Sunday, February 14, 2010

Schoolhouse Tunic

I have been known to peruse the Sew Liberated flickr pool a bit- and each time I saw another Schoolhouse Tunic added to the mix, I got antsier and antsier to try one of my own. Meg's Emmeline Apron was the first pattern I bought, a couple years back now, when I decided to try to sew something beyond curtains and hems. That pattern was so wonderful (easy to follow, adorable, flattering, etc) that I made them for 6 moms one Mother's Day. This past summer, I made the Woodlands Shirt for Rowan, which was just as easy to follow and detailed. The Schoolhouse Tunic did not disappoint. Here is my new shirt!

I used this thrifted fabric for a bunch of reasons:

  • cost - at $3.99 for 8 yards, if I screwed up, I would not be out really anything at all
  • drape - the fabric is fairly thin, though not see through, and seemed to be the right drape for this shirt.
  • kitsch and cuteness - OK, I'm a vintage junkie and I knew I'd be more apt to wear this if it were fun. I love this print. Maybe a little busy, but I love it!

My sister agreed to model for me, luckily. I was still in my sweat pants and had bed head, so her modeling seemed the better option for us all. The shirt went together fast - the toughest part was tracing out my size. Since we are staying at my mother's house this weekend, I did not have all my equipment with (tracing wheel, freezer paper, etc). I ended up taping the pattern to the sliding glass door and tracing it out onto tissue paper. Not fast, but effective! I was also without my rotary cutter and mat, so I relied on pinning and shears - which took longer than I'm used to as well. I realized that while I don't need all the sewing accessories and tools I've amassed over the past 2 years, they sure make things go faster. I did have, mind you, my mothers trusty Husqvarna, (sister to my own) so the sewing itself was just dandy. Meg's directions were fantastic - and just when I would not quite get it, there would be a drawing to help me understand. It took less than an hour for the actual sewing itself - and I only had to rip out one seam (crooked hem - all my bad, not the fault of the pattern).

Here is me trying to show (somewhat unsuccessfully) how I sewed down the pleat.

I opted for making this shirt length - I actually made it at the tunic length first and just did not love it on me. So I hemmed it up and found it more flattering on me as a shirt. Because I did not follow directions and use the correct seam allowances, it was just a little roomier than I wanted it -but I was able to take it in a bit up either side (probably to where the seam allowances published would have been) and it fits perfect now. I sewed down the 2 pleats in front - so they did not billow out as much. I also hand sewed the placket together about 1/2 way up, since I knew I would want to wear this without having to wear something underneath. Last, I left out the elastic casing for the sleeves, mainly because I thought it would be more comfortable without it.

I'll be making more of these, that is guaranteed. I had to stop myself from adding my mismatched vintage buttons up the placket of this one. Wouldn't that be cute with elastic thread loops on the other side as a closure? This fabric was busy enough... but I think on a more neutral fabric they would be fabulous. I also debated adding belt loops and a belt - maybe I'd like the tunic with a belt? Oh - the possibilities!


Brooke said...

CUTE! I want one!!!

are you not coming home tonight then?? Poolie Pool Pool is calling our names, COME ON! you are't going to make me go alone are ya?????

Also, HAPPY BDAY CHLLOE!!!! Shirt is super cute:)

Heather said...

This looks so wonderful! I love it. I have been wanting to make this shirt, and this is very inspiring