simplicity tunic 1364 – unfinished dress to finally finished tunic



A few weeks ago, there was a link on the thrify stitcher blog to a competition run by Simplicity –  they were giving a choice of three patterns to try out.  I had been thinking about drafting a sleeved summer top, but when I saw the retro one –  Simplicity 1364 I liked it for a shirt refashion, and thought I would try my hand at this pattern and sent off my details.

The pattern is really simple.
When I laid it over the shirt I was to remake, I wasn’t sure.  The sleeve was perfect but there is not enough fabric for the front dart so I thought I would try out the sleeveless version first 



I had a half finished dress (vintage butterick 5191 make), there were 2 reasons it was unfinished.  One was there is a flaw which I didn’t notice in the fabric at the time, I bought end roll and only after cutting out some time later, I saw the flaw is at the centre of a centre back panel (typical), and the other is as the dress neared completion, I was less inclined to finish as it had a matron look to it (not in the ‘carry-on’ movie sense which would not be so bad!). So it was ripe for a remake, as I also wanted to make a tunic to go with some silk trousers. 

butterick 5191 to simplicity 1364


I made a few changes to the pattern.  I wasn’t sure about the dropped shoulder in the sleeveless version so I just folded the pattern over.  The pattern was lengthened by 13cm and I put slits at the side.  Originally I didn’t have slits but it looked a bit odd, so I undid the seams and made them into slits using some binding to tidy the edges in case they folded over when wearing.  Also I had a feeling that the neckline was big enough to work without the long zip recommended, so I sewed up the centre back and left 10cm at the top and was able to fit it on so I decided I would do a button and loop closure.

refashion dress to tunic


The pattern cut and sewed up fast enough, and all was going along well.  I had decided to do some cream piping at the neckline and double piping on the pockets – and when I was trimming the facing and neckline…..dee-saster…… I hadn’t noticed some of the front was caught up – and yup – I snipped it.  So now I had a near-finished-twice-made garment with a huge hole in it.

simplicity 1364 dress to tunic


I left it aside for a few days – and then decided to use the facings to the front and cover the hole and just do a bound neckline, and then the pockets I put a strip of binding across each pocket – the two pockets looked a bit ‘overkill’ so I left it with one and prefer it a lot more.


So now I have a tunic for the swanky silk pants bought last year in a Charity shop.  They are most probably the last thing I will ever need but the silk is so so lovely and they were so so cheap (well a few euro cheaper than all the other trousers on the rack – maybe for some the cream silk screams high maintenance? I wasn’t put off and  this silk has such a pile they have to hang on a padded hanger!.)  They also felt just the thing to pack for 1930s cruise, the illusion was soon shattered when I showed them to a friend – her comment was – ‘so very Lucy Ewing!’ 

I will try and post a photo later of the ensemble complete when the weather warms up (once I find photographer and some patience on my part……………….)

and finally………..

the tunic could have been adapted a few ways – the current front facing is a bit odd looking, so I will launder it (I am still not 100% sure of the colour fastness – I don’t generally prewash) and wear it but I am thinking I will try one or two other necklines.  As it was made with the silk pants in mind, I was trying to stick to cream, and I have some ivory silk scrap that could be used for detachable or fixed asymmetric collar, or I could front face in a soft white cotton? 



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