Sunday, April 7, 2024

Weekend Review: Tunic Bible

Tunic Bible / Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr
Concord, CA: C&T, c2016.
176 p.

This book is just what it promises: a book all about tunics! It's an exhaustive look at the basic tunic, then all the variations in sleeve, neckline, collar treatments, length, and trimming. It's an older book that I read when it was first published, as it was written by two PatternReview members I was familiar with, and I just had to check it out!  I've just found it in my library so revisited it. 

If you like tunics, you will most likely really enjoy this book! There are many variations shared, with some sewing tips for the various steps -- ie: sewing a facing or an exposed facing, changing sleeve finishes, adding side slits and much more. There are multiple photos, all modelled as worn by the authors or their family members, so the variety of models is limited. All the patterns for the base tunics are included in the book as traceable inserts, or if you are reading this in ebook format, the patterns are all downloadable from a link in the book (they are still available, I checked!) 

They talk about fabric options, even sharing a knit version with tips on sewing this in a knit with things to note about fitting etc. They share trimming ideas, and all of these are shared in the first bit of the book, with lots of photos and some notes about each one. This is followed by a photo gallery of tester makes. Most of these are PatternReview members, including PR founder Deepika herself. There are links to their blogs where they exist, and many are still in action. This gives a wider range of styles and ideas to the concept, following each sewist's personal tastes. 

Then comes a section on the actual sewing bits. It starts with the fabric and size guides. The sizing here runs from XS to XXL, or, a range from B33/H35.5 to B47.5/H49.5. There is a list of basic pattern pieces included, then an extensive section of sewing construction guides for the many elements, and how to put them together. Anything not covered in the basic tunic (ie: split sleeve, ruffle collars) is given separate instructions, and there are many things covered, including how to apply trim and mitre it as well. Again, lots of illustrative photos in this part. I think my favourite variation is the ruffle necked, dress length with sleeves, which turns out not to look too much like a 'tunic' by the time it's done ;) In fact, with all the sleeve, neckline, collar, fabric, length and trim options, the projects can look very different from one another, so that you wouldn't even know that someone had started with the same basic pattern plan.

This is followed by a list of resources - sewing shops, classes, and the like - and then the actual traceable pattern pieces. 

There is actually quite a bit of good sewing info in this book, particularly in the section showing how to sew all the different elements. It could encourage readers to mix and match elements in their other sewing as well as when following this book. The colours in the images are bright and cheerful, and the tone is encouraging but not for rank beginners -- those who've been sewing a while will also enjoy it. It's a good example of how to take a basic pattern and add and change it to create a wardrobe of options. Just for that alone I'd recommend taking a look at this older book that is still a lot of fun to explore. 

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