Friday, November 14, 2014

A Copy of Two Copies

Say what?! A copy of two copies? It's simpler than it sounds. Both Gayle and Shams copied a ready-to-wear tunic. I saw their versions, fell in love with the design, and copied them. And here's my copy:

This is made with three fabrics from Marcy Tilton - red rayon jersey, black and white dotted jersey, and printed mesh knit. They were great to work with, and the top went together fairly easily. The only changes I made to the design were to angle the hem and add a cowl neckline rather than a funnel neckline. I used my tried and true t-shirt pattern as the basis for the draft, and made changes for the details.

The cowl is simply a tube, applied to the neckline as you would apply a neck band. It is single layer, and I left the edge raw:

I've just realized my photos don't show the drawstring detail very well. Here's a close-up:

This is definitely my favorite detail in the garment, and it could translate easily to many different tunic and top designs. It was very straightforward to make, so I'll try to detail the process here.

First, I added an extra 5/8" to the seam allowance in the area that would become the drawstring channels. That gave me a 1-1/4" seam allowance, enough to make a 5/8" channel. Before sewing the seam, I pressed the hem allowances up. (This step is critical. There is no way to turn up the hem once the channels are sewn, so it must be done now.)

Next I made two drawstrings, sewing one end closed on each one. Then I got out some trusty Steam a Seam and applied it to the long edge of both casings. I laid the drawstrings inside the casings, leaving the raw edges extending out of the tops of the channels. I then pressed the Steam a Seam edges so they would hold it all together.

Off to the sewing machine, where I attached my topstitching foot. Starting at the seamline, I stitched across the top and down the side of each channel. That secured the drawstrings at the top, and enclosed them in the channels.

And that's all there was to it. Keeping the drawstrings out of the way while sewing the channels was the most difficult part. I suppose the channels could be stitched, then the drawstrings threaded through, and the top of the channels sewn shut. But this accomplished it all without having to do the threading.

Attaching the flounce was also very easy. It is simply a large rectangle of fabric. I cut away the lower front at an angle - easy to see in the top photo above. The side seam is sewn, ending at the top of the angle. Then the long edge of the rectangle is sewn to the angled side seam allowance, breaking the stitching where the "normal" side seam ends.

Yes, I am *this* happy when wearing this tunic. It is super comfortable, and I love the whimsy added by the details. Thanks to both Gayle and Shams for inspiring me to make this. I'll definitely be sewing it again. I'm thinking a solid color next time, maybe with a funnel collar...


  1. Lovely, it looks great on you and all that color just lights you right up.

  2. I agree! Great photos, Dixie! And a really interesting tunic. Brava!

  3. Love the details you incorporated into this tunic! The drawstring is so nice.

  4. Fabulous make! And it suits that pretty smile perfectly!!

  5. And now I want to copy YOU. Great top, Dixie. And terrific colors on you.

  6. That's great, Dixie! I like the cowl on your version better than mine!

  7. Wonderful top - love that drawstring.