new look 6868 tunic into a dress

I wanted to make this tunic using view B into a dress – basically a sleeveless dress with a rounded neckline and pleats. I thought – well, it’s a tunic pattern, might as well add a few more inches and wear it as a dress.  I wanted to try sewing pleats again, this time with a voile fabric, hoping that the lighter material would not seem as bulky as the last time I sewed this vogue dress with pleats. I used some lovely Anna Maria Horner voile fabric, purchased from purlsoho awhile ago.  Naturally, I added pockets as well.

If I had checked out the pattern reviews prior to sewing this, it might have made things simpler to know that everyone who tried to sew this tunic had issues with the neckband. I had thought to myself – only three pieces to sew – what a quick dress this will be! Ummm, not exactly.

Basically, the pattern was not drafted correctly – the neckband was way too short to go around the collar area of the tunic. No matter how much you try to stretch the fabric, you cannot stretch fabric 5 inches or more, even if the fabric is cut on the bias. The neckband was also way too wide (6 inches for a collar – way too bulky).  I ended up just cutting another piece of fabric. I measured the length around the collar and made the band only 3 inches wide (once attached to the neck collar, the neck band would be about and inch and half wide). Next time I would make the length just a bit shorter – in order to “stretch” the fabric and have the neck band lay flatter.  Right now, it does pucker a little bit in the front bodice area and the back does gape beneath the neck.  I can live with this for now – although I may go back and try to fix it.

And I’m still not sold on pleats.  With the back pleats, I sewed the pleats vertically past my bottom area so it would poof out below and not make that area look too large.   I sewed the pleats vertically down the dress on the front – and where I stopped, it clearly poofs out and seems evolve into a maternity style… You know what I mean, the gathered empire waist look, which always elicits questions as such as “oh, you’re expecting?” I think pleats are just meant for super slim people who need attention drawn to certain parts of their bodies.  The rest of us have those curves and should stay away from pleats – they just make everything look bigger.  I don’t really need any help making any part of my body look larger, thank you very much!

The pattern has way too much ease – the pattern sheet stated that the finished width for a size 8, it is 45 1/2 inches.size 14 (bust 36) is 50  inches.  That’s a LOT of ease – far too much – it could have made for wasteful cutting down of expensive fabric. I made a small size, hoping it would work.  And it did.   Overall, I do like this tunic turned dress – it is fitted, has pockets, and the fabric is lovely.  But in terms in the pattern, overall, not a great pattern.

Oh, and you may notice that I’m missing about 10 inches or so of hair! Yes, I cut it off – I was so tired of my long hair always in a bun or a braid.  Here’s another picture, on the day of the cut.  I came home and Sophia looked at me for a minute and said “momma haircut!”.  Too funny!

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One thought on “new look 6868 tunic into a dress

  1. Amy

    This one turned out very cute too, but I agree with you about pleats. I won’t be sewing any more patterns with them, they just don’t do anything nice for my body!

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