Fancy Tiger Crafts Fen Tunic

This is my second attempt at this pattern. The first iteration of this pattern is probably my most worn handmade garment ever.  Not that you can tell from the crappy photos I took the first go around. The first dress has been worn pretty much all over the country and is still a go-to piece for me. I had purchased this Kokka double gauze cotton from my local independent sewing shop, Fiberge. It is some of the softest stuff I’ve ever laid my hands on. Does it wrinkle like a bitch, yes. Do I care? No. It’ll probably soften up over several washes in regards to it’s wrinkling. I could be wrong though. Either way it’s comfortable and I don’t mind a few well worn wrinkles. 

I had originally intended to sew a much shorter blouse version of the Fen, but found I had more fabric than I needed so I lengthened it as much as my yardage would allow. It put it at a kind of awkward tunic or mini dress length. Cute enough to wear with leggings/jeans or over a swimsuit- but I don’t think quite long enough in the front to get away with wearing it sans pants. I might try it anyway depending on how brave I am. 

I finished the neckline with self-made bias tape, in a very cute grey and blue check pattern. All the seams are french seams, except the pockets. Given how easily this frays I chose that finish over a serged seam. The pockets seams are pinked, mostly because I have cute scalloped pinking shears. The skirt and sleeves are sleeves are hand rolled hems. I think it’ll hold up pretty well. I still want to make the blouse version of this pattern- I could even do a crop top to stash bust some smaller yardage pieces of fabric I’ve been hoarding. 

I think Fen is the closest to a tried and true pattern I have. I think overall I’m just more of a soft fabric, loose silhouette kind of girl. For as much as I love the idea of a cinched, vintage style, waist – I never follow through and wearing the garments I make that have it. I’m not going to sew things I know I won’t wear any longer. I can’t tell you how many pattern testing offers I’ve had to refuse with my new slow sewing philosophy. Sew something you know you’ll love and wear, spend the money on the fabric you want, and take your time adding couture finishes to even simple garments. 

A wrap skirt and tunic into this new philosophy so far, and I’m so glad I’ve slowed down to enjoy sewing again.


Simplicity 8612: The Wrap Skirt

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Long time no sew friends! I decided to break my sewing dry spell with a garment that’s the easiest of easy, a wrap skirt. I used Simplicity 8612. This is the first Ashley Nell Tipton pattern I’ve ever sewn and overall I was pretty pleased with the way everything fits together. I really loved her collection on project runway and was excited to see that she’s been doing a pattern collection with simplicity. I used a fabric from my stash that I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it from or the fabric content. It’s very drapey and my best guess would be that it’s a rayon blend. I used about 3 yards of 58″ wide fabric.  I’m really trying to work my way through stashed fabrics before buying more. Eventually, I’d like to just buy fabric as I need it and not even have a stash- which I know the idea of is making some of my fellow sewists itchy. I’m just over the craft hoarding. If it’s not getting used what’s the point in keeping it? 

I sewed view B and made no alterations. In the photos I’m wearing it with some faux leather slides and a white Rachel Roy off the shoulder blouse. Fun fact, my husband HATES this top. Every time I ask him to explain the hate, I just get the “it’s terrible” response. I, on the other hand, love it. I don’t mind skirting the line between disgust and love fashion wise though, I’d rather invoke a feeling one way or the other visually. Also, I’ll definitely keep wearing it until I stop loving it.  The measurements on the sizes for this pattern have some measurements that include half inches. I don’t know if this a traditional plus size way to measure, but I remember seeing on a lot of my vintage plus size or petite patterns. My waist measurement which is a number that includes a half inch was right on the pattern. It was kind of cool to see my exact measurement on a size chart.  If I made it again I would probably add an inch or so to the front panel, they sit a bit short of perfectly flush when the skirt is wrapped and tied. It’s a very easy sew and the construction steps made sense to me. 

I can see myself making this again. Maybe I’ll make view B again in a neutral color? I think that would be a great wardrobe building piece. The mini skirt view looks fun too. I don’t think view A would be the most flattering as I’m not huge on tea length- but it could be fun on a longer legged lady! It felt great to sew something, I’m excited to make a bit more time this year for my hobbies. I also have some video footage of the construction of the skirt. If that interests you guys I’d be happy to post a youtube video- let me know in the comments below!