Monday, November 14, 2011

One stitch at a time

Let me begin by saying that my recent sewing project was one of those experimental ideas.  I try to pay attention to my creative storms, and I try to remember that not every good idea will result in a good product.   Under all these good intentions, though, is a 4 year old stomping her feet and saying "I will NEVER be good at this!"  and "I hate this!"

My nickname as a child was
Screamie Mimi
Let's all just ignore that whiny 4 year old and focus on this exceptionally creative tunic.  Backstory: three years ago my husband and I went to Kauai and I bought the cutest tunic at a shop specializing in hemp garments.  This tunic is linen/rayon, and wears beautifully.  It is a great color for me, and the fit is good.

Cute, huh?  Look at the lace.
I like this tunic and decided I needed two of them, or even more.  Different colors, more drape, maybe a sexier missteps began here.  I found a pattern which was close and proceeded to research, read, hunt up details.  I wanted this to be the BEST tunic possible.  Hubris, right?   I used the most beautiful rayon in my stash, and laid it out carefully to rest before cutting.  I altered for petite by folding about 8 inches off the bottom, and adjusting the width of the shoulders.  As I cut out the pattern, the damn rayon slithered around, and I also noted that I was short of fabric for one sleeve.  I also was wearing my old glasses, and I think perhaps I was imagining pattern edges where there were none.    No matter; as Tim Gunn says "Make it work".  Onward.  I sewed up the pleats,
This really is a great pattern!
constructed the overlay and the underlay, and connected them.  Easy as pie.  It is an ingenious pattern.

Unfortunately, even cutting a small, and altering for petite, it was too big.  I mean, really BIG.  I cut off even more from the hems (which run around all pieces from shoulder to hip), swallowed my pride, and began hemming.  This step took all morning.  It's a looooong hem.

So, here is what I have so far.  It is okay, I like the idea of it, but this sewing experience has soured it for me right now.  I need to complete the vents and the sleeve hems, and find some way to adjust the left shoulder where I have 1-2 inches of extra tunic.  I could hang regalia off the damn shoulder.

Will I finish this and wear it?  Yes.  Will I try again?  Let's ask that 4 year old.

Waterfall altered into oblivion

Linebacker shoulders
I could trim and re-hem


  1. Love, love, love it.. Great looking fabric and I can see you wearing it.. you go girl..

  2. I'm sorry - I don't think you meant this to be a comedy skit, but you had me giggling all the way through it!

    You may know by now that I will stick with something I like no matter how bad it gets in between the vision stage & the disaster stage. Everything about the new tunic (and I can see why you love the old one!) looks like it is totally worth saving - here's to stick-to-itiveness!

    (btw, my Peony vest journey was much like this...I got waylaid by responsibilities today, but I am DEFINITELY finishing it tonight! And it will be worth all the extra work.....I hope.........)

  3. It looks like you are close. The color is gorgeous and I'll bet it will feel heavenly on. I do think you should try to "make it work." If you decide to give it another go, the teal tunic instantly reminded me of Vogue 8402. Maybe you'd like that pattern. It is similar, but has a v-neck, giving it a sexier neckline.

  4. I'm sure you can make it work! Rayon is tricky at the best of times, and I think you are doing a marvellous job. It is a gorgeous colour.

  5. The fabric is a beautiful color, and I'll bet it would look gorgeous on you. I'm sure if you wear it you'll enjoy it.

  6. I do hope that you can make it work for you. It looks lovely.

  7. As I was reading this, I was expecting to see a not-so-pretty finished product, but this is very nice. I hope you get to wear it.

  8. Thank you to everyone for cheering me on. It's the incredible amount of extra fabric flapping around that is the problem. The left shoulder truly has 1-2 inches of extra hanging over the edge like a balcony. !! But, I have a solution. Stay tuned.

  9. If this is what you produce, that you are unhappy with I cannot wait to see what it looks like when you are.

    I am often completely disillusioned with a project when I finish it and have to force myself to wear it. I think it's odd..I obviously liked the fabric....the pattern....sheesh.

  10. Looks great Mary. Love the color. Good on you to go with your creative urge. I love to do that, and, yeah the results are not always what I hope for but the process is so fun!

  11. "Make it work" and the four year old do a lot of fighting in my sewing room, too. How frustrating that the pattern is drafted so unmanageably large. It does look like it has potential, though.

  12. Yeah, I am acquainted with this struggle. I am stubborn and impatient. So often, I suspect things are not going to turn out right but I just steam roll through the project to disappointment. I think the idea does have potential though. maybe you could try measuring the original?

  13. Heheh, love the four-year-old comparison. I can see why you love the original tunic and it looks like you're very close to happiness with your new version. Worth persisting with I'd say since you might end up with a custom pattern you use a lot! Sizing and proportion can be so frustratingly variable between patterns though, can't it.

  14. Mary- hello there - 1 . agree with your comments on anothers blog about anothers blogpost !
    2. I can not control everything in my life but I try hard not to let a piece of material get the better of me ! -hence I can relate to the four year old struggle.
    3. in answer to your question on my blog about DIY topstitching thread - yes the two threads do fit through the needle - although I admit with my short sightedness and now middle age need for reading glasses which I am fighting very hard to delay it can get tricky !

  15. Some outfits are likechildren, they give you fits at home but when they are on display everyone says they look perfect. I think this brat tunic is lovely...

  16. I think it looks your top looks fabulous and I am loving dolman sleeves right now too. Im about to leave my comfort zone of dresses and sew some knit seperates this week. That 4 year old in me might not like it! Thanks for poting on my linky party!

  17. Sorry about the typos. Once the comment is published It can't be edited...


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