Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Liverpool Tunic!

What a charming tunic! I'm really excited about this - it just feels right, and it's so refreshing to sew a woven fabric for a change. All those knits have been wonderful, and I'll definitely do more. But I think I need some bright prints in my life right now - time to sew out of the cotton stash.

I've seen this tunic many times on the web, mostly in shops that sell indie patterns. But it just didn't speak to me. Then a short time ago I was reading Kimp's blog, Cotton Creek Sewing (a recent find and I love her blog and her sewing) and found her two versions of the Liverpool. Sold and sold! So pretty.

I looked everywhere for a pattern line drawing, but there simply is not one, so I'll describe instead:

The pattern has 4 hem lengths (shirt, tunic, short dress, long dress) and 4 cuffed sleeve lengths (short, elbow, 3/4, and long). It also has a belt that attaches above the waist in the side seam and looks best (IMO) tied in the back. There are side bust darts and double vertical darts in the front, and a set of vertical darts in the back. Very nice shaping details. The front is closed with a full-length buttoned placket that opens into a collar stand and pointed collar.

OK, I know I've said I'm not a collar lover. And I'm not. But this is a very nice collar :-)

I've been saving this fabric for months - it's so pretty I really did not want to cut into it. Do you ever feel that way? It's JoAnns Legacy Studio Morocco Paisley, 100% cotton. Strangely, one is advised to dry clean. ummm.  I pre-laundered in cold water and dried on delicate, and it looks beautiful. No running or fading.

There are a number of reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review, and they were really helpful. And I found support for my disappointment with the pattern directions. Just not well written, certainly not up to Big 4 quality. Which might make this tunic a little trying for some sewers. E.g., there are NO fitting marks with the exception of one marking the shoulder of the sleeve. And there are NO suggestions to trim seams, not even the ones inside the collar and collar band.

The funniest references - and most trying for some sewers of this tunic - are to the 2 collar pieces as the 'first' and 'second' collar pieces, depending on when they were first handled. Same thing with the collar band pieces. huh. So future sewers, here is a fix for that one:

  •    The collar piece that you interface will be your under collar (it goes on the bottom of the collar).
  •    The collar band piece that you interface will be the outside collar band (it goes on the back of the collar band and marries up with the under collar).

 Sewing notes:

I sewed a size Large in this tunic - a Medium would have fit me, but very closely, and I like my clothes to be on the loose side. While the directions were a little funky, the pattern pieces were great and fit together really well.

I did a 1" vertical adjustment to the bust and front vertical darts (lowered them), and shortened the vertical darts by an inch at top and bottom. I also halved the mid-width of the vertical darts. The bust dart was way too short, ending about 4" from the top of the vertical darts, so I redrew it to be thinner and longer. I wonder if that short dart works for anyone...

I shortened and narrowed the back vertical darts in the same manner, but did not move them down. One little change I made to the design is in the center back seam. I cut the back on the fold and then sewed the french seam down from the neck for 12 3/4". And left it open to the bottom. Just a little something different, and I like the way it looks.

I also altered the long sleeves to get more of a caftan look. I just redrafted the sleeve pattern straight down from the armhole to the hem, making it the same width along its entire length. The hem is turned under 2 1/2" so that any peek-a-boo into the sleeve shows the print instead of the wrong side of the fabric. No cuffs.

Speaking of wrong sides - I fell right into this boo boo. The front placket goes straight into the collar band, the collar turns back, and one sees the wrong side of the fabric at the neckline. It's not awful, but it won't happen again! My next version will have a facing construct under the collar band. Picky picky.

So cute! Kimp mentioned that she cut 5 inches off the ties on her 2nd version, and I'm with her. The ties are a little long, especially since I knotted them (not a bow person).

This was such a fun sew that I'm already working on my next one. As long as my living room is a mess, might as well keep going.

Nothing beats good coffee, the Australian Tennis Open on TV, and sewing :-)

Ciao! coco


  1. Looks like it would be so nice to wear. I love the fabric.

  2. That's super - a cross between a shirt and tunic. Great fabric choice - you suit those colours.

  3. I love both the pattern and the fabric. Thank you for talking about the pattern cute as it is, I know I wouldn't have enough patience to figure it out.

  4. I love that! I've never seen the Amy patterns, did you order it off line? the style & colors look great on you!


    1. Hi! I ordered from Pink Chalk but do not see it there this morning. But has the pattern in stock! It is pricey but so cute and has lots of variations. Thks as well!

  5. Replies
    1. I will bow from the waist and accept this huge compliment from the print fabric queen,!

  6. Very cute tunic on you -- I love the fabric!

  7. This pattern does make a lovey tunic. You look very elegant and comfortable in yours .I always sigh thinking of warmer climates when I see the tropical greenery in your photos. I have seen Kim P's versions in person. She lives nearby and brought them to an ASG meeting. They were inspiring.

  8. I made this for two clients, one in the same fabric as the envelope and one in a linen stripe. I wrote to Amy to tell her there was a whole lot of steps missing and they emailed me the missing parts. Makes you wonder how folks can sell pattern with no notches and a modified set of directions. Thank God I only had to make this twice and I agree about the facing showing on the wrong side...tacky! At least using linen for the second one, both sides were the same. Yours looks very nice especially with your modifications!

  9. Coco, I LOVE your fabric choice! Your version is lovely. I might have to dust off this pattern and make another one . . . : )

  10. You look great in this - very pretty! I've had this pattern for years, and now you've inspired me to give it another look. Thanks for the construction tips.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco