the accidental tunic

In the aftermath of Fashion Revolution Week, my yen to stitch came to an abrupt standstill. What next? A question I’m still pondering whilst taking part in #memademay16 over on Instagram. This annual challenge could not be better timed for me – it’s a year since I started making my own clothes and the perfect opportunity to celebrate achievements to date. I’ve decided to appropriate May as a kind of sewing retreat – a time to reflect, refocus and hopefully re-emerge with renewed enthusiasm into another year in stitch.

With inspiration in short supply, I fully expected the machine to stay in the cupboard this month. The seeds of conscious consumerism had been planted in my brain and the desire to create quashed. However, the damn was not completely dry and my thoughts were oscillating around a project I’d had at arms length.

During the holiday which never happened, a dismal morning was significantly brightened by a package from my staunchest follower and fellow blogger over on The Up Sew. We are unlikely comrades – Eimear being the champion of austerity and I having a penchant for fine fabrics and shiny new offerings from independent pattern designers. Indeed, following her blog has been one of a number of catalysts, leading me to consider the deeper incentives for fashioning a wardrobe from my own hands.

Eimear and I share a love of vintage stylings and it’s thanks to her that the Butterick 5784 Jean Muir Jumper Dress came into my possession. I’m lacking in the necessary superlatives to laud this pattern highly enough – suffice to say, my admiration is off the chart. For the toile, I knew I’d need a heavier cloth than the dwindling supply of craft cottons in my stash. I was considering a charity shop trawl when I found my muse – an old roman blind I’d attempted before learning the building blocks of my chosen craft.

The blind’s operational life was short – being the source of daily mental flagellation. Huge swathes of material had been butchered during construction, as I had no concept of the importance of grain and angle. Nevertheless, I held on to the material – the classic colour and slub like texture begging for re-invention. Despite a long standing ‘Gone with the Wind’ style fantasy to make a dress out of a curtain, this fabric was only intended for practise purposes.

That is until I started to assemble the pieces and I realised how the material and pattern were perfectly suited. Thankfully I have a familial source for more of the same which I’ll be tapping into for my second attempt. Construction was fairly straightforward and I’m particularly proud of my first invisible zip and the button loops on the bodice.

Adhering to the pattern instructions necessitated edging in fold over braid but I opted for a cleaner, bias bound internal finish. I realised mid-sewathon, the pattern sizing – whilst perfect at the bust – was in no way going to accommodate my bottom heavy figure. But I carried on regardless and am most pleased with the resulting accidental tunic.

Jean Muir Jumper Dress #1

This is definitely not where the story ends and I predict my love affair with Butterick 5784 will be a long standing one. I fully intend to dip my toe into solo pattern adjusting and even have a stab at lining. But for now I’m taking a break and enjoying this unintended outcome.

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5 thoughts on “the accidental tunic

  1. Beautiful! Lovely buttons and looks good with or without the belt. Very eastern looking and I can see it in a shorter length as well. You have put together such a varied wardrobe over the year. Is Maud missing from your latest creation?

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    1. Thank you! Someone else has commented over on Instagram that it could be shorter so I’ll have to experiment. Was so nice to be able to use that blind material as I always felt like it was such a waste. As for Maude – I’m seeing her featuring more on accessories than clothing. Although I can see her featuring on a few key items in my wardrobe – when I find the right patterns befitting of her edge! xx

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  2. Aimee – its fabulous (I really cannot believe I missed this, although I was away 9-11 may…..) that look is so cool – ~I dont know which I prefer more, the belted or not. Love the way you used a blind!!! what an upcycle and those buttons. that neckline is stunning. fabulous fabulous fabulous

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sooo glad you like it eimear – it was my ode to you! I’ll definitely revisit and make the intended dress at some point. But this outcome exceeded expectations and I was especially proud of the fabric refashion! Thanks for the lovely feedback.

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