I brought this project to the Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild chapter's summer "Taste of Retreat" in mid-August. The summer retreat is slightly smaller, about two dozen participants, but just as much fun. The conference room we use is light and airy and quite large so we have great table set ups. After supervising our kitchen renovation (thank you for your kind comments on the results) I enjoyed being with sewing girlfriends and working on projects without deadlines. I've been embracing the tunic top look in knits and now would like to have two or more tried and true woven versions to play around with. This pattern fills the bill and I am quite happy with the first result.
The fabric was a border print that I have had for years (I should make a keyboard shortcut for that phrase since I use it so often.) I think it may have been from Joann's and not from my usual Fabric Mart source. It's a medium lightweight 100% polyester and I think I originally had in mind a skirt. I don't overheat easily (menopause just meant that I reached room temperature now and then) but I don't like close fitting poly because of the clammy factor. This top has side panels, a slight shirttail curve and a side seam dart so even though it is loose fitting there is some shape and I have not been bothered by the poly fabric. It also has a three piece sleeve that suggests all sorts of techniques for future versions.
Since I had only planned a skirt originally there wasn't a lot of fabric to play with when I was cutting it out. I didn't want the border circling my
I also didn't want to wear a tank top with it so I slipstitched the bottom three inches to keep it shut while I move. This area will probably get some decorative closure in the future versions.
I'm saying first version because I really like the fit and lines of this pattern. I will drop the bust dart about 1/2 on the next one and add length but it really is a TNT woven pattern for me know. I have a decent collection of Susan McCauley's Cambodian ikat fabrics Mekong River Textiles and have never used them successfully. I thought at the time I purchased them that I would be joining my more art-to-wear sewing friends and make a pieced jacket or two. Turns out that's not really my look. I'm an old hippie, yes, but I never feel like myself when I wear something that arty or pieced. But a tunic top in ikat fabrics with jeans or leggings, that's a look I embrace, or maybe lengthened into a summer cotton dress.
Another relatively easy retreat project was a second version of Vogue 8691, a Katherine Tilton pattern when she was associated with Vogue
It took me awhile but I like this pattern more and more. The shoulder princess seams allow for some nice fitting up top, the loose below the bust swing-y part is feminine and comfortable but I don't think I look inappropriately pregnant as I have in some other tops I have made. This time I did a little contrast with some brown swimsuit lining fabric that I cut 1 inch shorter to a second ruffle and also for the neck binding.
|Vogue 8691 going to the farmers' market|
|Vogue 8691 and Style Arc Elle pants in a thin knit|
|Had to trim this area anyway so next time use the tape.|
No, it's not the Trader Joe's "$2 buck Chuck" although that is a Charles Shaw case. Maryland doesn't sell wine or beer in grocery stores so I had to re-supply after a summer of fun at home. This might get us through until I return to VA for the next retreat in January. Oh yeah, and maybe I won't buy any more fabric this year either.