Friday, June 9, 2017

Paisley Butterick Tunic

I just finished this lovely, flowy tunic made from some paisley print 100% polyester that a friend gave me for Christmas... in 2015!  I couldn't decide what in the world to make from it - I didn't want to waste it, and had to find just the right thing - but finally settled on this pleated tunic-like top, Butterick 5388. I love it!

There are a number of fairly distinct views in this pattern -- different sleeve and neckline options -- and I'd like to make them all. I chose View C this time as I thought it suited this fabric best. 

I really like how this fabric floats out from the front and back pleats. It's very comfortable over the hips, even though I cut 14 at the neck and just a smidge wider at the hips -- let's call it a size 15 ;) There are double pleats in front and one in back, and the sleeves are finished with an elastic casing. 

Front neckline with nearly invisible pleats
Back with single pleat
You can almost see my matching earrings in this back picture - they have the same shape and colour as the yellow motifs in the print - so weird to get such a random exact match!

The pattern calls for "sleeve stays" which confused me at first -- it only states this on the pattern pieces. After reading the pattern instructions through, I realized that it was essentially a self lined sleeve, and with my semi-sheer fabric I really didn't want that. Plus it just seemed like so much extra work for nothing. So I just cut and sewed a regular sleeve and turned under a hem casing for the elastic. It works great and was easy to sew.

Hazy days mean lots of squinting ;)

I really like the fit of this one. It has regular neck facings, and I considered switching them out for a bias strip neckline finish, but thought that with all the pleats there might be some shifting/bumpy issues with any topstitching. As it turns out, the regular interfaced facings have a lot of anchor points thanks to those very pleats, so they are stitched down in many locations. Meaning, no flip-outs and a smooth finish. This time it paid to follow the instructions!

This fabric was a dream to work with - I had none of the shifty, slippery issues I had feared when I began (except for during the cutting out part which was time consuming) and it pressed very well. I pinned a lot and sewed slowly, and fortunately had no troubles with puckered seams or suchlike. 

One very handy tip I picked up from a coworker who doesn't like to use too much anti-static chemical spray - when wearing polyester, place a tiny safety pin in the seam allowance around the hip area. Somehow it discharges a lot of the static that builds up... it really does work! 

You'll see I'm wearing this beautiful new top with my fave yellow tights and flats on a cool, cloudy day. Perfection. I love this one.


  1. Love your tunic! Great pattern choice for the fabric. You look lovely!
    PS. Thanks for the safety pin tip, I'm going to try it!

    1. Thank you! I hope the pin trick works for you too :)

  2. How lovely Melissa! The colours remind me of a peacock (which reminds me I have some gorgeous peacock-print fabric that's marinating in my stash, lol). Anyway, its a beautiful blouse & the colours look so great on you!

    1. I have some lovely peacock earrings which would go well with this... thanks for reminding me! Would love to see what you do with your stash fabric...I wonder if it's the same peacock fabric as mine hahaha


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