Friday, June 6, 2014

... and so it became a tunic

My first summer project is done! In my previous post I told you how I have a whole pile of me-mades that need some re-fashioning, and as promised, this dress was first on my list. I can't believe I actually found the self discipline to do this. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's purple...

This dress is from Burda Style Magazine issue 6/2011, model number 105. I used the recommended fabrics, linen and satin. 

The original dress 
Now that I look back at the technical drawings, I can see that I made some alterations to my first version too. I added bust darts and darts to the back, for a more fitted silhouette. I also omitted the gathering at the front of the shoulder seams. I remember being afraid that the extra fabric would draw unwanted attention to my shoulders.

So why did this one end up on my summer project-list? The length. Oh the length. How can it be so difficult to get right? The dress was an odd length that didn't flatter me at all. It was too long and the horizontal line across my thighs didn't do me any favors either. Need to watch out for those in the future! The dress is straight and quite narrow, and doesn't stretch due to the linen and satin. Therefore I realized (too late) that it would really have needed a kick pleat. Bad Burda for not including that!

So the dress became a tunic! Originally, I was only going to shorten the hem. But then I took a long hard look at my picture in the mirror, and decided to also shorten the sleeves and take it in even more at the back. I have a swayback and no waist, so I usually take out most excess fabric in the back, just to convince myself that I'm not shaped as a barrel. 

To shorten the hem and the sleeves, I cut off most of the satin and then used the same technique as earlier to finish the seams (I sewed the satin and the linen right sides together, turned the satin around the raw edge, turned the raw edge of the satin to the wrong side again and then stitched it into place along the previous seam line. Not sure what the correct term is in English though).

So what did I learn from this project? I learned that I'm not that big of a fan of satin. And I learned not to give up on clothes right away. Sometimes you just need a little time to figure out what it is that you don't like and what to do about it. 

I definitely think the new length is more flattering and I think I really really like it now! Summer is just around the corner, so it might have to sit in the closet until fall, but then I'm hoping to wear it - a lot. I just need to figure out HOW to wear it. I still haven't whole-heartedly hopped on the leggings-train, but maybe I could get away with wearing it over a pair of jeggings...?

Cute detail - the inside of the button strip is made of satin


  1. Wow this looks so much better as a tunic! You did a great job. I often wear tunics over skinny jeans if I'm not in the mood for leggings.

    1. Thanks Beth! It's funny how changing the length can change the whole feeling of a garment :) And the tunic seems to work well with jeggings too.

  2. I think this new and improved version will look great with skinny jeans, mini skirts, even maxi skirts. A great little me-made rescue.
    Great colour too x

  3. Thank you Caroline! And thanks for the skirt-idea, hadn't even thought of that :)