Tag Archives: clothing

I DID finish that tunic and then some.



I have finally finished this tunic.  I finished it a little while ago and have made some garments since then that I am also going to share with you.  I have not had a chance to write a blog post about it because ……. well, you know how life happens.  In the last blog post I had just about finished the tunic.  I did encounter some problems with it though.  The arms of the pattern were just too skinny for me.  I fitted the pattern to myself as best as I could but I failed in assuring that the arms would fit.  This is where a muslin would be a smart action to take.  I could not dwell on that fact.  I had this beautiful garment that I was making form some great fabric and the arms didn’t fit.  I saw this as tragic.  I thought about this dilemma for days trying to think of all options.  Of course I tried to be constructive during my indecision.  I ripped the side seams out.  The sleeves are not set in.  I had scraps of fabric from cutting the pattern out and I tried several different options for making the sleeves fit.  I did not like any of them.  Finally, I decided that I simply had to sew in pieces to the bottom of the sleeve to make it a bit bigger.


Doing this took me quite a long time.  My seam ripper and I really got to know each other well.


I did finally finish the tunic.  I convinced my mother to take some pictures for me.



You can’t see the fabric that I sewed into to make the arm openings larger because I inserted them at the bottom of the sleeve portion.


I like this tunic so much that I decided that I need a pair of black leggings to go with them.  My mother and I sell patterns online and I searched through the stash of patterns for our shop and I found one for leggings.


This is the pattern that I used.  We do not have this same pattern in our shop but there are ones like it.  I cut the leggings on the largest size.  As usual I had to lengthen the leg length.  I am too old to wear tight leggings so I changed the shape of the legs making them more straight and not contoured/shaped around the knees.  More of a straight, tapered leg.



I also made another outfit.  In the following my husband took the photos.  Please don’t hold that against me.


That is my cat, Michelin.


The top is cotton broadcloth.  I was deciding which needle to use on the bronze cloth for the top and size 11 seemed to be just right.  I would normally use a larger size but I gave it a try anyway.  Was I surprised!  The size 11 was just PERFECT!  Look at the stitching on this tunic top.


Normally I would have used a size 12.  I may be using needles too large for my sewing projects.  I started sewing on the pants/trousers using the same size 11 needle.  The fabric for the pants is heavier than the tunic fabric.  The size 11 worked like a DREAM!  At one point this needle was going through 8 layers of the fabric.  Maybe I have been using needles too big for my projects.

I have already started on my next project.  Here it is.


I am making the dress and caplet in the largest view.  The fabric is the olive-green French terry knit behind the pattern.  The pattern pieces are already lengthened and cut out.  I AM  looking forward to this.



Update on the Tina Givens tunic.



This is the tunic that I am making and I want to give you an update.

I was starting with sewing the pockets into position and they seemed to be misaligned.  I thought that somehow they had not been marked properly on the pattern.  I was also pinning the side panels to the front and they were not matching up well at all.  Well, let me say that I was fluxummed.  I pinned, unpinned and re-pinned several times but something was not right.  I spent quite a bit  of time on this.  Then……it hit me.  The seam where the side panels join the front are curved.  Have a look.


Here is another picture that is closer to the top of the tunic.


Do you see how the side panel is curved also.  It is almost like it has been cut on the bias.  That is why it is not meeting the side of the front panel.  As you can see I worked it out and they join just fine.

Since this is linen and I am not serging the seams, I am going along each raw edge with a zigzag stitch and securing the seams an additional time.  I also attached the front and back facings at the neck opening.  I also did the shoulder seam.


In this photo my mother is holding the work in progress.  That is how big it is.  I cut the pattern on a size medium.

I have to confess to something that has never happened to me before.  While I was being so meticulous in my sewing, taking my time and making each stitch as perfect as I could………….I almost stitched my finger.


Can you see the blood gushing from my wound.  Me either.  It was just a scratch.  In all of the decades that I have been sewing I have never come close to sewing my finger until last night.  That did get my attention.

There will be another update, soon to follow.


Let’s make a simple tunic.


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I thought that I would share with you the making of a very simple tunic top.  If you have never made a simple tunic and want to this is your chance to see all of the steps because I have taken A LOT of pictures of the steps.  I am making view one that I am pointing to.

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This is just about all of the items that you will need to cut out the tunic top.  Don’t forget a large flat area and extra space to move around.  Be sure to look at and read the layout instructions before you start.

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I am fortunate because I have a small studio that I do enjoy working in.  I have done this task in my home.

Personally I prefer to purchase a bit more fabric that what the pattern calls for and make laying out the pattern a bit easier for myself.  You choose what way works best for you.

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Using a tracing wheel and tracing paper (the red paper in this photo) to mark arrows, etc.  You will be familiar with what needs to be marked by reading the layout instructions ahead of time.

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Check to make sure that you are marking both of the pattern pieces.  For this project I am using white fabric and red tracing paper so that you can see the markings.  I am also using red thread for the sewing.  I will be dyeing the fabric red at the end of this project.  I am doing this so that everything will be easier to see.

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All cut out and marked.  Now it is time to cut out the interfacing.  I use Pellon fusible interfacing simply because it is easier.

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The great thing about interfacing is that there is not grain, print or pattern so it is easy to fold and/or cut out whatever you need where ever it works out the best.  Be sure to fuse the interfacing to the wrong side or the fabric piece using your iron.  Read the directions that come with the interfacing to know what temperature to set the iron on.

In my next blog post I am going to sew this tunic top together and share it with you.


Now that it is altered and cut out, let’s put this garment together.


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This is what we are going to put together.

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Pin front to back pant leg pieces at the inseam being sure to have right sides together.  Sew both inside leg seams together being sure that notches line up.

Once you are finished with the inside leg seams open the pieces and press the seam.

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Now is when the body/crotch seam is going to be sewn.  Take both legs and put right sides of them together matching the body/crotch edges.  Be sure to match the single notches of the front and the double notches of the back.

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Here it is pinned together and ready to be sewn.

Be sure to double stitch/reinforce the seam through the curved portion of the crotch.  There should be instructions for this in the instructions of your pattern.  The curved portion must be clipped.

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Now open the seam up taking the front and back together at the sides.  At this point the garment is wrong sides together.  Essentially, the pants/trousers must be ‘turned inside out’.

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This is how I turn them.

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The top of the pants/trousers are right in front of me and I flip one part of the top back.  Then reach into the legs and turn the inside out.

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Then the pants/trousers are right sides together again as the next picture will show.

trouser blog post 037Now to pin the outside seams of both of the legs together and sew the straight seam.

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Don’t forget to match the notches as shown in this photo.

After the stitching the main part of the pants/trousers are complete.  Then there is the elastic casing and the hem.

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Before starting the elastic casing …………….

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Press those seams  open.  I can not stress how important I this is to me.  There may be seamstresses out there that do not agree with me and they have their own methods.  For me a nicely pressed seam for casings and hems gives such a crisp appearance.  Onwards!

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Most sewing patterns will give the instruction to turn under 1/4 (a quarter) of an inch for hems and casings.  I prefer to turn under 1/2 (half) of an inch.  To me it makes the casing or hem seam so much stronger.  Since I have already butchered and destroyed the original pattern in making my alterations, I turn under 1/2 inch.  Now if you are using the pattern in the original form and then turn under the 1/4 inch.

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For these pants/trousers I am turning under 2 inches.  I like to use a 1 inch elastic and I like plenty of room for that elastic.  Let me show you what else I have done.

I almost forgot.  Press, press, press.

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When sewing in casing or hems I like to use a quarter-inch quilting foot.  Then I can sew very close to the edge and be consistent with the seam placement.  You can use whatever foot you are comfortable with.  Be sure to leave an opening to allow you to run your elastic.

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On these pants/trousers I am stitching a 1/2 inch from the top to create a ‘paper bag’ type of elastic casing.  Doing this also helps to secure the seams in the casing to make it easier to thread the elastic through.

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To thread my elastic through I prefer to use the safety-pin.  I have tried the bodkin and such but this is what works best for me.  Follow the instructions on the pattern for figuring out how much elastic to use.

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Once the elastic is through then secure with a seam.  I prefer to secure the elastic in two places.

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Finally, close the casing.

The last thing is to hem the pants/trousers.  Because I have already made this pattern before I already know how much hem to put in.  On a pattern the hemming allowance is already included in the instructions.  Don’t forget to pres.


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This pair of pant/trousers is somewhat boring though, don’t you think?  I certainly can’t keep them white because I will get them marked.  I am not able to keep a white garment white.  I am feeling the need for color.  My final blog posting in this ‘series’ will be dyeing the garment.

Now what color should I use?


‘Imperfectly Perfect’, that is what I call my finshed outfit.



This selfie photo is one shot of my finished outfit.  I sewed the garments, dyed the garments and embellished the garments.  I am more that pleased with the result.  I did not turn out the way that I envisioned it … only better.  I would like to review what I did.  I took plain white fabric and made the top.  I found a pattern that I was pleased with for the pants/trousers but I had to alter the pattern.  Oh my did I alter the pants pattern.  I will be going into more detail about the pants pattern in my next blog post.  Then I tea dyed the top and dyed the pants … twice.  I was attempting to get a solid color for the pants but they are subtly ‘mottled’ in color.  As it turns out I am more that pleased with that.  That is what the fabric wanted to do so I didn’t argue with it.  I did dye them twice because they just needed more color.  When I compared the top with the pants the colors were not agreeing with each other so I had to come up with an action to achieve a pleasing end.  I thought about it for a few days and then I thought that I should over-dye the top with the same color as the pants.  The colors of the two are not exactly the same but they are so complimentary.  Then it was time to add the crocheted lace and the doilies.  Let’s look at some more pictures.


When I was adding the lace to the sides of the top I started out to make it the same height on both the front and the back panels.  Then I thought to myself “Why?”.  I am not symmetrical so why should I make the embellishments symmetrical?


I think that you can see that I did the same on the other side at the side split of the top.  The crocheted doilies are not symmetrical either.  All of them are not even the same color.  Some are tea dyed and some are not.  The doilies on the legs are tea dyed and they are not at the same height.



Here are some more shots of the outfit.



I wanted to provide better pictures but events did not work in that direction and I did not want to wait any longer to provide pictures of my finished product  I thank everyone for their interest and support.


Here is the finished top.



Remember this top that I made?  It looks different now.  I thought that I should show you the change that I made.


This is a dyeing method that is new to me.  The method is a type of ombre coloration.

002I am rather pleased with it.  I do feel as though I want to improve when doing this type of dyeing.


I am in the process of making another top that I plan to dye.  I like the individuality that I am able to achieve when I make clothing and then dye it.

Here is the last update until it is finished.



002                                                                                                                                                                                                Please let me start off by apologizing about the less than great quality of this photo.  I had not planned on using this photo in a blog post but here it is.  As you can see the top is finished except for the embellishments that I want to add.  The pants/trousers ….. um well I changed my mind again.  As often as I change my mind lately I am so glad for seam rippers.  I have not put the hem in as you can obviously see.  What I changed is the casing for the elastic.  It was simply turning the top of the pants under and a simple seam.  No, that was not pleasing me.


I decided to put in what I have heard is called a ‘paper bag casing’.  Let me tell you that the fit was just awesome when I put them on.  The top of the casing is not so much that it distorts the drape of the top that I made.  As you can see I did not make the elastic snug to my waist.  Due to physical limitations I just can’t tolerate it so it is not a snug fit.  The pants that I altered the pattern to turned out to be proportionate to my body and the limitations that I have.  The pants look very appealing to the eye.  I am not trying to be self-centered or self-important.  I am just talking about the pants.


This is the finished pant garment.  Well, most of it.  Now, the color is definitely going to change.  I just have to dye them.  Let me see what I have to choose from.


What color should I use? Hmmmmmm.  I am not going to tell you right now but you will see soon.  Remember that quick tunic that I made and my last post was about?


Yep.  This is the one.  It is going to change too.  You will have to be watching.