I’m wrapping up my Wardrobe Sudoku makes, and I’m saving the best for last. Today, let me introduce you to this Pleated Trim Tunic Dress.
If you remember one of my #2017makenine was this shirtdress/tunic from MyImage. Well, I did a muslin of that pattern, and it was an utter disaster. Somebody commented on my Instagram that her experience with MyImage is that they’re drafted for tall Dutch people. Being neither tall nor Dutch, all I can say is that the armpit was halfway down my torso. So I scrapped that in favor of something that I knew would work, namely Ottobre. With a base pattern in place, I knew it would be easy to grab the style details from the MyImage tunic.
Pleated Trim Tunic Dress
If you remember one of my #2017makenine was this shirtdress/tunic from MyImage.
Well, I did a muslin of that pattern, and it was an utter disaster. Somebody commented on my Instagram that her experience with MyImage is that they’re drafted for tall Dutch people. Being neither tall nor Dutch, all I can say is that the armpit was halfway down my torso. I looked like a little girl wearing her Daddy’s shirt. So I scrapped that in favor of something that I knew would work, namely Ottobre. With a base pattern in place, I knew it would be easy to grab the style details from the MyImage tunic.
Ottobre 5-2007-15 is a longer version of Ottobre 5-2007-2 shirt that I’ve made multiple times in various forms. It’s meant to be worn as a unstructured jacket, so I did a little (or a lot) of monkeying about to make it into a shirtdress.
- Back: I rotated out the shoulder darts and converted them into a back yoke. I think yokes look way better and they make for a cleaner inside finish. Because of my limited fabric, the yokes and collar stands are cut on the crossgrain.
- Fronts: The original pattern has a wide facing, but I opted for just button bands. I knew I’d be adding a collar stand, so there was no need for a facing that extended up into the shoulder. This was also a much needed fabric saver solution.
- Darts: The shirt as is too boxy for me in the waist, so I draped out vertical darts in the front and the back. I really wish that the original pattern had these included in them. You could borrow the darts from the tops except that they sit a little too low.
- Sleeves: I added cuffs with pleats in the sleeve bottom.
- Collar: I never really liked the collar without a stand on the original top. I altered a collar stand from another pattern that didn’t work out for me to fit the neckline of this pattern.
- Pockets: I added pockets on the fronts. The fabric for the cuffs, pockets, and trim comes from scraps of the embroidered voile leftover from this skirt. My hope was to break up the print a little with the voile. The shape of the pocket I borrowed from another Ottobre pattern in the same issue.
- Button tabs: The MyImage tunic has button tabs that hide under the full length of the sleeve. When you go to cuff the tunic, the tabs wrap around the cuff and fasten with a button above it. You really don’t need any kind of a pattern piece for this. Just cut a rectangle 2.5″ wide by however long you want. Interface half of it lengthwise, bring WST and stitch around 1 short end and the long side, turn and topstitch. Finish it with a buttonhole and sew it on the wrong side of the sleeve where you want it to fasten. The exact placement you’ll probably have to fiddle around with a little. The square shank buttons I used along the placket were too bulky for the sleeve tabs (I had buttons growing out of my arms!), so I opted for flatter plain shirt buttons on the button tabs.
The pleated trim–my favorite part!
The collar, right front and cuffs are trimmed with pleated trim I made from the unembroidered selvedge edges of the voile. (there was just over 6″ of plain fabric on both sides of the selvedge). I saw a random Facebook video showing the technique and immediately knew I’d incorporate the trim into this top (I’m not sure where I saw the video, but there’s tons of YouTube videos on fork pleating and also web tutorials). A small cocktail fork became my measuring device for the pleats. With limited fabric, I went for the cocktail fork over a larger fork because it makes shorter pleats. I also made pleated trim for the cuffs from the cotton lawn.
The trim is basted into place between the seams just like you would do for piping. Rounding the corners with the pleats is the only tricky part. The length of the pleats made for some not so pretty corners on the collars. After a lot of unpicking, I folded in pleats just to round the corner. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with the end result. I am happy that the trim running down the center is just right. That strong vertical line that I was hoping to create with the trim is right where I wanted it to be.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my denim jacket! It’s been a project that got shelved for a long time, and I’m glad I finally made the time to sew it up.