During my sewing drought, I often came upon a pattern that I needed to make RIGHT NOW, or a fabric that simply sang to me so it needed to make its way home to my stash. But the need never went further than that. No doing, just daydreaming. But then came Alder and it pushed me enough to take action and enjoy the process thoroughly (cutting, fitting, muslining…). Once I finished I was ready to start an assembly line of Alder dresses but something made me pause. Enter this beeeautiful tunic.
I fell in love with the simplicity in the lines, drapey fabric, how it screamed cozy boho chic. I’m not one to call myself chic, or a boho (what?), but this dress needed on my body. And I felt confident in being able to replicate it. And thank goodness I could because, even if it came in my size, I wouldn’t shell out $128 for it.
I used a kimono blouse pattern that I had recently bought, New Look 0907. I muslined it twice. The first time, I used the last bit of African wax cotton I had in a print I loved. Not sure why I didn’t save it for AFTER I got the measurements right. Using it as a test fabric made me not take much care in the pattern matching, or pattern placement (headlights!). For shame. I love that fabric. Anyhoo…I cut a straight 22 and just added a bit of arm width.
The next test version is made in an unidentifiable cotton I purchased at the Rag Market in Birmingham, in what feels like another life. I graded it up a size and it felt so much more comfy, if not a bit more boxy. The neckline doesn’t lie flat and I blame it on some stiff binding I used to finish the neckline.
In the end, comfort won out and I used the upgraded pattern to make my first ever hack. Eeek! I am not one to stray from pattern instructions. I rarely play with fabric patterns or shape. I never think to marry two patterns to produce a gorgeous garment baby. So for me to see a pattern, then a dress and to follow through in replicating said dress, is a big deal. Coming off of my Alder high, the excitement of this dress made me follow through and make it. It’s not dancing in my daydreams. It’s tangible and I can wear it. Granted, I don’t look as leggy as the model who wore the original, but I feel…airy…light when I wear my version. It’s a bit maternity-esque. Feck it. I don’t care. I want to boho chic around town, while haggling at yard sales, and taking a lunch break at my local farmer’s market.
I initially wasn’t going to make an almost exact copy. But the more I stared at the original, the more I loved the stripy yoke. So I did a bit of searching. I knew the textile is popular in South America so I used various key words to find it in Etsy. Funny enough, when it came down to buying it, I didn’t buy it from the various buyers in South America. I bought it from China. Hey, it was cheaper and a cotton blend. The others were purely synthetic.
I planned to skip the back ties but decided they were desperately needed after trying it on without. No ties=Moo Moo. I’m glad the ties helped simmer down the maternal look because I would’ve been gutted if all the work would’ve been for nothing.