Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wool Knit Tunic

A while back I posted my plans for a mini-maternity wardrobe, some sewing to keep me occupied over the next few months.

One item on the list was a green wool knit dress, McCall's 6612 which is labeled as "suitable for maternity" likely because of the ruching in the side seams.

I've had this pretty emerald green wool knit (from Fabric Mart) for a while and decided it was high time to use it. Green is not a color I wear a lot, but when FM had some great deals on wool knit, I couldn't resist.

I made a size 12, which is at least one size larger than I would normally make. I think you can tell by looking that it's a little big, but c'mon, I'm growing a human inside me, surely I'll grow into this tunic soon! Might be time to stock up on half pound Reese cups.

I posted on Instagram probably a month ago that I was making this pattern, and one commenter suggested I lengthen the front facing, that as-drafted it cuts across the boobs and makes a weird line. I took that advice and extended the facing 2" (the wrinkly tissue part along the top).

If you go to the trouble to extend the facing you could even sew elastic to the bottom and create some lightweight support across the chest. I simply serged the raw edge before catching it in the side seams.

I also stitched elastic directly into the side seams rather than create a casing with the seam allowances, which is what the pattern recommended.

When I cut out I wasn't entirely sure about the length, so I cut the dress version, View B. I got mostly done and showed my husband, and he wisely suggested that it was the most boring dress of all time. He was right! He gave me some tough-love advice that I make a lot of simple garments and that I might want to up the ante. Partly it's just my style, give me a loose t-shirt over a button-up any day. But that doesn't mean I can't think through my projects and inject some ~designer details~ into them.

After our conversation, I decided to add contrast cuffs to the sleeves, to shorten the length to a tunic (so it's close to View A but that's not how it started), and to add some elastic to the back to gather it there. Even though I had removed a standard amount from the CB for my narrow shoulders (maybe 1/2"?) the back was still loose and sagging. The elastic cinched it in and also provides a nice detail.

The back isn't perfect (I could have moved the casing up higher but I kind of winged it) but it's much better than it was. There's still some pooling there but at least it's not all falling over my butt, which is what it WAS doing! Barf.

Close-up of back casing

This is about the easiest pattern around, with only three pieces. It was a perfect post-holidays sew to get me out of a funk and moving again. It probably won't have much of a life beyond maternity wear, but I'm okay with that. I like the cowl neck and how the shoulders are finished. The instructions call for a 5/8" single-fold hem on the back neckline, but I managed to double-fold it without issue and it turned out well.

Interior shoulder seam and back neckline

How do you handle feedback from loved ones? A few years ago I would have bit my husband's head off, but I've learned that he's usually right. If he's bothering to give me thoughtful advice, I should listen!


  1. SO cute! I also like the way they have you finish the neckline on this and agree about the boob-line. Now I know what to do :)

    And, I was JUST talking about this on IG last night! haha! My husband suggested a Burda dress but it's plus and grading down=scary. Then he commented on a peplum dress (and knew it was a peplum!) :-)

    And then there are the times where I sew something because I just want it and I don't CARE if it isn't THE most flattering thing.

    1. Hahaha I guess if they are forced to listen to our ramblings, sometimes they're going to talk back ;)

  2. I think it looks great! Sometimes my husband tells me my clothes are too loud or bold, so the opposite of this because he likes really boring clothes ha ha.

    1. That's happened to me too! But if I make something loud, I've usually thought about it a long time beforehand and my husband can just deal :)

  3. Well done! It looks comfortable and warm, and not boring.

    I have the opposite issue, my husband tells me everything is perfect and wonderful, even when the lining was peeking out the ends of my coat sleeves :-/ He thinks I am too hard on myself, but really, that lining did NOT look good, haha!


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