If you've seen my earlier blog post about my new summer wardrobe you already know that I am in love with some of the new Simplicty patterns. This one in particular has a couple of great pieces that are quick, easy and cute as a button:
Not only did I make the dress and the jacket (a new wardrobe staple for this summer and trust me I will be making more of them!) but I was looking forward to making the tunic style shirt as well. While looking around for the fabric to make the dress I saw on the shelf a beautiful linen that we had ordered a few weeks back. Funnily enough it was called 'Linen of Erin' and the joke has been that since it 'has my name written all over it' I needed to make something with it. Well, I thought the dress would be too plain in this fabric but the shirt, well the shirt I thought would be just right. Here is the fabric:
There is a secret to linen... If you wash it before you make something out of it, the garment will be washable. Very often at the shop I will just cut the pattern straight from the bolt- I mean who has time to pre-wash right? Well in the case of this linen I was hoping that if I ran it through the wash a couple of times it would soften right up and then when I was done with the shirt it would be machine washable. You see, I don't have the time or the money to run to the dry cleaners all the time. But since I got my new fancy pants washing machine and dryer I now have a steam setting and I was really hopeful that I could wash the shirt, dry it and then maybe throw it on the wrinkle release setting and get it looking presentable that way.
Well, after the first washing, the linen became so soft and had such a wonderful drape to it I got even more excited to make it into a tunic. I spent a few minutes pressing it back out and got to work cutting out the pattern. Since this pattern only has two pattern pieces it is very fast and easy to cut it out. I marked the darts, and then got to work sewing the darts. Now I normally have a bit of on issue with darts. It's not that I don't know what I'm doing but they never seem to line up right. And don't get me started on the bubble at the end of the dart. There are couple of 'secrets' to darts: #1- Sew from the seam line in. #2- DON'T back stitch at the point of the dart. Darts should always be tied off by hand. #3- The last few stitches should be sewn right on the fold of the dart, just catching a few threads at the very end.
No matter how hard I try I always end up with the bubble at the end, Except this time! Once I pressed it, it looked so nice. I was so proud!
Again, I used the same bias tape treatment around the armholes and the neck, and again I used the serger to do a quick and easy rolled hem.
And once all that was done I used the same bias tape to create a 'casing' around the entire waist line to give the shirt some shape. All I had to do once the bias tape was topstitched down I used a safety pin to feed the elastic through.
Here is the casing on the inside of the tunic:
And TADA!! Here we have the finished project: