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.

Gallery Tunic: Joining the Sew-Along

I’ve decided I need to focus on sewing up some pieces for my own wardrobe this year. My first step in making good on that decision is joining the Liesl & Co. Gallery Tunic and Dress Sew-Along this week.

Liesl + Co. Gallery Tunic + Dress sew-along

The Gallery Tunic and Dress Pattern has been around for a while, so it’s a little sad that I am just getting around to making it for the first time. So far my sewing has been about 98% focused on projects for my children, so I have a lot of catching up to do in the realm of women’s sewing patterns. In fact, when I look at the “projects for me” list I compiled earlier this month, barely any of the projects are new patterns (and that’s even using a rather generous definition of “new”). I’d like to think I’ve selected some classics; hopefully they will be timeless pieces, and patterns I’ll enjoy sewing more than once.

For the Sew-Along, I’ll be making the tunic version of the pattern, with the full collar and three-quarter length sleeves. I’ve selected a printed stretch shirting fabric from Joann’s for my tunic; here’s a quick peek at the fabric below. This fabric is super light-weight, so the tunic is definitely destined for spring and summer wear.

Azure Tide Pool Stretch Shirting Fabric-Floral Red

Azure Tide Pool Stretch Shirting from Jo-Ann fabrics; photo credit joann.com

I originally intended to stick with solids and neutral colors for the first set of wardrobe pieces I’m planning to sew (to, hopefully, support my goal of adding timeless pieces), but this fabric really appealed to me, and it was on sale, and it seemed so fun and summery as I shopped in the dead of winter, and …. oh well, so much for neutrals on this project!

I’ll be posting updates on my Instagram account, and will post again here once the project is complete.

Interested in joining the sew-along? The discussion board can be found here.