Project: Tunic, Belt + Scarf

Sew Tunes:  Band of Horses (Pandora Station)

Pattern: Kwik Sew

Fabric Used: Jersey

New to Me: Material with stretch and shortening a pattern

Trips to Store: 1

Loved One: Amy, a true inspiration. She is a momma, a wife, a teacher, and a friend to so many.

P.S. Amy, we need a new photo of you and I. Stat.

Day by Day…

The day job had me in a bit of a frenzy this week, so sewing wasn’t part of my evenings, although it should have been. A great de-stresser for me.

Saturday, October 15:

I took my winnings from the National Sewing Month contest straight to Hancock Fabrics. I found a great pattern that had “It’s Fun. It’s Easy.” on the front. Sold. I needed a project that would only take a weekend. And, to boot, the model reminded me of Amy.

It’s a 3-part pattern – a tunic, a belt, and a scarf. I was interested in where the name came from. Thank you, Wikipedia:

“The name derives from the Latin tunica commonly worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, which in turn is based on earlier Greek garments.

The Roman tunica was worn by citizens and non-citizens alike; citizens, though, might wear it under the toga, especially at formal occasions. The length of the garment, the presence or lack of stripes, as well as their width and ornamentation, would indicate the wearer’s status in Roman society. Soldiers, slaves, and manual workers generally had tunics to a little above the knee; those in more sedentary occupations to about the ankle (unless they were expecting to ride a horse, when a shorter one would be worn).”

In terms of fabric, I chose gray for the tunic, and a soft pink for the scarf and the belt.

I read the directions before bedtime. Kwik Sew is very good about giving detailed directions. Their patterns are great for beginners.

A few things to point out:

  • The edges are to be unfinished. When cutting the fabric, I will need to be very careful. I suspect that there will be some curling up once cut.
  • Also, the seam allowance is 1/4″. It’s my understanding that the standard seam allowance for clothing is 5/8″.

Sunday, October 16:

As I was washing and drying the fabric this morning, I cut out and ironed the pattern pieces. There were four pieces total. The last time I used a Kwik Sew pattern was during week 9’s boxer shorts project , and I am quickly remembering how much I like Kwik Sew. The challenge: they are never on sale. Fairly regularly, you can find McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue, and even Burda patterns on sale. Deep discounts. With Kwik Sew, not so much.

Because Amy is petite, I am going to shorten the tunic. This is a first. I am shortening it by 3″. I cut the front piece at the shorten line, and overlapped the pieces by 3″. I then taped the pattern pieces back together. I was sure to line up the grain line. I did the same for the back piece of the tunic.

The pattern pieces are cut. The fabric is dry. Time to place the pieces on the fabric and cut. I have never seen this sort of cutting diagram before (two folds with the selvages meeting in the middle):

I stitched the tunic at the shoulder seams 1/4″.

Size small just seems really big for Amy, so I adjusted the side seams to 5/8″. Interesting. I have always heard that patterns tend to run small. I may have to make more adjustments once she tries the tunic on. And the fabric kept curling up at the edges, making it really difficult to stitch. REALLY.

The scarf was much easier to tackle. I think the weight of the pink fabric is heavier. I should have used the pink for the tunic. The edges laid flat, making it easier to stitch.

But I am frustrated, so I am taking a breather.

I am back. Time for the belt. I cut the belt out of the pink fabric so it matches the scarf. Again, the edges curled up. I stitched the pieces together. And up until this point, I have been having difficulty backstitching as the fabric kept getting caught. I solved the problem, but a little too late. Instead of backstitching, I set my stitch width to about a 1. Much better.

I am still frustrated, but done:

So, in Ancient Rome, what would this tunic indicate? Hmmmm….

Project Wrap-up

Sew Happy:

  • Kwik Sew pattern pieces are made of paper instead of tissue. Much more durable, and they are easier to cut out. You can practically slide the blades of the scissors along the straight edges.
  • This project was quick to get through, which makes me sew happy. Why? Between using the wrong size pattern pieces (should have used an XS), the stretch in the fabric made it very difficult. Plus, the raw edges kept curling up. This was the perfect project to experiment with jersey cotton, however.

Not Sew Happy:

  • As mentioned above, jersey is a little…ok alot… challenging to work with because of the stretch, and it curls up at the end. This project reminded me that I am still very much a novice.

Helpful Hints (to self)

  • Next time I work with jersey, I will be sure to pick-up a thicker weight.
  • Kwik Sew patterns run large. Next time, go with the smaller measurement.