Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Sewing Fun, Fabulous, Tunics

Have you ever seen something that is totally your style, but at the same point you're not sure if it's something you would actually wear? A testing call for a lovely tunic with pockets and a hanky-hem came across my my facebook feed. It was the Beltaine Fires Tunic by Mother Grimm Designs, and it totally sparked my interest.

Pockets, large, beautiful pockets, and a fun pointy hem, what could be better? These design elements were calling my name! But at the same point. . . tunic. I love the looks of tunics, but I never really wear them (probably because I haven't yet jumped on the "leggings as pants" train.) As I try not to make clothes for myself that I won't actually wear, I was about to pass on testing this pattern, despite the large fabulous pockets. Then I realized - I could test this pattern for my sister! She now fits in the smaller sizes of women's patterns and she's all about the tunics and leggings life!! I didn't have to pass on testing this pocketed, pointy- hemmed, goodness after all.

I applied to test the pattern, got accepted, then went shopping in my fabric stash. Thankfully, I had the perfect fabric already on hand. (I have two rules for myself when I apply to test patterns. 1 - I have to actually like the design and the final garment will have to be one I (or my sister) will actually wear. 2 - I ought to already have appropriate fabric in stash. I really need to shrink my stash! This second "rule" however, isn't exactly hard and fast.)

The pattern calls for knit fabrics with lots of stretch and drape, so from my stash I selected a dark brown, mystery synthetic, rib-type knit. To accent this, I found a pair of teal cotton/lycra sweatpants to harvest fabric from for the pockets, waistband, neckband, and bottom ruffle.

This pattern has several options, it can be made with a plain hem or a handkerchief hem, with or without pockets, with or without a waistband, and with or without a ruffle, or other trim, at the bottom. Also, it comes in 17 sizes (bust measurement 32"-57.5"), and three hight options (petite, regular, and tall.) As the hanky hem and pockets originally drew my attention to this design, those are the options I chose to test. I also opted to add trim at the bottom, just for fun, and proceeded to sew up the tunic in one afternoon. As, for the time being (it will probably change next week at the rate she's growing), my sister is only 5'2", I made the "petite" height option for her. The finished tunic fit splendidly, and she absolutely loved it, immediately requesting another just like it!

Well, I'd agreed to make at least two tunics during testing anyway, so making another was easily done. For the second tunic, we decided to do the hanky hem, pockets, and ruffle, just like the first, but skip the waistband on this one.

A few months ago, I made my sister a pair of black and red leggings with red heart patches on the knees, and I really wanted to make her a tunic to go with them! Thus, for the next tunic I picked fabrics with that goal in mind. 

From my stash I picked a gray and black knit jacquard. (At least that's what I think it is. It's a mystery knit from a thrift store that appears to have a high spandex content.) With black and red accents it would match the leggings perfectly!

Once this tunic was done, my sister loved it just as much as the first. But how could she not?

It has pockets, a ruffle, and a fun hemline - seems like a winning combination to me! 

Now, despite my initial hesitancy, after making this pattern for my sister and seeing all the other fabulous tunics made during testing, I want one for myself! So, I may have to get on that. I might just lengthen it a bit to be a dress :)

If this pattern interests you, it can be found here. It's on sale through 5/12/18 with the code BELTAINE25. I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was under no obligation to write this blog post, I just really like this tunic and felt like sharing!

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