As the Missoula Valley bursts to life with raging rivers and popping wildflowers, we find ourselves searching for ways to soak up the long-awaited sunshine. And, what better way to celebrate nature’s colors than with a burst of color in our wardrobe?! A few weeks ago we discussed Cashmerette’s Webster Dress – a stylish garment just right for the summer months. Today, we’re excited to introduce Sew Liberated’s Schoolhouse Tunic made with our Sheer Silk & Cotton Blend in Brown with Flowers. Sewn specifically as a companion piece for the aforementioned Webster in Teal Raw Silk, this tunic is sure to dress up your dreary work wardrobe, and spice up your weekly cocktail hour!
The Schoolhouse Tunic presents a sleek construction that pairs well with a bold pattern. While this tunic is also suited to non-sheer fabrics, the Webster Dress in our striking Raw Silk Noil in Teal paired SO perfectly with this sheer silk/cotton blend, we simply couldn’t resist! What’s more, the Schoolhouse’s plunging neckline allows a burst of teal to catch your eye and makes those darling flowers pop!
The pattern itself calls for a lightweight cotton or linen fabric with a nice drape. And, though this silk is certainly lightweight and has a nice gentle sway, it’s not overly drape-y. Luckily, the companion Raw Silk Webster more than fills this outfit’s drape quota. Simultaneously sleek and fun the Schoolhouse/Webster pairing is appropriate for a variety of summery settings!
As you may have gathered, we just love how this diaphanous silk looks, but, be warned! It’s semi-difficult to sew with. Though not overly slippery like some silk, it’s prone to fraying. To circumvent this issue, Bonnie added French Seams which made for a beautifully finished garment, but which raises the sewing difficulty quite a bit. (As an aside, French Seams provide a clean and finished look, and are highly recommended when it comes to sewing a sheer garment).
Additionally, this fabric has been understandably popular, so our stock is dwindling. But don’t worry! This darling tunic would be equally eye-catching in one of our Manchester lawns, summery, cotton eyelets, or, if you’re looking for something with a little more drape, the Art Gallery Serein Branchlet Rayon in Purple or the Figo Sangria Rayon in Pink.
Something for Everyone
Available in size 2-20, the Schoolhouse Tunic offers simple construction for all skill types. It is helpful to note that the Sew Liberated pattern sizing is only available once you open the pattern. However, we do have a picture of the size chart available on our website.
The back of the pattern recommends one amount of fabric to purchase for a tunic length (2 and 7/8 yards) and one amount for a shirt length (2 and 3/8 yards). These amounts do not correspond to individual sizes and don’t account for fabric width (i.e. 44″ versus 60″). Consequently, if the Schoolhouse Tunic catches your eye, you may want to purchase it prior to purchasing your fabric. This will give you the opportunity to lay the pieces out, determine your size, and give you a better idea of how much fabric you’ll need.
Where the Needle Meets the Silk
To begin, Bonnie traced the pattern onto a Swedish tracing paper, and then did a pin fitting. This pattern includes a generous ⅝ seam allowance which provides some handy, additional wiggle room.
Originally, Bonnie cut the pattern to accommodate a size 14 in the bust. However, she ended up adjusting down to a size 10 by adding an inverted pleat in the neckline, as well as taking it in below the bust at the empire waist. Jumping from a 14 to a 10 is quite a leap. If she made this pattern again, Bonnie would start with a 12 and size it down as necessary to achieve the best fit. Since the provided sizes on this pattern only list body measurements and not finished, you may need to spend more time finalizing the fit after construction. This is where that pin fit comes in handy!
Flare Your Way
The Schoolhouse Tunic offers two views for the sleeves. Bonnie chose the hemmed sleeve over the gathered sleeve view. You can choose between a crisp professional look or relaxed fit depending on your fabric. This stiffer silk, we think, falls into the ‘crisp’ category, while a rayon or linen blend is far more relaxed.
Bonnie chose not to add interfacing since the fabric is sheer, and already has some natural structure. That said, if you are looking to create a crisper look, interfacing can easily be added to the upper chest. We also love how easily the tunic length can be modified to create any look you want.
A Burst of Color
The Schoolhouse Tunic offers something for everyone and is sure to be a hit on your first summer outing. Bonnie would happily make this pattern again in a variety of fabrics. Now that she’s established sizing, whipping up a few more of these simple and versatile tunics will be a (summer’s) breeze!