Last year this was billed as a “woven sweater knit”. I was curious as to whether it was the same technique I use on my home knitter or if the fashion industry was once again playing fast and loose with the lingo. I mean, it is hard to tell what you are buying if they don’t use correct terminology. Anyway I bought 2 yards. Not what I would consider a “sweater knit”. Not comfy, cushy, wooly thick. Wouldn’t trust it to keep me warm in Iceland. It is more like a lighter blouse/top weight Ponte but the weave/the stitch is the same as I can produce at home. A thread is carried along the face of the fabric and periodically looped by a knit stitch to hold it in place. The knit on the back is a sewing-thread fine yarn. When I use knit-weaving on my home machine, the knitting becomes very firm. Stretch is definitely lost. This fabric has a 45% stretch. Possibly not as much as expected of “sweater knits” but still a decent amount of give.
I used Silhouette Patterns 195 after adding ease to front and back sides and sleeve seams. Borrowed the easy-to-sew placket From Angela Wolf’s 1492 Linda Tunic pattern. I was going to make the placket longer so that it would allow easy access to my port. Then decided to keep it the same length so I would have a better idea of how much to lengthen.
I planned and carefully cut the placket strips and inserted coated hair elastics in lieu of buttonholes. Then I finished the neckline with a simple binding. I do love this placket. Other than length of the strips, prep needs to be accurate. But then you just stitch on the line and clip where indicated.
I want you to know I carefully matched stripes at sides seams and back. The back I pinned every other stripe. It shifted. The sides I pinned every stripe, they held in place under the needle. I need to write a big note on my envelope containing the back pattern piece. It needs to say “DO NOT USE WITH LARGE PRINTS, STRIPES OR PLAIDS”.
I match back, front and sleeves at the underarm which nearly always results in a great match across the side-view.
What I’m really interested in on this side view is how the back hem is not straight across. It seems to be lifting just a bit. While the back feels perfectly comfortable, I’m thinking more and more that I need to increase my RBA.
I am always so happy to see multi-sizing. Some of those other single-size patterns are well worth while, but it is harder for me to alter the tissue to fit. I used my woven block, Silhouette Patterns #600 Classic Blouse to make a quick comparison. From that I decided to trace the size 14 yoke; trace 16 across the bust and ease on out to the 18 at the hip. I traced but am not using the sleeve pieces and the collar. I intend for this to be a garment for high summer when I really want to sit around naked in front of the A/C. Sleeves and any high neck can be unbearable during those few weeks.
I’m using a recently purchased fabric. Actually from my July trip when I saw the oncologist who told me I was cancer free at that moment. It’s bright sunny colors definitely reflected my own happiness and looked just like summer to me. This 100% cotton crinkle fabric is easy to handle and very comfortable to wear.
Let me send buckets of love for this placket
Placement is marked on the pattern — you know right where it goes. I buy from another favorite pattern co that, shall we say leaves a lot to your imagination. That’s great when I get to the creativity, but when I’m first learning the pattern, I appreciate the precision Angla gave us. All the pieces are nicely drafted. Angela provides a nice booklet type set of instructions and supplements them with video. I watched ** LESSON 1: HOW TO SEW FRONT PLACKET & COLLAR when it first came out and then again the night before I started my Linda Tunic. She recommends cutting the plackette pieces a little long for ease curing sewing. I found that to be a really good tip. I didn’t have to worry about lining things up exactly. Just stitch as directed and trim to size.
When wearing I found it tended to be just a little low for me. This may be a result of my sewing process (like using multiple sizes) so don’t expect that to be a problem. Myself, I simply added a joining stitch in the bottom 1.5″.
Once cut, interfaced and pressed, the plackette took me no more than 5 minutes to sew! Usually I spend long minutes getting a plackette in place. No stitches were ripped. I did stay stitch and use a little Frey Check in the corners when I clipped them. Easy. Peasy. Done. I’m so thrilled with it.
Next I joined the yoke to the front and back. I skipped Angla’s gathering instructions. Yeah, I cranked my serger differential up to 1.6; put the pieces together and zoomed. I did eyeball about an inch at the start and end of each seam and tried not to gather when those areas. But if it happened? Oh well.
Then I finished the neckline and armscyes with bias tape.
Took more time than the plackette probably because they are so long. Also the pressing. I use commercial bias tape and press it before application. I use that press not just to get out the few lumps which form when the tape is wound around the card, but to precurve the bias. I find that areas pre-pressed tend to lay flatter on the body during wear. To me it is well worth the time spent but it does mean I prepressed, then stitched to the garment with right sides together. Flip up and press. Then fold around the edge and press. So the bias is not on the public side, I fold all to the wrong side; pin and press again before top-stitching. I have in the past and probably will in the future discard the last fold and press. When done that way the bias becomes an embellishment, a trim, instead of just a finish.
Once that was done and the entire top quickly steamed again, I basted the sides with water-soluble thread and tried it on.
First issue was that the blouse is drafted for sleeves and I want sleeveless. I used Judy Kessinger’s instructions from her Video Sleeveless Sleeve to quickly fit the bodice under the arm. For me that meant increasing the seam at the underarm 1.5″.
The issue that surprised me was at the hem.
First off, I did not think this was a high low hem. To me the low was really low and it looks like the tunic is wearing me. Again, don’t expect to face this issue because you probably didn’t cut 3 sizes or use 1/4″ seam allowances along the yoke. The excess is all my doing. Especially since I forgot, that chem-brain still kicks in- and did not make a back-waist length adjustment. I’ve been so gaga over Peggy Sagers, her patterns and processes that I’ve forgotten little details which make most patterns work for me. Without the BWL the blouse is both too long and tends to pile up on top of the hip suggesting that I need a sway-back alternation. No, I just need to put in the BWL to lift the waist and hip shaping of the pattern up to my own waist and hip shaping. I also cut the 18 length when I cut the 18 hip. I probably should have cut the 14 or 16 length. At my tissue, I made a 1″ BWL above the waist and then 1″ tuck across the back just above the hem. That will solve the issue for future versions. For this version I just trimmed 3″ off the hem and added a hip vent
I am happy to say, I now wear my blouse instead of it wearing me.
..and I don’t worry about the few wrinkles in the back…
Love this pattern. Absolutely can see keeping one version for each season in my wardrobe and that’s before I even start considering creative variations.
I mentioned Angel’s videos. Here’s a collection of them all pertaining to the Linda Tunic including some easy hacks she suggests!