the story of a tunic


As my sewing improved, I wanted to venture in the exciting world of dressmaking. I have booked myself onto a course but it’s only in the Autumn and although I’m sure it will still be very useful, I really could not wait that long to give it a go. And there’s something very special in trying something new without having learnt it before… I believe it’s called a challenge!

One Friday afternoon, I sat in Waterstone’s Costa with a bunch of dressmaking books in front of me.
I fell in love with three and brought two home, thank you Michael for the contribution. The minute I set eyes on the tunic in this book I knew this would be my first project. It just felt right and I clearly believe in *love at first sight* projects. Small setback though – this book helps you design your own patterns and that would be a step (or several) too far for me at this stage, so… I needed to find a tunic pattern that resembled the one in book. I did.

Meet Simplicity 5197 6 easy tunic patterns, View D. It has raving reviews throughout the sewing community and was described as easy to follow, make and adapt (thinking ahead, peeps, thinking ahead!). Could I ask for anything better?


Tunic love

:: The fabric and how cool it looks on.

:: The well-thought out details.

:: How comfy it feels.

Tunic dislikes

:: I didn’t get the sleeves quite right. From reading the dressmaking book above, sleeves are tricky things to attach to the main body and in spite of all my reading I still couldn’t avoid a bit of ruffling. I assume my technique will improve with time and experience, as I have done all the steps to avoid this… probably just not very well. Such is life.
:: I think that while the tunic is lovely and comfy and very flattering on the neckline, the waistline could be better. I cannot work out if this is how it’s meant to look or if it’s due to my sewing or pattern tracing abilities (or lack of). Or if my body covers two different sizes pattern sizes and I should reflect this on my traced pattern. I guess I’ll find out as 1. I learn more about dressmaking; and 2. sew more of these tunics.


Thoughts on the pattern (view D)

Overall: I like it. It gave me a cute wearable tunic.


:: Simplicity knows how to write patterns for newbies. The instructions are very clear and really well explained so I felt I could do it and I did.
:: The pattern is so well written that includes all the little tips I found in the dressmaking book to ensure best look, including how to tackle the sleeves in order to not get the ruffles I end up getting anyway (all fiascos in that department are my doing).
:: The tunic details are lovely and really add to the final garment’s look.


:: Neckline: according to my Mother, it’s too conservative. Her daughter agrees.
:: Adding interfacing to the sleeves ads a bit of unnecessary weight to them, in my opinion.

What I would change in a future tunic from this pattern

:: I would make the neckline a bit deeper and a tad bit wider, turning it into a more obvious V-neck.
:: I would leave the interfacing out of the sleeves, I’m sure this would make them lighter and overall nicer. I would then finish the sleeves as you do the bottom hem.
:: I would look more carefully into this waistline bagginess. Is it meant to be like this? What’s causing it? And then fix it.

Do I recommend it?

Most definitely!

P.S. – The photos… well, they have a story of their own really. I left it to the very last day, it was grey, I felt grey (and lazy!), I had just washed my hair the wind was blowing. I also need to work on the pose, it's so unfair on the garment that I look like I'd rather be doing something else… like knitting!



  1. Joana
    6 August 2013 / 14:50

    A túnica ficou linda, as fotografias também e não vejo nada de mal na pose da modelo, bem pelo contrário :)Adoro esse tecido. Acho que ficaria muito bem num vestido, talvez até esse mesmo modelo de túnica, mas mais comprido. Parabéns!

  2. Naná
    6 August 2013 / 15:35

    Ficou lindíssima a túnica.Podes achar o decote um pouco conservador, mas eu gosto deles assim mesmo. Aliás tenho uma túnica com um decote muito semelhante e adoro vesti-la… mas isto sou que não aprecio decotes muito pronunciados…O tecido é lindíssimo! E resultou muito bem neste modelo.E realmente, colocar interfacing nas mangas parece estranho…

  3. Laura
    6 August 2013 / 16:38

    Your tunic looks like its made wonderfully! I love the fabric that you used; it has so much personality. xoxo

  4. Erica
    7 August 2013 / 14:55

    It turned out beautifully! I love the cute fabric. It is amazing how much we learn with every project we finish. 🙂

  5. ei! kumpel
    9 August 2013 / 13:45

    Bravo my dear, bravo! Gabo-te a coragem!A tunica está muito gira e acho que a escolha do tecido foi perfeita, é lindo! Acho que costurar roupa será a minha próxima aventura… gostava tanto, mas tenho tantas dúvidas que acho que sozinha não vou lá. Talvez um dia!beijinhos,margarida

  6. MissLilly
    9 August 2013 / 16:54

    wow it looks pretty good actually and very professional! No doubt that you will still improve a lot. the pattern is very nice. well done, seriously!what is your next project?

  7. lauren, curious constellation
    22 August 2013 / 12:22

    The tunic looks great and so is the fabric you used. That print has to be one of my favourites!

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