Handmade Wardrobe 2016: Gallery Tunic

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I am happy to report that project #1 in Operation Handmade Wardrobe 2016 (original title, huh) is complete.

Last week I participated in the Liesl & Co. sew-along for the Gallery Tunic and Dress Pattern, and it was a success. This was my first time sewing this pattern and I chose the collared tunic version (Version A), made with a lightweight stretch shirting fabric I purchased at Joanns.

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The shirt has a placket front with pleat detail, and an inverted pleat in the back. It’s a relaxed fit that pulls on, without the need for any button or zipper closures.

I sewed the tunic in a size 6 graded to a size 10 through the hips based on the pattern size chart. The grading was the only pattern modification I made.  Based on the relaxed fit and a-line shape of the tunic, I may not have needed to grade out so much at the hips, but I am pleased with the fit nonetheless.

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The fit of this tunic is spot on for me through the shoulders and chest.  I did not make a muslin before cutting into this fabric so I was holding my breath in anticipation when I first tried it on.  Knowing the fit is so great through the shoulders gives me plenty of ideas for using this pattern as a jumping off point for different variations. I’m already envisioning a shorter blouse-length in a crisp white, to be worn tucked in (or a half-tuck) for a more dressy look. I am also looking forward to making the dress version.

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I paid particular attention to the fabric layout when cutting my pattern pieces, and I am giving myself a big round of applause for pattern matching throughout — some instances, perhaps, more luck than skill!

I have to admit I really liked this fabric print when I first saw it, but the longer I sewed with it, the more I started to doubt my selection. Is it too busy? I think it will be a fun piece for my spring/summer wardrobe, and I can always mute it a bit by layering a lightweight navy blue cardigan over it. Add some white jeans … (and by the way, who makes good white jeans, as in thick enough not to be embarrassing. Or are white jeans a no-no once you hit a certain age? Thoughts?)

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For now I should be concentrating on sewing for Kids Clothes Week, but I already have fabric and a sewing pattern selected for my next Handmade Wardrobe 2016 project, so we’ll see how much kid’s sewing gets done this week.