Linen Look Cotton Tunic
Posted on Wednesday the 16th March 2016 by Sewchet
Followers of my blog will know that I have a penchant for linen and may recall that, last year alone, I made four colourful garments using this fabulous fabric.
Minerva Crafts stock this glorious linen-look cotton Fabric in a rather tasty shade of bubblegum pink which I could see made up as a shirt-style tunic, bringing a touch of colour to the last few gloomy weeks of Winter.
This Sewing Pattern by Butterick has a range of options for different sleeves and collars, but I plumped for view 'D'.
It has a proper collar, in-seam pockets at each side, patch pocket, front and back centre pleats and the option to roll up the sleeves with a button up tab.
So, as usual, I started off by shortening the sleeve by a whole four inches and the hemline by the same amount!
The front placket is the first thing to be constructed and sits at the centre front above a pleat.
I do love a bit of top stitched detail - there's something crisp and tailored-looking about it.
There is also an optional patch pocket that can be added for interest, not to mention modesty - the fabric is lovely and dense but a black bra still shows through a tiny bit!
Although not in the instructions, I always reinforce the top corners of a patch pocket with a triangle of stitching as shown below.
(Apologies for all the colour variations - I was snapping the different stages with both a camera and iPhone, both during the day and at night).
The back yoke goes on next, and both it and the shoulder seams that followed, were crying out for a flat-felled seam as a smarter alternative to the instructions. Overlocked and pressed seams are fine but a flat fell seam gives a much more professional finish.
How neat is this on the inside?!
The one-piece collar is one of the simplest I have ever made, yet also one of the smartest. There is one design fault though, which I will come to in a minute. The more experienced among you will spot the flaw immediately, just like I did as I was cutting it out!
The collar is hand stitched invisibly on the inside. There is actually quite a bit of hand finishing and the tunic is all the better for it.
It does look nice and crisp, doesn't it, but have you spotted the limitation yet?
There is no under collar extension allowing the collar opening edges to meet flush which means the collar cannot be fastened at the very top - it overlaps if the top button is fastened!
Not a good look, but then I never wear a shirt buttoned up to the top anyway, so it really doesn't matter.
The next feature to be added is one that I really like and is a pocket in each side seam. I'm very definitely a hands-in-the-pockets kind of gal and these are a great addition.
Then I had a moment of panic as I couldn't find pattern piece number 12 anywhere. It was the 'continuous lap' for the sleeve slit and, after ironing out every bit of screwed up scrap of pattern leftovers, I came to the conclusion that it had been omitted from the pattern sheet. Either that or just vapourised.
So I improvised and made my own. Simply a one inch wide rectangle of fabric which I trimmed to the right length after insertion. Simple.
There, nothing wrong with that is there, so disaster averted.
Once a pleat and the cuff were added and an interior button tab, a rather beautiful sleeve design emerged with the option for a roll up version for those warmer days.
Before the sleeves could be inserted, I tried on the tunic and ended up reshaping the shoulder line by cutting it back by two inches. Can you see how it is hanging way too far over the edge of my shoulder in this photo?
The hem was just overlocked and turned up half an inch.
And here it is - the finished shirt/tunic!
I love the hidden pockets.
The back pleat gives extra room to manoeuvre and makes the tunic very comfortable to wear.
For the finalé, a blurred action shot by Mr H-L who, incidentally, has a work shirt in an identical shade of pink :)