MIL and coming across reams and reams of very patterned fabrics, all of them in various kinds of shimmery, slippery fabrics.  I’m no expert.  I know cotton, linen, velvet, denim and viscose, but that’s about it.  Anyway . . . I measured up the various treasures I had (some as much as 3.5m !!!) and did some draping of fabric over myself, to try and get an idea of what fabrics would look like as clothes.  Sort of like this – hmmmmm! 


Now, this piece is ever so pink (and red) as well as being grey and white . . . pink is not my colour but there was just something about this print that kept calling me.  The fabric is, I think, a silk cotton (if that exists?).  It didn’t mind a really hot iron, and has a very silky sheen to it as well as being very slippery.  I had about 1.50m so decided to just get on, cut, and make myself another tunic.

unlikely 01

I’d already made this pattern (NewLook 6871)  3 times, using the model with contrasting yoke and band.  I decided to attempt a shorter version, because of the amount of fabric.  Ummed and ahhed about the floppy cap sleeves and did actually sew 2 sleeves (but that went awry so I binned them).

unlikey 04

I therefore just stuck with what I knew how to do – ie, home-made binding at the armholes.  It was a challenge enough, just working with this very fine fabric but I muddled along.  And voilà.

unlikely 03

It’s still very pink, which is an unlikely colour for me . . . but it’s going to be lovely and cool to wear this summer. I, and another person who shall remain anonymous, had my doubts about the large floral print (and the pink) but it worked out rather nicely in the end, hence . . “the unlikely tunic”.  

22 thoughts on ““the unlikely tunic”

  1. It looks great on you. Actually, I’d say that grey predominated in that print, especially from a distance, but the red and pink come a close second. It’s a very pretty graphic print, and at that scale a garment is the obvious choice. Well done!

    • I learned to do binding for patchwork and am just applying what I learned there. I have problems with shop bought binding which is one of the reasons I make my own. For clothes, I’ve found that a 1.5″ strip is the ideal width. I press in half to have 3/4″ doubled up, sew on using a 1/4″ seam allowance (raw edges to raw edges) and then fold over and hand finish on the inside, so that gives 1/4″ binding all way around the armhole. My join is at the side seam of garment, lower armhole, so it’s quite discreet. I’ll try and remember to take photos next time. I’m far from an expert, but this method works for me and the result is very neat.

      • Oh when you explain it like this it doesn’t sound too bad! I’ve only used store bought binding so maybe I should try to use your method and do my own. It looks super neat and very fine.

  2. It looks very good on you. I also had an ah ha moment. I’ve been looking for sleeveless tops for summer, but I do sew and could make one just as easily. I probably already have the fabric so I’m going to look for that pattern the next time I’m at Jo-Ann’s.

    • I’m glad I’ve given you the idea to do some clothes making ^^
      I’ve made this tunic several times and it really does sew up nicely. I keep going for the sleeveless version because I just can’t seem to get the sleeves right.

    • I have to admit I am rather proud of the binding ^^ I think it adds a little bit of “fantasy” to a rather plain pattern.

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