Monday, September 8, 2014

Washi Tunic and Black Bird Tunic

Washi tunic (on me) and Black Bird Tunic on Aurelia, both in Nani Iro fabric.

I bought this Nani Iro fabric (Field Star) with a gift card I won to Jones & Vandermeer back in April, with the sole intention of making a Washi tunic with it.  Well, finally I have!  And there was enough left over to make a Black Bird Tunic for my daughter!

First, the Washi:

Washi Tunic, using Nani Iro double gauze.

I bought a paper pattern from my local quilt shop, and as per Rae's suggestion I also got some Swedish tracing paper to trace the pattern size I needed.  I posted my progress photos along the way on instagram (@quiltsnfeathers), here's a collage of them:

Washi tunic construction.  Top: shirring and pleats.  Bottom: traced pattern ready to cut out, pondering bodice placement and more shirring.

Since I wanted to use my Nani Iro fabric for my first Washi, I decided to make a muslin first to check the fit.  I tried a large, which was too big, then a medium, which was too small.  Then I graded the pattern from a medium in the shoulders to a large in the bust--but still had a big gape at the neck.  Thankfully a follower on IG suggested I alter the pattern using this tutorial on how to remove the neck gape.  I'd never done anything like that with a pattern, but it was fairly simple and it worked! (you can see how I altered my bodice pattern in the center photo above)

Washi bodice muslins. 

After making so many muslins I needed a break from the pattern.  But when I finally came back to it, it came together so smoothly!  I followed Rae's video tutorials to add a bodice lining, instead of facing and bias tape binding at the arms.

Washi tunic, side view.

I shortened the pattern by an inch because I used the factory edge instead of hemming it at the bottom.  I also lowered the armed pit by about 1/4 inch--I freaking hate when there is fabric up in my armpits!  I shirred the back, and it was so easy!  It really makes for a flattering and comfortable fit!

Washi tunic back.

 I've already purchased yards more fabric to make a dress and another tunic from this pattern and look forward to trying some of the variations next time!

Washi Tunic.  See how nicely the neckline lays now?  So worth the effort of getting the fit right!

Now on to the Black Bird tunic!  I need to find a pattern like this for me!  

Black Bird tunic

I love this style of shirt on little girls!  That large round collar and big button are so cute!  And the pleats add such a feminine element and really help bring the whole thing together.

Black Bird tunic.

 I didn't make any changes to the pattern, except I didn't do any piping.  I kept the pattern length as is, and again used the factory edge instead of hemming.  I like that it adds a little length to this shirt--I'm sure she'll be wearing it still next summer!

Black Bird tunic back.

I made biased binding for the arms and really like how they turned out.  I like that the arm holes are large enough to fit over a long sleeve shirt for winter fashion, yet small enough they're not gaping.

 She loves the shirt--it's comfortable and lightweight, and I think she likes to match me!  We had a lot of fun taking pictures together!


  1. This is the cutest blog post ever. I love how you made that neckline fit! She is so happy! Good job, momma!

  2. Both garments look fabulous, as do both of you.

  3. So sweet! I am so glad you took the time to get the bodice to lay flat - it looks great on you. And Aurelia is such a smiley cutie in these photos. I love how Matt and Arden look so much alike and Aurelia is your mini me! :)

  4. Nice job all around. I love that last photo.

    1. Very, very nice job. I have to look at the tutorial for modifying the neckline - you did a wonderful job. Small world - I was just in ABQ for 2+ weeks in June and I'm coming back in a couple of weeks to stay for 3 weeks. My daughter is a teacher and her mother-in-law is going to Israel so I'm coming for 3 weeks to help with my grandsons. I'm excited. The little one started preschool this month and the older one is out of school on Wednesday afternoons. The other grandma doesn't craft, so when I come we try to craft everyday, I'ts difficult to compete with electronics. Yet when I ask if they had fun, I get "it was ok." Yet when I ask if they want to do it again something I get a big YES! It's hard to find things a 3 year old can do and still entertains an 8 year old. At least my daughter will be there to help me with craft time after homework this time. I miss sewing for her. Your blouses are phenomenal!

  5. What a sweet post. Brought back lots of memories, as I used to sew clothes for my daughter and myself when she was little. I enjoyed the pics very much. She a little cutie!

  6. You both look so beautiful! Awesome job. I love how they're both feminine but casual. And I'm a sucker for a little girl in blue jeans.

  7. What a matching duo you are! Well done!

  8. I know i already said it on IG but you two are the cutest!! You did a magnificent on both tops and you know i'll be coming to you when i finally get the courage to make a washi! Love it, and in Nani Iro... i die.
    And i love how you used the factory edge along the bottom of both, so perfect!

  9. Sewing clothes scares me, unless it's a simple skirt. These both look great though. Congratulations on getting the fit right...that's the part that terrifies me most! Your daughter's top looks especially sweet.

  10. I love that you made matching tops for you and your daughter! And even if it did take several muslins, it looks like it was worth it, because that's a great fit.

  11. So cute! I love that you match your daughter! I admire anyone who can alter a pattern or sew garments. The shirring on the back is a great and practical touch!

  12. Both are delightful! Thanks for all the construction tips.

  13. What a fun photo shoot! You guys are too cute. Nice job! So tell me, is the price of the fabric worth the feel of it?

  14. She is so freaking adorable! Fabulous job on those tops, Renee -- I so admire people who make clothes. Well done on altering the pattern too!

  15. Both tunics have turned out beautifully and you both look so wonderful in them. If you ever do come across an adult version of the black bird tunic I'd love to know, it's a really beautiful design.

  16. Well done on the pattern adjustment! It looks like a perfect fit for both.
    I often use inexpensive lightweight interfacing for patterns – I didn't know about Swedish paper.
    Matching = too cute.