I say “Take 1” in the title because this is far from what I wanted but a step in the right direction. I need several new cover ups this summer. We go to the pool most weekends and will be down in Florida for two weeks later this summer. When we’re at the resort in Florida, I basically live in my swimsuit and cover up most of the day unless we venture somewhere (rare) or it’s time to shower for dinner.
I have always loved tunics, whether shorter as a blouse or longer over a swimsuit. Vineyard Vines, Lily Pulitzer, and Tory Burch have adorable tunics but they are ridiculously expensive. $120-$250 for a yard or two of fabric?? Even J Crew is $80. Granted, the prints and embellishments are fantastic but I can’t stomach that much for a blouse, let alone one that will be yellow from sunscreen in a couple weeks.
So, I’m on a mission to replicate the style knowing that it won’t be exact. I thought it would be so easy. The problem? Finding a good pattern. Most are shapeless sacks. The closest I found and the one I tried was Kwik Sew 3601. There is a fantastic Simplicity Cynthia Rowley pattern (2584) that has a tunic and dress that would be perfect but it’s out of print and I haven’t seen any for sale.
So sheer! You can see why the pictures are on a dress form!
I knew this would be a trial run going in. The fabric is a voile I got from Fabricmart when they had all their voile 50% off a few weeks ago and was my least favorite of my purchases. At $3.50/yard it was almost as cheap as muslin. The problem was when I pre-washed. The print bled. Grr! I didn’t notice it until I was ironing prior to cutting. It’s not readily apparent but there are areas all over that look like an old stain or a shadow. Unfortunately it was over the entire yardage so I couldn’t cut around it. That’s such a disappointment, especially since I always wash in cold.
Much easier to see in person. Here it just looks like shadows or the print on the other side but I have a piece of white paper between the two layers.
The pattern was for a top so I lengthened it by 2 inches. I shouldn’t have. This is long! That combined with the boxy shape make it unflattering. I could add some elastic to give it shape but with the fabric and fit issues, it’s not worth it. I shortened the sleeves and left off the band at the bottom. I cut a small blended to a medium in the hips. The sizing was fine except around the waist. Though there are bust darts it’s pretty shapeless and makes you look huge! If I use this pattern again, I’ll take it in at the waist and shorten it.
The directions were great. I’m really liking Kwik Sew patterns. I just wish I liked more of their styles. The seam allowances are 1/4 inch everywhere and 1/8 inch on the placket. That makes it a little fiddly and I had to be careful, especially since this fabric frays if you look at it wrong.
So, in the end, it’s wearable but not ideal. I’m considering it a wearable muslin. I think I’ll try a different style blouse next. I’m still on the look out for the perfect tunic pattern. Any suggestions?