Refashion x 3

This is my third time to make/remake a tunic from this wool plaid fabric. I hate to give up on something you know? The first time I made a simple sleeveless high/low shift with a few pleats at the neckline to create some drape.  When I wore it a friend commented on how I always wore such baggy clothes. Ooomph. That hurt. So I remade it, by slicing it down the front and putting on a button band. I also tightened the back up with a pleat. The back was really nice. But I still didn’t care for it. This fabric is drapey and I always thought it needed pleats or gathers or something. You can see it here.

I thought it would be nice to make a tunic like this.


I had quite a bit of fabric left over and first I wanted sleeves. But after making sleeves I realized there wasn’t enough fabric left to add a gathered skirt all around. So I thought about the Grainline Alder, a pattern I’ve looked at several times, unsure if I liked it or not. Probably everyone has seen the Alder, which has two versions. In one version, the back is gathered. I went to the Grainline site and found the online tutorial for that version. It was pretty easy to follow it even without the actual pattern. That left doing something about the neck, which I had cut too big the first time. There’s not that much you can do when you’ve cut the neck hole too big. I decided to line up a bunch of scraps, sew a gathering stitch, gather them and pin them between the neck and the facing. I left their edges all unfinished. Go edgy or go home right? Then I decided I didn’t want to hem the bottom either, so I just serged around the bottom. I also did a wrist treatment of gathered scraps. So this is the result. The body is very much like the Alder.





I love the sideview, and the back. But the front? I’m just not a shirtwaist kind of a person …. I could have sworn it looked better in real than in this pic. And should I trim down the neck flounce? It seems kind of overwhelming.

This is warm and toasty and pretty comfortable. And I’ll wear it this winter partly to keep in view this kind of look that I’ve never had before. Do you know what i mean? There are so many things I like about this, but I’m thinking it’s still a fail. Luckily (!!) the fabric picked up a couple of small moth holes during the last year, so this is doomed anyway. I knew that going in, so this was an exercise in experimentation to see if I could find my way to a great look.

I’m interested in any comments or suggestions about what’s wrong and why.

11 thoughts on “Refashion x 3”

  1. I agree the back view is great! I think the front maybe needs some waist definition to break it up a bit. Maybe a drawstring? I would also hem the bottom edge rather than do the overlocked edge, although I don’t think you want it much shorter than it is. I like the neck flounce as it is; wouldn’t make it smaller. I’m curious to to what you’ll come up with after you’ve worn it a few times though; I often find that makes a difference.


    1. I like your idea about getting some waist definition. I could start by pinning in a strip of elastic just to see. I think the Alder has bust darts, which probably allows it to be closer to the body. This seems too loose in the front, doesn’t it? I agree about wearing something a few times. That definitely works for me. Thanks for your comments! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The tunic looks like a dress. May be high (take up the hem in front) and keeping the back length would improve the proportions. The neck flounce has to go. Since the tunic is voluminous, tights or skinny jeans will balance out….


  3. I agree with other comments about eliminating the neck flounce. I think the sides and back are perfect just as they are, and I love the way the back’s gathers are just visible at the front sides.

    My very favorite thing is your comment “Go edgy or go home”…this now has a permanent place in my sewing lexicon!


    1. What you like about it is what’s copied from the Grainline Alder 🙂 It’s what I like about it too. Glad to have contributed to your lexicon! Thanks for your comments.


    1. Thanks Linda. I tightened the bodice by adding a seam up the back. Then I didn’t feel the need for any kind of waist definition. You may have seen it on IG? I changed the collar too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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