I seriously lost my sew-jo earlier this year, so I wasn’t sewing anything for a while, which also means that I haven’t been posting here for a while. The good news is that I seem to have gained it back, and have been sewing up quite a lot of things, and I hope to be sharing them here progressively. I’m going to start with this tunic that I made for Mathilda. This was a pattern test, I haven’t been doing lots of those lately, because I have a lot of projects in my “queue” that I want to do, but when I saw the tester call for this one I jumped right in – Mathilda needs long-sleeved tops for this coming winter, and this is exactly the style of thing that she likes, and I already had the fabric for it!
Name: Manhattan Tunic & Dress
Company: Phat Quarters
Options: sleeve lengths, dress or a tunic, hood or a bound neckline, colour-blocked bodice
Sizes: 2T – 14
Outstanding feature: exposed zipper
I made the simple bodice with tunic length, long sleeves and a simple bound neckline.
I chose the simple bodice because I had a printed fabric that was perfect for this and colour-blocking didn’t really work with my “vision” of what I was going to make, however, the colour-blocked bodice is really cute and easy to make.
The Zipper and Neckline
The zipper is a really cute feature of this pattern. The instructions for it are really easy too, so if you’re not entirely comfortable with zips (like me!), then you will have no trouble with this one. I like that this zip has a stylish ball-style puller on it too, there are some really fun zips out there, and they are an inexpensive way to add something a bit different.
I would like to point out here that my placket on this top is wider than it is supposed to be – I actually made a bit of a mistake there, so in the final pattern it is slightly different to what you see here, its actually a bit narrower around the sides of the zipper opening.
This top does have a slightly wider neckline, which I really like. It is finished with a binding, that neatly encases the top of the zip.
Sleeves and Hemline
Because we are heading into winter here, I opted for long sleeves. These sleeves have cuffs and a really neat tutorial on how to make so easy.
In the tunic version, the hem is curved, and it is finished with a facing! I love this so much, it means that the curve of the hem, particularly at the sides is well defined.
This hem is one tiny extra step that adds a lot of “extra” to the whole garment.
I graded between sizes for this top to fit Mathilda. I graded from a smaller size 8 at the top, down and out to a size 10 at the hem. Mathilda is narrow shouldered and fits into the size 8, but is tall enough for the size 10. This worked perfectly. The pattern pieces are nested to make this easy to do, and grading between sizes for a perfect fit is recommended for this top.
Construction and Finishing
I did the zipper work on my regular sewing machine, but all the seam work was done on my overlocker. All the topstitching I did on my coverstitch machine, but if you don’t have one of these it can easily be done with either a twin needle (if you have one of those), or by using a zigzag or other decorative stitch.
A Quick Note on the Fabric
As I said at the start of this post, I lost my sew-jo for a long time, to try and get out of that fog I actuality bought this fabric to use for testing out a pattern for my husband, I found it on the bargain table at my local Spotlight so it was really cheap. However, Mathilda really likes it, so I kept some of it to make a top for her. It is a 100% cotton knit fabric, it has reasonable horizontal stretch, but not much vertical stretch. It behaves quite well and was easy to handle.
Mathilda really likes this tunic, so I would definitely make this pattern again. This pattern does take a little bit of extra time compared to making a basic t-shirt, but it is all the little extra details that make it so special.
The newly released Manhattan Tunic & Dress is available from Phat Quarters at a special introductory price until Friday.
Thanks for reading!