Saturday, May 1, 2010



  1. having no sleeves
  2. unproductive; a fruitless search; a vain attempt; “a sleeveless errand”


In a previous post I mentioned that I used my first attempt at a customized pattern block for TLo to make a  sleeveless tunic.  Well, here it is. 


I had the idea that if TLo couldn’t wear it, maybe The Big One could (remember her? Bet you thought we’d left her at the zoo or something).  I mean, what could be more clever?  Surely a garment made from a pattern block custom fit to a child who is a size 10 in the chest will look just fab on a child who’s roughly a size 4 in the chest.  Right?  Right?


Right.  This was an ill-formed idea.

Here’s the tunic on TLo.


Then I tried it on The Big One.


When my mother saw them, she immediately said “They look like Hutterites.”  Yes.  That is totally the look I was going for.

I think the biggest problem is that this fabric is relatively stiff and I was overly cautious in adding flare to the A-line shape.  I should have added quite a bit more and as it is, it doesn’t drape well at all.

Needless to say, this garment was less than a success.  Which is a shame, because the front placket is a pretty nice idea.  I pulled the pattern for that straight out of David Page Coffin’s iconic Shirtmaking book.  That is one awesome book.  Here’s a link to his blog: DPC Making Trousers.  And here’s the placket.  (The color is off.)


Not brilliant construction, unfortunately.  I didn’t mark the reinforcement rectangle and you can see that it came out crooked.  Duh.  Stupid lazy mistake.  But since no one is likely to wear this much I guess it doesn’t matter. 

This is what the back of that application looks like, it’s a very nice clean finish (despite my crooked sewing).


My understanding of DPC’s instructions has always been that it should end up like this, with the top line of stitching hitting above the slit where the two bands fit into the shirt.  But next time I do this, I’m going to make it come out with the stitching below that so that it’s a sealed seam.  That just makes more sense to me (and it’s totally possible that I’ve misunderstood the instructions and that’s how it’s supposed to be in the first place).

The plus in all this is that I have a New and Improved Block to work from for TLo, which hopefully will result in more successful (and fewer “sleeveless”) garments.  Plus, I still have at least one yard of this fabric left so I should be able to make something else out of it, because it’s awfully darn cute.  Fashion Fabric Club.  Gotta love ‘em.


  1. It is great fabric and the placket is great. Carry on!!

  2. I'm so glad your blocks are coming along so well!

    Personally I think that tunic is too damned cute to waste. Could you chop off a hunk and make it a top to wear with shorts? The fit is fine, and maybe the lack of volume would better suit a shorter tunic? (Can you tell I hate to see sewing time and cute fabric wasted?)

  3. Just found your blog (though I have heard mention of you on someone else's blog...).

    You are a riot! Thanks!

    PS my word verification word is "pardes" which I am choosing to pronounce par-DEES! LOL

  4. A sleeveless errand???
    Lovely fabric, the idea is cute and wonderfully livable for Texas. Carry on!

  5. I've been a lurker--love your blog, but I just had to comment on these dresses. Since I suffer from finishing things and then realizing something else needs to happen before they are seen in public, I was delighted to find that you had more of this cute fabric. Just cut the tops somewhere in the area below the armholes which would make an empire-type waist, gather some of that extra fabric you have into a skirt section for one of the dresses, and use the two bottom sections of both current tunics to make another gathered skirt for the second one. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even add narrow sashes at the sides to be tied in the back. These will be adorable with no hint of Hutteriteness!

    Linda in TN


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