Simplicity 2917 Tunic

I’ve had this pattern a while now, it’s a style of dress I love and it suits my body shape well. It is a fit and flare style with princess seams, both front and back having four pattern pieces. After having had problems with previous patterns and sizing, I decided to make a sample using some cheap polycotton that only cost me £1 per metre, if I didn’t get the size right, I’d only lost a quid and hopefully learned something during the process.

Modifications : I made a size 14 and graded out to a size 18 at the waist and hip, also shortened the bodice by 3cm. I cut the front on the fold (after taking off the seam allowance), so didn’t put in the centre front seam, (it is a perfectly straight seam and from my view, serves no purpose other than to create more work, with not only sewing but pattern matching, than is necessary). I also didn’t put in a back zip as I could get this over my head and shoulders without a back opening (I will need a zip for the dress version). For the sleeves, on the polycotton version, I made a slightly longer flared sleeve rather than the cap sleeve. For the ponte version, I used the longer sleeve pattern piece but made it shorter rather than the long poofy thing on the pattern as I quite liked the gathered top but not the billowing length.

The only problem I encountered was that I just could not get the notches on the princess seams to match up. I thought I must have cut out the pattern wrongly but I got the original pattern pieces and still couldn’t get the notches to match, so I just eased the seam together as best I could. I think it looked ok when finished, I couldn’t see any noticeable lumps or bumps in it anyway. Other to that, the pattern went together really well and I was happy with the fit of my polycotton sample. I’ll definitely wear it in summer, I have capri pants in various colours that will go well with it.

So, onto the ponte version. I had just bought a metre of this from Pound Fabrics as I had already bought and sewn with the navy, I wasn’t sure about the colour but it was the only one they had left. I thought I may as well use it up to make this top to wear with trousers for work. I can’t quite remember now but I seem to think that I cut out the pattern pieces slightly smaller than for the polycotton version because the ponte has a bit of stretch. However the fabric is quite thick and almost scuba-like and when it was finished, the front neckline gaped terribly and I felt I was exposing myself somewhat! To remedy this, I just sewed a centimeter wide seam down the front of the whole thing. Not ideal and on the inside looks a bit clumsy but from the outside, I think it looks fine. I’ve worn it twice for work now and had compliments both times so it must look ok. My colleagues are not ones to give false compliments, we all know each other well enough to be truthful!

Having worn the ponte a couple of times, although I am on the whole, pleased with this one, I think I may go down a size if/when I make it again. Both versions are definitely something I will wear and I also now feel fairly confident about making the dress from this pattern. I have some gorgeous floral linen that will be perfect so watch this space.

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