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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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.

Liesl and Co Gallery Tunic

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