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Weekend Staycation Capsule- The Tunic Bible

Today's blog post comes with a long back story. If you want to skip the backstory, jump straight to the bolded section. This past Satu...

Today's blog post comes with a long back story. If you want to skip the backstory, jump straight to the bolded section.

This past Saturday, I learned about a new Facebook Group. The group is called Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests. The group is dedicated to multi-garment sew alongs with prizes at the end of each contest.

I've been looking for a really good series to get my sewjo going and this was just the thing. The catch was, I found the group on December 10th at 10am and the series would be over on December 15th! I had just 5 days to sew an 8 piece wardrobe based around the concept of a "Seasonal Sew Wardrobe: Destination. Worse yet, I knew that I wouldn't have much time after the 11th to sew anything, so I had 2 days to get it done. Then of course, since i hadn't planned ahead, I still had to attend my daughters' dance recital and do groceries. GAH.

I officially started sewing at 6:30 pm on December 10th and finished a complete capsule style wardrobe on December 11th at 8:30 pm. Talk about epic sewing!

To achieve my huge project in so little time, I had a few advantages.
#1- My kids spent the night at Grandmas and I didn't pick them up until Monday Morning.
#2- Most of my sewed garments I had already muslined.
#3- My fabric was already washed and ready to go.

If any of those things had not been the case, there's no way I would complete such a big project.

For my theme, I picked a Weekend Staycation. My kids have been spending a lot of time at grandma's lately, and that meant a lot of time of just my husband and I hanging out at home, ALONE! It meant chances of staying in and watching movies OR going out for dinner, ALONE! All of these things we could do ALONE!!! So I needed comfy clothes for hanging out and watching movies, nicer clothes for dinner dates, and of course, sexy undies. ;) (Don't worry, I promise not to share any photos of my nearly bare butt!)

Garments completed:
1- A woven tunic from the book The Tunic Bible
2- 3 pairs of A Sparkly Baby Cheeky Chonies
3 and 4- 2 Jocole Easy Swing Skirts
5- Love Notions La Bella Donna
6- Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up
7- Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan
8- Love Notions Sabrina Slims

To keep this blog post from getting massive, I'm going to break up the different sews, especially for the patterns I've never blogged before, since they deserve a complete review.

The Tunic Bible.

I actually only ended up with The Tunic Bible thanks to a post in the Pattern Reviews and Resources Group. Thanks to Bonnie Riley I requested it from my library. I don't normally use sewing books because I HATE tracing patterns. So, I read the book very carefully. I tried so hard to find something majorly wrong with the pattern sheets so I could justify not even starting to trace. But honestly, I only found 1 problem, and it isn't life threatening.

Problem, there is only 1 back neckline, even though there are multiple front necklines that meet at different points on the shoulder. Definitely not a valid reason to just toss out the pattern all together, so I proceeded, knowing I wouldn't learn anything new without actually doing some sewing.

During the "pre-muslin" stage, I noticed that the bust point on the dart is REALLY high. As in so high I didn't have to adjust at all! Normally I have to bring the bust point way up, but this wasn't the case this time. If you are NOT fun sized, then you'll need to bring the bust dart down. However the book absolutely recommends doing a muslin and moving a bust dart would be a pretty common adjustment.

My second observation was that the sleeves are VERY rectangular. This isn't a drafting issue, just a styling preference. I ended up removing 4 1/2 inches at the sleeve hem in an attempt to make a thinner sleeve. I did it the quick/cheater way so now have funky wrinkles along the length of the arm. Since I wasn't sure it would even be wearable, I feel ok about doing it this way.

So that was all the things I learned BEFORE sewing anything. I choose my pattern size based on my overbust plus 2", completed my full bust adjustment and also adjusted the side seams for my smaller hips. The instructions are sort of all over the place, which makes sense since there are SO many options. Technically the neckline I choose doesn't exist in the book, but it was based off of a neckline shown in the book, so I don't think I'm cheating. The overall fit of the garment when using their size chart is sort of "meh". Everything I have technically fits, but it isn't quite my style. But it technically fits, and that's half the battle!

The book includes TONS of styling options and lots of inspiration. It talks a great deal about different fabrics, accents and different ways of using color blocking. If you have a good understanding on muslining, once you're all muslined you'll be ready to make any of the alternative options.

If I were to sew it again (and I just bought fabric today to make another), I would pick my size closer to my shoulder width, than my overbust+2". But choosing a size by shoulder width is a bit more complicated than the other size options, especially since the shoulder point is intended to sit OFF of the shoulder. But that fit makes my shoulders look wider, so I'm going to go down a size and make a bigger FBA. However, the book does include a complete finished measurement chart so you can use those for making your adjustments as necessary. For the record, as I'm losing weight again, I'm running into this problem frequently, where my shoulders aren't fitting as well into the sizes they "should". Not sure why, but at least I can look at my garments and see that that is happening.

The fabric I used is a fairly heavy weight fabric and it still turned out to be a wearable muslin. (I have no idea exactly what it is, just heavier than quilting weight fabric). Not perfect, mind you, but a great option when you're feeling bloated from eating too much fried chicken and french fries after binge sewing for 26 hours. ;) As long as you don't mind a little "squarer" look, I think quilting weight cotton could even work. I'll know soon once I finish my next dress!

And for the record, I saw that the book can be bought on Kindle for just $11. That means you could use it like a PDF pattern! And at $11, its pretty close to the same price as a PDF pattern too. I may just skip this whole tracing thing and just buy the Kindle version so I can have the pattern available forever. :)

Overall, my answer is yes, worth buying. Be sure to adjust the back shoulder to match the front shoulder depending on the neckline you choose and have fun playing with the different necklines. Also, fabric drape matters so much. This specific tunic makes me look heavier than usual, but I know something with a softer drape (OR using the back fish eye darts) will make a HUGE difference in the look and feel of my tunic.

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  1. So happy to see your wonderful review. Yes, your reviews are always wonderful!!! I have my book. I have no time, but I just bought leggings for myself, my daughters, my DiLs and my sister, so I'd better get cracking with the tunics. They're definitely going to be a January, onward, project. Good/not good to hear about the back neckline - that will be a new challenge for me. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  2. I need a new winter coat. Thinking making it a size or 2 larger and use Insulate.


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