great british sewing bee tunic

A few months ago, when I was just starting out with the whole sewing malarkey, I bought the Great British Sewing Bee book in the hope it would help me learn.

I read it, looked at the patterns and made a to do list, but then promptly forgot about it. Mostly because getting the patterns is such a bloody faff. (Apparently this is rectified in the second GBSB book, but don’t quote me on that).

Anyhoo, I had a random 2 yards of fabric (yards, not metres because I failed to read the measurement details on the online shop).

(Note to self: always read the small print.)

I decided to have a pop at the Tunic from the GBSB book, mostly because a) this is the one pattern included in the book b) it requires 2 yards of fabric and c) it has a zip. I’m totally cool with zips.

My measurements were in between sizes, so I chose to go for the larger (12). It was all very straight forward, until I hit the zip. Now, I have totally cracked invisible zips, but this tunic requires an exposed zip. Cue a frantic search of youtube videos.

(side note: can we all just call zips “zips”? Zippers isn’t a real word)

It also didn’t help that the 50cm zip I thought I had bought earlier this week for the mortmain dress I have planned turned out to be 55cm. DAGNAMMIT.

But then I realised all I had to do is cut an extra 5cm off the back pieces. It felt really naughty, but I have always been a bit of a rebel.

The tunic took me about 4 hours to complete, from cutting the pattern to finishing. This includes a 30 minute youtube trawl. And a glass of wine. Obvs.

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The instructions say to hand stitch the shoulder seams, but as it was approaching 11pm I decided to bugger that and use the machine. I also decided to topstitch the armhole facings as for some reason they weren’t sitting right. (see: aforementioned glass of wine.)

Apart from the top of the zip (it doesn’t quite work with the facing) I am quite pleased with this tunic. I think I could have gone with a size 10, but the 12 is very forgiving 😉 I am also loving the fact that I am starting to be confident enough to go off piste and alter the pattern, albeit slightly.

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Despite deciding I would always add at least 5cm to every top I made, I decided not to with this one as it is designed to be long. I’m glad I didn’t as that would have made it into a minidress rather than a tunic. Still, I think it works well with skinny jeans.

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In hindsight I should probably have given more thought to pattern matching. If this was actually on the Great British Sewing Bee then I am pretty sure Patrick would have commented on my lack of thought matching the flowers. But, do you know what? The back facings line up PERFECTLY. Go me.

*cough*

To be fair though, the fabric is pretty busy and I don’t really think anyone will be looking that closely.

There are other patterns I would like to try from this book, and now I’ve made one, maybe I’ll be bothered to download some of the other patterns.

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