The fabric I used for this project was a polyester lycra knit that I acquired from an online fabric site, probably during a sale. I feel like the fabric print is attempting to be that of a royal blue hunting cat, somewhat similar to a cheetah though much much larger. Or it could just be pretty geometry. However, a friend from work mentioned that if it had some orange splotches in addition to the blue, it could be a Portal tunic; the nerd in me was only too happy to imagine myself wandering around carrying a stuffed companion cube and shouting “The cake is a lie!!” at poor unsuspecting souls. So I will likely refer to this as my Portal tunic. What does this print remind you of? What would you name it?
On to the project! I worked on View C of this pattern, which had me put together the halter straps and sew darts in the bust pieces, then connect the pieces together along the armhole seam.
The back piece was a single rectangular piece of fabric that I folded wrong sides together (yes, wrong sides; this is unusual in sewing). I stitched a total of three lines to make elastic casings at the top (one line near the fold) and bottom of the piece (two lines near the edge). I pulled elastic through each casing and stitched across the ends to hold it. I did use the elastic guide to measure these pieces, though I actually cut the elastic for a size smaller than I cut the fabric pieces. To be honest, that was still too large for the elastic pieces, so I recommend going at least two sizes below your size here. I wound up taking them in at the sides. Below are the front and back top pieces, and then the top piece once they are connected.
As always, no sewing project can be completed without a little bit of …
FUN WITH PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS!
Today’s curse-inducing culprit was Step 17, in which the lining gets attached. I regret to inform you that I did not take a picture of the pattern for you here. The picture was not all that bad; the worst part was trying to do the spatial puzzle associated to make my fabric look like the picture. However, if you are having trouble with this step, hopefully I can help.
In the first image above, piece A is the lining piece and should be placed right sides together at B. Then fold the back piece and the shoulder strap down and out of the way like in C and D, and pin the top, armhole, and side edges, leaving the bottom open. Stitch along the pinned edges, and turn right side out using the bottom opening. Do this for both front side pieces.
The finished top of the tunic, with lining, is shown above. On the left you can see the front side (with the longer black strap) and the lining side. After basting the front closed, you can see the back of the full top on the right of the picture.
At this point, I stitched the front and back of the tunic bottom together at the sides.
And then I promptly got into yet another argument with my narrow hem presser foot. Le sigh.
I practiced with scraps a few times first because I still just don’t trust the darn thing. The hardest part is getting the hem started. Regardless, I got it working and used it to hem the tunic bottom. Hemming over seams was a problem again, and I discovered that hemming a corner is really a bad idea with this presser foot. I know last time I claimed I would hem prior to creating seams in my fabric … but I didn’t listen to my own advice and I regret it enough that I certainly will do it next time!
Once hemming was complete, I placed the top and bottom of the tunic right sides together, and pulled on the ease stitches along the front of the top to make them fit together. Then I stitched.
All done! Well, I also had to do some minor fitting at the side seams. And the pattern called for hook and eye closures on the straps. However, I haven’t decided if I will do the hook and eyes or not. The straps are actually long enough for me to tie behind my neck, which seems both easier and potentially more secure.
Here is the finished tunic, in all its loud, obnoxious printed glory!
I rather like it. And I don’t own anything like this. I plan to wear it with a pair of black capri leggings, or like the full black leggings I have on in the pictures.