Friday, 4 November 2016

A black tunic and top

As mentioned at the end of my last post, I cut out another tunic to wear with black leggings at the beginning of October. Then I was forced into a lengthy sewing hiatus for the rest of the month. Happily, I am now sewing again, and my first task was therefore to sew up the two things I'd already cut out.

Ottobre 05-2014-05 New Boheme tunic in black cotton/lycra

Ottobre 05-2014-05 technical drawing
First up was the tunic. The pattern is Ottobre 05-2014-05, which is called the "New Boheme" tunic.

Since I made it in black, the line drawing no doubt tells you more than the actual finished garment photos do in terms of the features of the tunic. As usual for Ottobre, the pattern has some nice little details -- I like the pleated front neckline a lot and also the way the pockets are constructed is very neat. The pockets do sag open a little bit, but I was prepared for that this time since one of the two sample images in the magazine also has slightly saggy pockets.

I made a size 44 straight from the pattern envelope with only one minor change, which was making the sleeves elbow length. (This is the problem with there being a gap between cutting out and sewing: I can't remember why I wanted shorter sleeves. I just did, apparently.)

I really like how the pockets are assembled on this tunic

This turned out to be a very generously sized tunic except for the sleeves, which are more typical of Ottobre's knit pattern fit on me. I think if you're between sizes I would go for the smaller of the two sizes and just check the sleeve width is going to work for you. That said, I am very happy with how this turned out overall and pleased with how it looks in an outfit with black leggings.

I had one big 3m piece of this black cotton lycra knit, and my experience has always been that if you're planning to cut two things out it's often better to do both at once. In theory, the tunic above required 2.2m of fabric and even my most economical basic knit top pattern with elbow-length sleeves usually requires at least 1.2m of fabric. Somehow, however, by shortening the sleeves of the tunic and playing pattern Tetris I managed to get both the tunic AND a turtleneck top out of my 3m piece of fabric and still had 0.5m left over. Witchcraft!

Burda 09-2010-121 top (original version)
The outcome from making this top is a total hack job on my part. I started with a popular older Burda pattern (09-2010-121, which has a ton of reviews on PR). I traced out a size 44, and then basically over-wrote everything from the shoulder point down with my usual basic knit top pattern. I also totally ignored the (extra long, extra skinny) sleeves in the Burda pattern in favour of my preferred elbow length knit sleeve. So really, I only used maybe 10% of the Burda pattern.

I actually quite liked how the neckline turned out. I had been bit dubious because, as it's a one piece bodice/neckline, you sew the collar and collar facing as one and then flip the facing inside and sew the seam allowances together to hold it in place, leaving the rest of the facing unsecured. This does mean that it's a tiny bit awkward to put on (the facing tends to open up at centre front and back) and you definitely have to futz with the collar once it's on to get it to lie correctly, but once you've done that, it looks good. However, I admit I only wore it for a short period, so I can't say if it would stay put through a whole day of wear. 

Finished top with altered neckline
The reason for not wearing it for long is that since turtlenecks haven't been in fashion for a while, I had actually forgotten why I've never owned many: I hate the feeling of the fabric clinging to my neck! I wouldn't say, from a pattern perspective, that the neckline is designed to be tight at all, but I am just really bothered by the sensation of even a moderately close-fitting neckline like this. I wasn't at all excited to wear this top and in the end I decided to cut off the neckline to a crew neck as I will certainly wear that more often. Overall, this was really a lot of effort to go through for the end result, but eh, at least I ended up with something I'll wear!

Next up: Is there a compound word in any language for "the feeling of regret when you remember you promised a loved one that you would re-hem approximately six miles of curtains for them"? If there is, that is what I'm feeling right now. So many miles of curtains. So very much regret. However, once the curtains are done (will the curtains EVER be done?) I've got some cardigan plans I want to get started on, or maybe a shirt, or maybe something else entirely. Definitely nothing with a lot of hems!


  1. Nice projects! Basics with interesting details in solid colors--I have a couple of projects lined up that would fill that niche in my wardrobe so it's inspiring to see your success! I concur with you about turtlenecks. And I don't know the word for that sort of regret . . . but my best guess is that German has one. ;-)

    1. If any language is going to have that word, German would be it for sure! :D

  2. I love when that witchcraft happens! Very nicely done. The Ottobre tunic looks quite cozy.

    I recently finished a turtleneck that zips from upper back through the neck. Since learning to sew, I've remembered that I have always hated turtlenecks because my head is large and it is always a BATTLE to get them on. I like this zippered one. LOL! But it does fit quite close to the neck...

    I had a few things that I wanted in black and they're all knits so I plan to cut them all out, do all the serger work and then finish them off one by one. So efficient!

    Oh brother on the curtain hemming. I feel for you. Truly!

    1. Hah, I was just coming to say the same thing. When sorcery happens in the sewing room, embrace it. =)

      Both the tunic and top are quite nice.

    2. I definitely sew my knits in batches too whenever I can. It's not like it's hard to change my overlocker thread but eh, I avoid it all the same!

    3. I am all about the witchcraft! Though what I'll do with the leftover 50cm is anyone's guess...

  3. The word - regret ? Torture ? Combined - regreture or torgret ? I don't know , I am being silly now but boy do I feel for you. Next time kick yourself when you make such offers!
    I love bonus fabric leftovers. 50cm may just be enough for a camisole ?