A second Gallery Tunic

After finishing a new garment, I almost always have revisions I’d like to make, or some small mod to the pattern, to get an even better fit.  However, I rarely take the time to make the garment a second time.  This is mostly because I have project ADD.  I have so many things I want to make, and my brain is always bouncing around thinking about the next one.  However, Liesl + Co hosted a Gallery Tunic sew along in February, so it was the perfect opportunity to make this shirt again.

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I made a few simple changes, in order correct some things that bothered me about my first attempt.  For this tunic I shortened it by 2.5″.  I am 5’1″ on my tall days, and have virtually no waist.  My ribs pretty much just sit on top of my hips, seriously.  That means I will probably need to shorten most tops I make.  See, I’m learning!

The stiffness of placket really bothered me on the first tunic I made.  The pattern instructs you to interface the placket, collar and cuffs.  However, despite my best researching skills, I found little information on specifically what type of interfacing should be used.  I learned in the sew a long that the interfacing should not change the hand or drape of the fabric.  Good to know! That also explains why my last tunic seemed so stiff, I was clearly not using the right stuff!

Here is a quick pic of my tunic mid way through completion.

24951292310_7936d7f5bc_bTake note on that stiff placket (yes, you’re right, the collar is not stitched down).  The red shirt on the right is a ready to wear shirt that was in my closet.  Now, I’m sure it’s not proper sewing form, but I actually like the soft floppy placket on the RTW shirt.  So, to achieve a similar look, I boldly ripped out my interfaced placket (having to go up into the sergered shoulder seams to get it out, eek!)  I replaced it with a simple strip of fabric, making the finished placket slightly smaller, and hopefully more flexible. I also decided to take in the tunic about 1/2″ on each side to get it to be slightly more fitted, even after trading the hips down a size.  I had a little trouble with the split hem after doing this, but I tried to just iron it into submission.

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I chose the 3/4 sleeves with banded collar for this version.  I topstitched the collar in place, because I was impatient after all that ripping, and my hastiness shows.  I will definitely hand stitch down the next time.

Overall I’m very pleased with how this version turned out.  It’s even made me brave enough to go back to my first tunic and alter the placket on that piece as well. Sewing a handmade wardrobe is a lot of work, and it won’t be worth it unless I actually like and wear the pieces I make!

Pattern: Gallery Tunic by Liesl + Co
Fabric: Cloud9 Double Gauze from Joann’s
Size: 2 graded to a 0 in the hips

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Striped Grainline Hemlock Tee

DSC_0358I bought this fabric at Joann’s a while ago.  I believe it’s a double knit, as it is striped on one side and polka dots on the other. I have a thing for stripes.  If I could wear all stripes I probably would.  Well, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but I do like stripes.  I knew I wanted to make t shirt of some sort, but I was thinking a boxier style would fit this fabric better than a more fitted tee.  There are actually quiet a few free tee patterns by some of the bigger Indie designers. I decided to go with the Grainline Hemlock Tee because it is a boxy style and looked pretty easy.

Printing and assembling this PDF pattern was very simple, as its a one size pattern. That means no tracing!  When sewing a PDF pattern, I always print/trim/assemble, then trace the size I want to make. I don’t want to have to go through the whole process again if I need to make a size change after sewing the pattern, so tracing seems to be the best way to leave the PDF as a master. At any rate, with a one size pattern, there is no tracing!

I had to make a few modifications to make it wearable. I looked to a favorite ready to wear shirt that I have in my closet. It seemed to be made with a similar construction and shape, so I used it to make a few mods.  If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture of what it looked like before I made my mods.  Trust me, it was pretty bad.  I might be a little small to use a one size fits all pattern, and not have it look like I just dropped a sheet over myself and called it done.

I shortened the sleeves, the overall length, and decided to do a high low hem. After shortening the sleeves, they seemed very floppy and loose, so I tapered them from the underarm to the new hemline; using my RTW shirt as a guide.

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Overall with the modifications I made, I think the shirt fits pretty well.  I like the loose/boxy fit.  I’m almost a little sad that I chose to use the stripes side.  There are fun polka dots hiding just inside this crazy shirt!

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Also, on a side note, blogging is hard.  Taking pictures of yourself, or having your husband take them, and then realizing none of them really turned out well enough to blast them out to the interwebs.  Wondering, “Do I really look like that?”  “What’s happening with my hair?” and a million other things that you’re probably better off not worrying about.  That’s the part that is slowing me down!

Pattern: Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studios
Fabric: Double Knit from Joann’s
Size: One Size fits all with Mods

Gallery Tunic

I found the Liesl + Co brand through Oliver + S.  When I first started sewing I would see so many cute kids clothes that were made from the Oliver + S pattern line. I have since sewn two Oliver + S patterns, the Fairy Tale dress for C, and the Art Museum Vest for L. This past fall I started dipping my toes further into garment sewing, and made two Everyday Skirts for myself.  I loved making the skirts.  I think it is actually the easiest PDF pattern I have ever assembled, and the skirt comes together easily and looks very tailored.  The Gallery Tunic is the first top I have made for myself from the brand.

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I really enjoyed sewing this top. I first made a muslin in a size 4; however it was much too big. I retraced the pattern in the size 2 and it fits much better. The shoulders and arms fit well, with out being tight. There is a pleat in the back that allows for some movement without being constricting.  My fear with sewing woven shirts is always that the shoulders and arms will be too tight, and I won’t be able to move around comfortably.  I’m about 5’1″, so I do a lot of reaching during the day!

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I chose to sew View A, the tunic length, with the collar and long sleeves from View B.  Everything came together nicely, however my placket and collar are a little stiff.  In looking back over my materials, I think the interfacing I used was just slightly too heavy.  Live and learn.  I am hoping it will soften as I wear and wash it more.

Being relatively new to garment sewing, I am always curious about what the insides of finished pieces look like.  I almost gave up sewing completely when I made a dress for my daughter a few years ago.  The inside was a hot mess!  I have since researched many finishing techniques, and most importantly, discovered a serger.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be attempting a handmade wardrobe without one.  Just for reference, or incase you are curious too, here is a shot of the inside of my tunic.
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I sewed this with Robert Kaufman Gingham in Navy.  Looking over the pictures, I realize that I forgot to add the buttons to the sleeve bands…ooops!  I guess I’ll be starting February off with a little finishing work!

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Pattern: Gallery Tunic by Liesl + Co

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Carolina Gingham

 

Hudson Pants and a Hat

I’ve grown less timid around knits, but still hesitate a bit when it comes to sewing with them. I really need to work on getting over this since most of my ready to wear clothes are knits, especially tops.

These Hudson Pants are one of the first knit garments that I’ve sewn for myself. I have to say, I love these pants!  They are very similar to my favorite pair of sweat pants. And I love sweat pants. I really do my best to act like a grown up, and not leave the house in sweat pants.  However, sometimes I find myself at the grocery store at 9:30pm, in my sweat pants.  I know it’s happened to you too.

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I have seen so many great pair of Hudson Pants, that I had to try the pattern myself.  I am about 5’1″, around 110 lbs, and have about at 37″ hip measurement.  This put me squarely in the size 4.  I sewed the pattern exactly as is, without any modifications.  I have fairly long legs for my relatively small height, so I think the length was fine.  I could have *maybe* shortened them by about an 1″, but I think the extra length is fine here.  It will keep my ankles nice and toasty in all this snow.  Not that I’ll be wearing these outside…

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Maybe you noticed that it snowed? A lot? Yes, indeed it did!  These pictures were taken in my In Laws back yard, amidst a snowball fight.  Don’t you think that is the best way to take pictures for a sewing blog?

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The hat was a quick fun knit from Very Shannon, called Landslide.  I used Quarry from Brooklyn Tweed that I bought on a whim the last time I was at Fibre Space, the most awesome local yarn shop.

Pattern: Hudson Pant by True Bias

Fabric: Stretch French Terry from Imagine Gnats (looks like my awesome red is sold out, but there is still some basic colors)

Hat Pattern: Landslide Hat

Yarn: Quarry by Brooklyn Tweed in Gypsum