Time to put this one to bed. It's been a long, interesting ride that started with dyeing an old linen damask tablecloth with rust. Since nearly every moment the past few weeks has been filled with demanding issues all sewing unrelated, this post is a bit over due and I thank you for your patience. You can see me standing in the corner of our new deck, one of two. It is not completed yet, but close and it made a good back drop. Hubby and I have spent nearly every waking hour totally remaking our shade garden and I will regale you with pics when all is complete. In the meantime....
This pattern is a three layered tunic with five different options. I went with View D but elminated the "tail". I still maintained the angles however. I did much different with this pattern than instructed and also reworked it after it was completed. I do love it. It's comfy in the heat and casual. I've gleaned a fair amount of nice feedback too!
This is made from a very old linen damask tablecloth that was in a table shape that I no longer needed. It has probably been washed a hundred times and is soft as can be. It had marvelous hemstitching on the edge which I wanted to bring into the design. I used that feature on the back and sleeves. It was a fun challenge to work in the rust patterns and the hemstitching.
This top has those three layers and I feared there would be too much bulk so for the middle layer I used a nude stretch mesh from Joanns. It also went on the sleeve edges. If I did it again I would make the mesh part of the sleeve longer and angled, a la Lady Macbeth. The mesh was an easy sew and I like the effect.
The linen fabric was rust dyed by moi. I have been collecting odd hunks of rust since last fall, knowing I would eventually dye some hunk of linen someday. It was sooo easy to do with most of the work finding the rusty objects. Old Man Sun put in most of the effort along with his friend Mr. Vinegar. This has been washed and dried in hot hot water since dyeing and if you have ever tried to remove rust, you know it keeps it's stain forevah. I will definitely rust dye again and have my pile of objects hidden in the woods waiting for the next foray. For now, there are some other techniques I am anxious to try. I do love how the rusting changed this snow white tablecloth to a lovely soft peach all over.
This is where it got interesting as I completed the tunic, wore it to work, and by the end of the day felt it needed improvement. It was difficult for me to get on. I have narrow shoulders and a small head so don't quite understand this. When I put it on the first time to take pictures the struggle wrinkled up the top like this:
This pattern is designated for woven fabrics, not knits. You can see the sleeves are snug despite a bicep addition of an inch and a half (thanks, menopause) and by the end of my work day they were uncomfortable. I also didn't like the narrowness of the top in back and the flared hem,not my favorite silhouette.
I did a narrow hem as the pattern instructed and despite my efforts it just seemed to curl up and I didn't like that. So two things had to be fixed: the snugness in the armscye and that curly hem.
The snug armscye was corrected with the addition of a gusset cut on the bias, pinned then hand basted and finally topstitched on.
The hem was handled with interfacing and a deeper hem, one inch. Next time I will interface the hem with the same tricot fusible but before I cut out the pattern to hopefully prevent the flare of the bias edges. You can see them on the pattern as well. That being said, I wish I had the length of the original curly hem not this shorter version. On a five foot tall person, that one inch makes a difference.
Once these two things were done I was much happier and have worn the top several times and very comfortably. The better back:
You can see I didn't get any struggle wrinkles getting into it this time and it is much more comfortable and flattering. Next time I make this I will not "petite" the pattern and I think that will solve the issues.
A few more details:
Also regarding the construction: I did not use the facings included. Instead I did a wide bias binding on the neckline and I like that finish.
This is a great casual design. It took a bit to get there but I would definitely make this again, maybe in a knit combo of prints. I like the layered assymetrical effect but will do a bit longer hem next time but still no tail. I like the tail, I just find that I sew for the "long term" more than I used to and don't want to hand dye and make all the changes I made to this to make it work and have it be last years news in short time. Then again..........I could always just trim that tail off......hmmmmmm.......Bunny