I used to sew for myself quite a bit. Now, though, I pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts. Wanting to bump up my wardrobe a notch, I went shopping for tops. Holy cow, clothing has gotten expensive! Not only that, but I can never seem to find stylish clothing in larger sizes. I know what I want to wear, but I can never find it. After seeing the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern by Sew Liberated, I decided to pull out some of my cherished Kaffe Fassett prints and sew one up. Totally against my nature (because I’m not very patient), I sewed up a muslin piece first. I cut the pattern according to the size I wear in manufactured clothing, but the bodice was quite a bit too small. I have no idea how to modify patterns. Usually, I’d toss it and forget the whole idea. However, I really wanted to see this through. I needed more room in the sleeve and bodice, so I came up with an idea of how to salvage what I’d already sewn. I opened up the seam that goes from the tip of the sleeve, down to the bottom of the bodice. I inserted a fabric strip that would provide the additional room that I needed. I did this to both sides, and it gave me just the right amount of room I needed in the bodice. The skirt part of the tunic, calls for two box pleats in the front, and one in the back. Removing the box pleat in the back, gave me the needed leeway to match the bodice up with the bottom of the tunic. When I tried on the finished garment, I was pretty disappointed in the fit. Getting enough room in the upper body and arms, meant that the rest of the tunic would fit me like a gunny sack! That is typical of garments in plus sizes! The easiest way I could think of to add a little “fit” to the garment, was to add a strip of elastic across the back. I literally just sewed a strip of stretched out elastic across the back, at the seam that joined the bodice and the skirt. It was the perfect solution! All it needs now, is to be hemmed. I’ll get Scott to help pin it for me when he gets home. I’m also going to opt for a shorter sleeve.
I used three different Kaffe Fassett fabrics. When making the final garment, I intentionally inserted the sleeve strip (rather than just cutting the sleeve bigger), using the skirt fabric. I wanted the slight contrast of the two fabrics. I’m very happy with the end result, and I will be making more tunics! Oh, and I ordered a book about altering patterns for real people. Yah, in my case that means zaftig women! LOL!
Strip inserted on the bottom of the sleeve and side of the bodice. I intentionally did this, so as to add another artistic element to the construction of the garment.