Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane


Tunic Time

I’m so pushed for time at the moment, what with end of term panic from some students so that marking and critical feedback is taking priority; preparations for Christmas, even if it’s just the thought of how much I have yet to do; daylight hours are fading fast and there’s hardly time to sew let alone take photos to show that I have been. So today we have photos taken at work (better light) and a few of my less stressed students took the photos – thank you especially to Francesca, but also Louise and Kristina for support!

There’s nothing better than not having to think in the mornings “What will I wear?” and this is the ideal outfit in my book.


This is Sandra Betzina’s Vogue tunic V1477. I bought some striped knit fabric trying to replicate the design on the pattern envelope. Not quite but nearly and I am wholeheartedly recommending this pattern for lots of reasons.


  1. It’s a fairly easy make, even the twist knot in the middle. As the tunic is made from jersey / knit fabrics you just pull and stretch the pieces together until they fit together.
  2. Dare I say that it’s a flattering shape? Curved in at the waist but flaring out over hips.


  1. It’s comfortable to wear – no riding up or tight bits and plenty of ease across the middle so chips with curry sauce at lunchtime is not a problem in the afternoon.
  2. I love how the stripes match and mis-match as the sleeves and fronts are bias cut. This fabric has an asymmetrical stripe which only adds to the interest.


  1. It’s dressy-smart without being a dress or suit-severe, which makes me approachable especially by those students who didn’t hand their work in by the deadline.


Now for some other observations and notes:

  1. No pockets! What? So I added some in the side seams – Phew that’s better.


  1. The instructions harp on about using your overlocker (serger), do not feel that you cannot make the tunic if you don’t have this bit of temperamental machinery – zig-zag stitch will work just as well.
  2. The sleeves are narrow and a fairly tight fit. Now, while they are cut on the bias in a stretch fabric you might want to double check your biceps and the stretch limit of your fabric.
  3. I’ve discovered iron-on tape with double sided adhesive! All the hems and neck edges are ‘stuck’ down and there’s not a stitch in sight. I love a bit of hand couture as much as the next sewer but sometimes the easy way is very, very attractive….
  4. It would be best not to wear this tunic on its own – I’m not dictating modesty fashion to the brave of heart with staggeringly, smooth, softly tanned and well toned legs but quite honestly a pair of leggings or deep opaque tights work very well.


So even-stevens for the pros and cons.

I made the leggings using McCalls 6173 in navy jersey to wear beneath. Easiest pattern ever especially if you an overlocker (serger) but yet again, you can still make them without one. One seam in the inside legs, a crotch and elasticated fold-over waist band.


Back to the tunic – I know only you eagle-eyed stitchers will notice the perfect stripe matching on the front bodice with the beautiful chevrons on the skirt and only you will know the time that takes for pattern placement and planning that goes in to producing such a finished look – it will go right over the heads of mere mortals. Isn’t that right Maggie?

Due to fabric limitations and quite possibly ennui following the effort of the bias cutting on the fronts and matching stripes, the back runs up and down.

All the better to slim you down my dear – Oh no it doesn’t! Oh yes it does! etc etc etc (seeing as it’s pantomime season).


And the one photo that caught us all unawares….


And will you make more my dear? Watch this space…..