i find the big world of garment sewing downright intimidating. you see, as i’ve said previously, when it comes to sewing, i’m great at following instructions, but not so great at ad-libbing. i really admire folks who can alter a pattern to fit their figure and style, and i seriously envy those who can forego the guidance of patterns altogether and make their own. respect, mad-sewists! if a lack of experience is at the root of my sewing inferiority complex, the solution must be to broaden my sewing horizons, no?
i’d had my eye on the schoolhouse tunic pattern for a while (it’s by meg mcelwee, a bona-fide member of the league of mad-sewists. she’s way too talented). her tunic pattern is both sweet and modern, with just enough forgiveness in the fit to make it a non-intimidating sew. i made my first tunic in a baby-soft and surprisingly lightweight corduroy by amy butler. i absolutely adore the slightly exotic feel of the floral pattern. it lent itself very well to this simple, comfy project, and i was quite chuffed with the results. i did find it a little too maternity-wearish initially, what with the double-whammy of front and back reverse box pleats, which look really sweet but aren’t terribly figure flattering, so i sewed down the back pleat which helped to minimize the poufiness of the rump area.
for my second schoolhouse tunic, i went a little more summery and used a slightly graphic, slightly romantic cotton from ty pennington. yes, that ty pennington. despite his overly caricatured personality, the dude has good taste in fabric design. because the sewn-down back pleat in tunic number one was still a little bulky, i decided i needed to delete the back pleat entirely. though it was the babiest of baby-steps, nixing the pleat did involve a tiny alteration of the pattern (what a brave girl!), and i’m pleased to report that it turned out perfectly. not only am i much happier with the fit and the silhouette, but i’m quite impressed with my not entirely deliberate fabric matching at the back seam – it’s almost spot on. silly detail, i know, but it’s progress. i may not be ready for the league of mad-sewists yet, but i’m happily on my way.
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