Thursday, June 30, 2011

My creative space: Schoolhouse tunic

This is the dress that I mentioned on last week's creative space, I thought I'd show you how it turned out.

I finally tried the famous 'Schoolhouse Tunic' and enjoyed the experience. I set out to make a 'muslin' to test the size and save my precious black linen til I had it right, but then I ended up quite liking the muslin after I'd done all the little adjustments to it (see notes below if you're interested). I'd made it in a lightweight denim for my stash and had to use something else for the sleeves as the denim ran out, so it was a bit of a hotch potch to say the least.

To tidy it up I finished off the seams then decided to dye it (this beautiful dress being a big inspiration) and do some top stitching, all in an effort to bring it all together and also just as a fun experiment. There's a sense of freedom in working with something that's not precious, I'm sure you'll agree. Here it is above awaiting its dye bath.

The tie-dyeing was fun to do, and turned out reasonably subtle, which I liked. Obviously it would be much better to dye the fabric first and then cut it out to sew, but it's still OK. And the dye overall helped to tie the two different fabrics together.

As for the pattern, I liked it much more than I thought I would and would definitely make it again. I love how the sleeves sit, and they are in a voile type fabric, so I'm thinking a voile version for summer would be nice.

Some pattern notes:

• Size. I always find sizing tricky. I'd looked at lots of Schoolhouse Tunics in the Flickr group and decided I wanted it to be a little more fitted than I think it's intended to be so I cut the size down from the one suggested for my measurements, thinking I could narrow the seams if necessary. But the smaller size was perfect, what a stroke of luck.

• The pleats. The pattern calls for 2 in the front but I thought it looked too 'boxy' on me and tried one instead (and idea from someone in the Flickr group). Much much better. Love the pleat and how it comes off the front opening.

• The sleeves. Love them. Didn't think I would for some reason. I imagined chopping them off or changing them in some way but I found the elastic just adds a little softness to offset the general structured feel of the dress. Will try this on other garments.

And that's about it. The pattern's easy to follow, turns out well and it's an enjoyable sew.

More creative spaces to be seen here.

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We've had lots of computer problems in the last couple of days. There's nothing like technical problems to make me feel crazy! I think I've typed this post about 3 times - arghh! Hopefully I will see you back here again in the not too distant future...


  1. It's gorgeous!
    I love the colour, the line and the fit!

  2. Love the sutble tie die... it looks beautiful! Such a great style tunic and I much prefer the one pleat too! I feel really inspired to make myself some clothes now :)

  3. Love it. I have seen so many gorgeous versions of the schoolhouse tunic - I really must get the pattern. The tie dye looks fabulous and really adds something special to it.

  4. It's gorgeous & looks great on you.

    Love the cuff too ;)

  5. I was right! I did spy a school house tunic! Looks great :)

  6. That looks totally gorgeous. If I'd actually showed my legs in public any time in the last six years I might think of making one. Looks fab on you. xx

  7. I just finished making this pattern and totally loved it. I love the tie dye look you did. Very nice.


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