Mood board: Sew Liberated’s Schoolhouse Tunic

After I posted my finished Clara Dress, Danica from the Sew Liberated pattern company offered me a free pattern in return for a link to my post after I finish it. Who could resist such a lovely offer?

Enter the Schoolhouse Tunic!

The picture on the pattern envelope has a boho chic vibe going; but, after checking my stash, I decided to go in a completely different direction. Here’s the mood board:

This is going more preppy than boho chic.

I originally bought the preppy stripe and white fabrics to make a traditional shirt.

The Schoolhouse Tunic has an empire line (a seam just below the bust), a placket that turns to the wrong side and is top-stitched down, and three-quarter-length sleeves. It is designed to be worn over a camisole.

My plan is to turn that placket to the outside and make it white. I also want to add simple white cuffs (bands, really) to the end of the sleeves. I’m not sure how I will run the stripes. I may make them horizontal on the upper bodice and vertical on the lower bodice.

The Schoolhouse Tunic presents an interesting fitting and design challenge. While tunics are generally a flattering look on me, the combination of an empire line and the need for a full-bust adjustment could very well result in a garment that looks like a maternity top.

Shudder.

I am counting on a good fitting job to prevent that. If it all comes together like I hope, it should be a nice layering piece.

 

New apron with 1930s-style fabric

I have another new apron. This one was made from a reproduction 1930s print fabric I bought at my local quilting fabric store, Country Sewing Center.

Here is the before:

Butterick 6567 was already in my stash. I bought a reproduction 1930s quilt fabric to make it.

The Butterick pattern is out of stock. I made View A, the one in the big photo in the middle of the pattern envelope.

This apron had a bit of a weird construction technique with the straps that go from the front waistband over the shoulder to the back waistband. They are edged in double-fold bias tape and then lapped over the middle bodice piece and back horizontal strap and sewn from the right side. Since I had a little problem using pinking shears on lapped seams after I sewed them with the last apron, I pinked the edges before sewing this time around. Much smarter.

Here’s my new apron on Gene:

How cute is this apron? The pocket, just like on the last apron, is too small to be useful, but it looks good.

How cute is this apron? The pocket can’t hold much besides a cell phone, but it looks good. Gene is in my kitchen, in front of my baking cart.

And from the back:

The horizontal strap keeps the apron from slipping off the shoulders.

I like that the ties are double-layered; the wrong side doesn’t show. (Gene is wearing a cotton blouse and linen skirt I made last year.)

I’ve been using the other apron I made, and it is so cheerful. I like a LOT of color in my kitchen, so both my new aprons make me happy-happy.

Since I always leave my latest completed project on Gene the Dress Form until I need her for the next project, I won’t be using the new apron for a few days.

Up next, a tunic!

Another vintage-style apron in the works

Making a vintage-style apron was so rewarding that I am jumping right into making another one. This time I’m using Butterick 6567 (out of print), View A.

Butterick 6567 was already in my stash. I bought a reproduction 1930s quilt fabric to make it.

Butterick 6567 was already in my stash. I bought a reproduction 1930s print quilting fabric to make it.

Here’s a better look at View A:

Note the bias tape everywhere.

Note the narrow bias tape everywhere.

The pattern calls for making 7 yards of 1/4-inch double-fold bias tape from scratch. Well, that’s just too skinny a fold to try to press when 1/4-inch bias tape is readily available. When I got to the store, I decided it looked like the fabric could pull out of those skinny little seam allowances pretty easily, so I opted for the 1/2-inch double-fold bias tape.

Even though this pattern has a bodice of sorts, I’m not bothering with any sort of full-bust adjustment. We’ll see how that goes.

A new vintage-style apron

Well, that was quick!

I started off with this:

The colors of the fabrics match my kitchen.

The blue, red, and yellow match my kitchen. The green is just for fun.

Three days later, I had this:

Gene is in a corner of my breakfast nook so you can see the colors I was drawing from when I picked the fabrics for my apron.

Gene is in a corner of my breakfast nook so you can see the colors I was drawing from when I picked the fabrics for my apron. She’s also wearing two other garments I made.

Honestly, it could have been done in one day, but I cut it out one day, did half the sewing the second day, then did the final sewing on the third day. What a nice, leisurely sewing pace.

And now I have a pretty new apron. And since I plan to use it, I’m sure it will be stained in no time.

The pattern has an unusual (for the modern day) construction technique. The seam lines for the scalloped fabric trim on the bottom of the skirt and the side parts of the pocket were stay-stitched. Then they were turned back, pressed, lapped on top of the main fabric, and edge-stitched down.

(Actually, before the pieces were lapped, rick-rack was basted onto the seam line of the main piece, so it ended up sandwiched in the seam.)

It was rather like a giant applique. While I haven’t made a piece of clothing with this technique, I have seen vintage reproduction pattern instructions that call for it along curves.

Pressing the seam allowances back was pretty tricky with an iron blasting full steam. I really need to get some ironing gloves before I burn myself.

The pattern didn’t specifically call for any seam finishes, but after I stitched pieces together, I could envision the ravelly mess that would ensue after washing. So, I pinked the edges. Because of the way the pieces were lapped and sewn, this little mishap occurred:

See the round hole and the little crescent shaped one next to it?

See the round hole and the little crescent shaped one next to it?

Well, crap. I didn’t spend too much time crying over it. It is an apron, after all. I just got out my Fray Check and treated both sides of the holes.

But did you notice the other problem? Look closely:

Stems. At the top!

Stems. At the top!

That’s right. The main floral is UPSIDE-DOWN!

Before cutting out the fabric, I quickly scanned it and noted that the blossoms were facing all directions, so I ASSUMED my floral was nondirectional.

Until I had already cut everything out and was placing the finished pocket on the skirt.

That’s when I was annoyed to discover the little grouping of stem ends facing up. UP? What?! I expect this in a home dec fabric, but why would anyone design a quilting cotton floral that’s (just barely) directional? Grrr. Truth be told, the upside-down bouquets are more annoying to me than the little holes courtesy of my pinking shears.

Deep breath.

OK. Well, regardless, I now have a darling little apron that I will actually use. One last look:

Despite the flaws, so cute!

Despite the flaws, so cute!

I like having a fancy apron so much that I’m intending to make another one from a different vintage-style pattern in my stash. I already purchased a darling reproduction 1930s quilting fabric from Country Sewing Center, the really nice quilt store here in town, but I still need to buy bias tape.

The pattern calls for making 7 yards of 1/4-inch bias tape from scratch, but I don’t want to get that up close and personal with my steam iron. Plus, that seems really narrow. So, I’m taking the lazy route and buying regular double-fold bias tape.

That project will be up next.