Jessica from Me Sew Crazy has put together a great series on her blog called Pattern Re-mix. Packed full of some amazing guests and fantastic pattern re-mixes! We were pretty honored when she asked us to join in the fun. Jessica is so sweet and kind, and she has some of the most creative ideas and designs over on her blog, we just love being a part of the fun event. After a lot of thought and a lot of re-mixes I decided to remix one of the first tutorials I ever shared the circle top. It has been one of my favorite designs for some time and I thought it could use a little re-working. As a bonus, I created a free PDF pattern for you all! (can I get a whoop whoop?) Sorry that was lame but the top is not. It should not come as too much of a surprise but I am a pretty big Beatles fan. My kids are named after a song and an album, and well I love all of their music. This tunic was inspired by the song Black Bird...
Black Bird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were always waiting for this moment to arise...
It always makes me think of kids when they reach that point in their life where they learn independence (right around 2 for this little girl) They sprout their little wings and try to fly on their own. It's usual a period of a power struggle between me not wanting to let go, and my baby telling me she wants to do things by herself...
So this summer, I will let her have her independence, I will let her poke a stick in a bucket of sand, and gather up her treasures and store them in her pocket, and I will let her do it with style that won't hold her back. So here is the perfect little tunic for the little birdie in your life...
So good news first. I made a pattern for this one free for you to download if you like. Bad news? I only made it in the size I used so if you are needing roughly a 2T then you can download the pattern
If 2T is not your size, no problem, making the pattern in any size you need is pretty easy to do. Start by taking a shirt that fits well and lay it out flat. Trace the neckline and shoulders of the top. Then measure the shoulder line, and take that meausrement and make marks from the neckline out. Then connect the marks together and you should have a nice little curve. (something that looks like the middle picture above) Then trace cut out the piece and then trace the piece again, then line the first piece up to the shoulder of the piece and trace a few inches. This will be the overlap for the button closure.
Next make a bodice to do this fold the first neckline piece in half then move it in a few inches from the edge of the paper. Then trace the curve and continue it to the edge of the paper. add an arm curve. (you can use the shirt as your guide to see how low the curve needs to be) Then Make it as long and wide as you would like, I made mine a simple A-line. You will cut out two front neck pieces and two back neck pieces, then 2 bodice pieces both on a fold.
Then next thing I did before I started sewing I made my own piping, which is easy to make but you can use store bought stuff if you want. To make piping, there are a lot of tutorials out there for it, but the simple version is cutting strips of fabric on the diagonal or bias. then fold the strips in half around small rope, or twine, or in this case I used what I think was an old shoe lace... Then sew very close to the rope in a straight line.
Then you have your own design or pattern for piping.
Now for the sewing start by sewing both the outer and the lining pieces. You will sew the front and back necklines together at the one side shoulder. Not the shoulder with the overlap piece.
Then you will line up the outer and lining pieces so the right sides are together. This is when you would sandwich the piping in between the two layers. I had the piping go around the outside of the circle but not the inside, you can do whatever. Just line up the raw edge of the piping with the raw edge of the neckline pieces. Then when you sew sew as close to the rope of the piping as possible.
Then you sew all along the edges leaving a small opening so you can turn the piece right side out. Then be sure to clip the curves so it will lay nice and smooth.
|Turn it right side out and sew the opening closed, but don't top stitch the whole thing you will do that later.|
Next the pocket, the pattern includes a pocket piece but if you are making your own pattern just cut out a square. Then fold under all the edges and press them flat. Then top stitch the top edge.
Before you attach the pocket you will want to sew the front and back bodice piece together at the sides. do this with right sides together. Then place your pocket where you wold like it, I placed mine centered on the side seam. Pin in place them sew around the sides and bottom.
Next I took some piping again and sewed it to the right side of the arm curve. Then turned it around to the back and I had a nicely finished edge with piping at the top.
Next line the edges of the bodice with the place on the neckline. They should be down a little bit from the shoulder line. Then pleat or gather, I like the look of pleats so I did pleats, but you want the bodice to fit the curve of the neck. Don't pin the pleats to the neckline, just secure them in place. Once it fits do the same with the back piece.
Then you want to sew the pleats in place to secure them. Then I also serged the top edge to finish the fabric.
Next pin the bodice in place again to the neckline piece and this time you will sew it in place. I used a double needle to give it the added detail of a double stitch so I had to sew on top, but with a single stitch you could sew on either side. This is the point where you would top stitch all the way around the neckline, and as you topstitch you will secure the pieces together.
There you have a nice and pretty neckline.
Next the flap on the one side that overlaps. I met up with my life long nemesis and decided a button hole was the only proper thing to do. (except maybe a snap) I hope it's not just me but button holes and I do not mix! Oh man they get the best of me each time, I did 4 practice holes and each one had issues, then I decided it was now or never and bit the bullet. It actually turned out pretty well. My machine does all the work and I still mess them up... go figure. Anyway the button hole and big button made the top, so I glad I overcame the fear...
Hem the bottom and there you have it a new and simple but possibly favorite tunic for summer.
I love the curve of the neck with, and the big chunky button
And the pocket of course for all of the summer treasures like fresh lilacs...