Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BWOF 4/09 #122 Tunic

Pattern Description: Cut-in-one sleeves, empire seam with drawstring and a fiery paprika colour create this irresistible look. Our styling tip: To complete your dream outfit, tie a large scarf around your hips and add an exotic belt.

Ummm, whatever, guys. It's a cute, kimono-sleeved tunic with a drawstring and a very deep V neck. I think they want you to tie a large scarf around your hips to hide the fact that the top may be too short for most people - definitely measure before committing to the existing length.

Pattern Sizing: BWOF sizes 34-42. I made my standard 38 without any alterations.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much so, except that I'm built like a real woman and not a Burda model!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did actually look at the directions this time, to see how they handled the drawstring and casing, and figured out that I wanted to do it differently. That being said, I can say BWOF has had worse directions; I did get these, I just didn't like them. They also had very strange ideas of how to handle the back neck - I got the bias strip bit, but how they wanted it sewn in just sounded . . . wrong. I did it my way.
I also agree with a previous reviewer who said that the upper bodice could use a bit more length. It looks and fits okay, but an extra half-inch might feel a bit better.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't like this pattern too much when the magazine first came out (actually I claimed not to like the April 2009 issue at all and this is my 4th piece, so I think it grew on me). This pattern definitely grew on me as a few versions have appeared here on PR, and I started thinking about it and mentally going through my stash to see what jumped up and volunteered. When I remembered this fabric, I knew I had a winner.

Fabric Used: Silk/cotton blend from Metro Textiles. It's almost weightless, but it wasn't slippery to sew. I had fun playing with the scarf print.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I loved my fabric, but the blocks of the scarf print weren't in the exact place I would have liked them to be to take advantage of the design. But that's okay, if the design doesn't come to you, you go to the design. I lengthened the sleeves by adding a border to tie in with the hem of the tunic. I also cut the front of the bodice on the bias to use the border along the front neckline. The back of the tunic is the center of the scarf square.

I also added about 1.5" to the length of the tunic, which considering I only added a short hem to hide the selvage, should have added a lot of length. It didn't. Long torsos beware; I'm only 5'3" and this would have been short on me if I hadn't added to it.

The pattern instructions have you sew the backs and fronts together, then top to bottom. Then, somehow or other, you're supposed to turn the seam allowance into the casing for the tie, which comes out through the pre-sewn buttonhole in the front. I didn't like this idea because my fabric was fairly fragile, and I was afraid that making a casing out of the seam allowance, and then threading the drawstring through it, would be too much stress on a delicate fabric.

First I decided I would sew the casing on the inside, and I thought on that for a little while. I decided that since the stitching would be visible on the outside anyway, I would topstitch the casing on the outside and take advantage of the fabric one last time since I decided after the fact that the join between top and bottom would have looked better in the darker fabric.

For the tie, I initially used navy blue rat tail cord, but it seemed too flimsy. A dig through the trim stash didn't give me anything heavier, but it did provide two pieces of light blue/gray rat tail, so I braided the 3 pieces together to make something of the weight that I wanted, and knotted the ends. I'd still like to find something a bit lighter, and use beads on the end, but for now this works just fine.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't know as I would sew it again - there are a lot of other tunics out there if I'm in the mood to make one, but this was a fun project and didn't take too long. I'd recommend it, but I would say to trust your own instincts when the instructions don't make sense; it'll turn out fine in the end.

Conclusion: This would be a great intro to BWOF patterns - only 4 pieces and no difficult fitting issues. A winner, but maybe not a repeater.


Myra said...

Came out nicely, though. Glad you mentioned the extra bodice length needed, I traced it but hadn't gone further.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I love how you used the scarf print for this!

Meg said...

Love the top and the print you have used, fantastic.

Little Hunting Creek said...

So pretty! I love how you used the print

toy said...

beautiful, I bet its comfortable as well

BConky said...

Love the way you used the border print. Looks fantastic.

Sheila said...

Beautiful blouse - love the print.

cidell said...

I am by no means a tunic person. But, I love the look of this.

Rose said...

Great use of fabric! I like the results.

Shannon said...

Beautiful - lovely placement of the motifs!

Anonymous said...

Love the fabric choice! Cute blouse. I wanted to make that one, but I don't think my skillz are up to Burda yet. ;)

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

I like it! You definitely took full advantage of that scarf print. I am in love with silk/cotton, it's the best fabric.

Tany said...

Again, great looking tunic!