The Perfect Tunic Dress
Posted on Wednesday the 12th February 2020 by Crafternoon Teas
Plus a little hack! Read about my perfect Springtime wardrobe staple.
If you are new to dressmaking or looking for such an easy project that has loads of hacking potential, this pattern is it! In this post I am reviewing the most soft and gorgeous to sew jersey fabric by Art Gallery in such a cute, fun print. I made it into a simple tunic which is easy to wear and simple to make.
I love the huge selection of Art Gallery fabrics at Minerva and the heart design was perfect for a February make! Let’s talk about this print, I love the repeat of black and white hearts in the design. I used this on my tunic so the pattern is divided down the middle of the dress; white onside and black the other. Having fun cutting out is always enjoyable when the fabric has such a huge repeating pattern.
I choose New Look 6449 as it’s two wardrobe basics in one pattern. A jersey tunic and a denim shirt dress. Both are simple and stylish with lots of hacking potential for an experienced sewist or great first project on a sewing machine or overlocker for jersey newbies. Since I have been sharing my makes online I get asked by crafters and friends what is the best first project. So this is for those wanting to start sewing a dress or sewing with jersey.
Let me share a secret, I was amazed that I managed to squeeze out of one metre of fabric the whole dress and long sleeves! The pattern says 1.40m but with some careful scheming I did it and had enough for a shoulder bow and two head bands for our girls. Comparing the jersey to others, it’s so soft and a little more of an investment but it retains it’s shape whilst sewing and for a newbie you need that support to make a fab make whilst you get control of working with the machines feed dogs.
This is how I did it…
I folded in the sides of the fabric to get the repeat pattern black/white look on the front of the dress and cut the sleeves as singles instead of double fabric thickness. I was so happy as my original plan was just to made a top instead of a tunic dress.
Art Gallery fabric is such a beautiful quality (it’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex) and worth the investment (£23.99 p/m) for a great distinctive print and a garment you’ll pull out of the wardrobe on a regular basis. I’ve said it before but seriously this fabric is so soft!
I love a New Look pattern and this is my fifth review for Minerva! The pattern pieces, the instructions and the pattern grading fit me and I enjoy sewing with them. They are great patterns and well priced.
I made a size 10 version and with no darts, I was surprised with how great the fit was. I was expecting to have to alter but I made the tunic exactly to the pattern and it fitted perfectly. The fitted sleeves were also perfect on my frame.
I stitched my tunic using a jersey 80 needle and a medium zigzag stitch apart from the hems and the neckband which I used a straight stitch on my second biggest setting.
If you are a beginner, I thoroughly recommend Tilly And The Buttons and Wendy Ward’s books to help you with stitch types and setting up your sewing machine. I decided to stitch my tunic on a sewing machine instead of an overlocker to make the project accessible to new sewists!
I made two hacks to my tunic by adding longer sleeves for Spring days and a bow to the corner. I decide to turn the neckline band in so it was a very tidy finish which took a little more time but worth it (see picture above).
I can’t believe that it only took 2.5 hours to make this garment and I love it! It’s perfect with jeggings for a dressed down look or the fabric is thick enough to wear with thick tights as a dress.
Pattern; New Look 6449
Fabric; Art Gallery Where The Heart Is Red - 1m
Time to sew; 2.5 hours
Needle used; Jersey 80
Changes to pattern
Stitched down turned in neckband with running stitch instead of zigzagging band
Bow on neckline
Sleeves lengthened to 53cm
What would I change if I stitched it again?
I would lengthen the tunic.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try Art Gallery fabrics, stitch a simple tunic or buy a staple dressmaking pattern that will be perfect evening project to make. I love this pattern and cannot wait to make the shirt dress for the Summer!