I had a nice piece of my black, suiting fabric left over from my recent By Hand London Charlotte Skirt. I’d actually made a note for myself on the pattern to buy less than the required amount next time as I’d ended up chopping so much off the length. I didn’t quite trust myself though, so bought the recommended requirements. Anyhow, flicking through some sewing books last weekend I came across this Tunic pattern in The Great British Sewing Bee’s original book. It’s the only pattern that actually came with the book and the amount needed suited my leftovers perfectly. And because it’s using up leftovers, I figured it wasn’t deviating too far from my plans.
I wasn’t taking any risks with the sizing, as the last (and only) couple of projects I’ve made from this book came up pretty small, so I cut a 12 and the shortest (waist) version. I soon realised that this was far too big, and took an extra inch off each side seam, so a size 10 next time then. The instructions were pretty clear and helpful, but I reshuffled the order a bit. It’s labelled as a ‘two button’ make, so presumably pretty easy, and it was, right up until the facing…
Mmmm… Inserting the facing involved a kind of two-in-one insertion whereby you attached it, firstly along the neckline (simple enough), but then kind of pulled it inside out (or in on itself!?) to attach the same piece to the armholes. Now although this read like double Dutch the first couple of times I read it, eventually I could see what I was supposed to do. But I do mean see, I couldn’t actually do it!
After much pinning and unpinning I figured if I could get half way round, and then take out half the pins, I might be able to pull the rest through, which kind of worked in that I completed the loop, but it’s ended up looking pretty twisted! Granted, on the insides mostly, so I’ve had to hand stitch the facing down in several places to stop it from twisting outwards, which mostly worked. It’s a pretty loose design, so hopefully this won’t be too uncomfy to wear. There must be a knack to doing this though. I’ve been following The Frugal Stitcher’s 30 day challenge (featuring an item a day from the latest book) and she referenced a similar technique on a different top, so fingers crossed they’ll be revisiting it on an upcoming programme, so I can figure the technique out. It does create a really neat (if I ignore the twisted bits) finish on the inside so I figure it would be a good skill to learn.
Even though it’s not perfect (boy am I itching to get back to knits and my overlocker), I think it will be a really useful piece. I’m wearing it below with my matching Charlotte Skirt, and I love the way it almost looks like a dress when worn together. Even though I seem to have lost the knack of sewing with wovens, I’m learning to love thinking creatively, to use up every last scrap of fabric. Anyone else learning to love their leftovers or have a go-to leftover pattern that takes up a minimum amount of fabric?
Rubbish, fuzzy shots today sorry as weather and light so atrocious. Clearly, I piled on the layers for work (can you spot yet another infinity scarf? Burgundy this time), but it was great to find that it layered up really easily. Finally another shot of my twisted seams. You can just about make out where I’ve had to anchor it down to stop it rolling outwards. My innards are far from perfect, but I’m getting there slowly.