Monday, 27 March 2017

Sleeveless Tunic Dress, Kwik Sew 3691

First things first! Congratulations to Dawn who is the winner of my giveaway last week. I hope you enjoy using this beautiful fabric Dawn and would love to see what you make with it. As soon as I have your address it will be winging its way to you.

Now for the new project...

One of the first pieces of fabric I bought for my stash three years ago was this piece of beautiful flowery jersey. Since then I have looked at it so many times trying to decide what to make. I was limited by the fact that I only had about 1 1/2 metres, not enough to make anything with sleeves, and I always imagined it as a tunic.

Finally I decided to make up a sleeveless tunic dress using this pattern that came in a batch from eBay.

My measurements came at the top end of the medium size so this was the size I cut out. The tunic was very easy to make. I used a ballpoint needle throughout, apart from the hem which I took up with my twin needle. My only reservation was that the pattern recommends fine fabrics and my jersey was more of a medium weight. I didn't have enough fabric to cut the bias collar in one piece so I made mine in 2 pieces with seams down the sides, not a centre seam at the back. With such a busy pattern I don't think you really notice.

Front view

It was very important to centre the design which has an obvious vertical stripe between the rows of flowers.

Back view

This is the first time that I have used a Kwik Sew pattern. I had quite a lot of issues with the fit and I think the best way to record these would be by writing a pattern review.

Pattern review

Pattern description
Pullover tunic and top have a round neckline with tucks on front. Neckline and armholes are finished with facings. View A has bias cut cowl collar.

Pattern Sizing
I cut out a medium, bust 94-98. My measurement is 97 and I usually choose the size which best matches my bust measurement and make adjustments as necessary to the other measurements.

Did it look like the picture on the envelope when I had finished sewing it?
I would have to say that it didn't really. It was simply enormous!! I really liked the neat finish of the collar on the pattern photographs and the line drawings. I do not have such a small collar on my tunic but more of a boat neck. Looking at the pattern pieces with hind-sight, the collar gets bigger with every size increase and I am not sure that as women get larger their necks get that much bigger!
I took an extra 4 inches in total off the size seams to get a wearable tunic. I do like my tunic but it is not really the style I was hoping for.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes they were. It was really important to read the instructions in full because Kwik Sew patterns only have 1/4 inch seam allowances, not the usual 5/8 inch or 1.5cm we are used to.
This was a very easy tunic to make with no fastenings or difficult techniques, It just pulls on over your head.

Fabric choice
Recommended fabrics are lightweight, woven fabrics. I used a medium weight jersey with some stretch. I don't think that this accounts for the problems I had with sizing.

Did I make any alterations?
Because I used a thicker fabric than recommended I was worried that the pleats wouldn't sit well at the neck. To help them to lie flat I stitched along the fold line for 1 inch with a stretch machine stitch. I later unpicked the stitching on the centre pleats because they gave the tunic a deep, unattractive box pleat down the centre.

Instead of using the facings I finished the neck and armholes with bias binding that I made myself. I find that narrow facings keep popping out when the fabric has body and I prefer binding. I am pleased with the result, which is much less bulky than facings would have been.

I had to take in the size seams a lot to get a good fit. Next time I will make the small size.
I used the over-lock stitch on my machine for the side seams and trimmed off the excess seam allowance.

Would I make it again or recommend it to others?
I expect that I will make this pattern again, either as another tunic or as a summer top. I will definitely cut a smaller size next time and try to make an adjustment to the size of the collar.
I don't think I would recommend it to anyone else because of the amount of alterations I have had to make to the pattern.

My conclusions
I have a comfortable tunic made from a beautiful floral jersey which has a 60's vibe because of its large cowl collar. I have had lots of compliments which is always nice. I really love this material and I think the pattern shows it off very well.

So finally, I hope that you have all had a happy mothering Sunday. I enjoyed spending the day with my three sons and I visited my Mum. The house is full of flowers, one of my sons has bought me a new sewing book; what more could a Mum ask for?

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