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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pleated Knot Tunic Tutorial with Jessica of Me Sew Crazy

Who's excited that Jessica is here?  I know I am.  I love Jessica, her blog, and of course her amazing site, Sew Set.  She is down to earth, super sweet, and extremely talented, and one ambitious lady.  You'll find her sewing up adorable tops and clothes for her kids, and for herself.  I'm especially happy that she is sharing a top that she made for herself.  I think that it's important to take time and spoil ourselves with something new every once in a while. So without further ado, Jessica.




Hi everyone! Jessica here of Me Sew Crazy & the creator of SewSet, your on-line sewing pattern search engine. I love Tricia's TopTober Series, and have followed along ever since she started doing it. I think shirts are one of the easiest, and most rewarding things we can whip up simply because they get the most use. And I am all about that.  The joy of sewing for me comes when I see my kids running around in the creations I make for them. So tops, easy tunics, and comfy dresses make up most of our wardrobe. The inspiration for the Pleated Knot Tunic actually came from the fabric, I saw this gorgeous knit at The Fabric Fairy (found HERE) and simply had to have it!!! I was in love, and as soon as I had it in my hands I knew I wanted to make something for myself with it...


The fun always comes in adding the details. Now I readily admit, this TopTober post is a bit of a cheater. It can be seen as a dress or tunic, or made shorter into a shirt. It all depends on your personal style preference. But any which way you make it, it is one easy top to sew together...


I particularly love the back detail of this dress, which can be made with a knot, of even a simple twist - and I will show you how to do both! But this is a perfect project for someone who is beginning to experiment with sewing for themselves. No tricky darts to play around with, no patterns to try to cut exactly right. All you need is a nice body-fitting shirt to cut around, 2 yards of a good thick stretchy knit (this one has 35% stretch, and is a nice really soft and thick fabric), and your basic sewing essentials. Let's go...
When I say ending just beneath the bodice, I mean just underneath your bust line. Approximately 5" down from your armhole on the side. 
I like to keep white wrapping paper on hand (much cheaper to buy), and I draw all of my mock patterns on this white paper.
This is where you can alter the length to adjust for a longer dress, or shorter for a shirt! It is up to you! Just be sure to buy more fabric if you want it longer, I would suggest 2.5 yards.
Now we get down to the fun stuff - sewing it together! Once you have your back bodice pattern sewing together at the top center for both the exterior and the lining, simply...
Twist it or knot it, both will look just great!
Take a break and give your child some attention now...lol
Moving on...
Here is a fun way to sew your shoulders together to make everything look seamless and easy!
Now we will simply be attaching the skirt pieces to your bodice...
This next step you can choose to make however you want, use gathers, pleats, pintucks - whatever sewing method you feel most comfortable with! I happen to like pleats when it comes to sewing for myself because it doesn't add too much bulk in an area I don't want it in (around my belly).
Have excess fabric stretching beyond the sides of the bodice? No problem, simply cut it off!
One last tip - if you are having trouble hemming the knit fabric without causing it to 'wave', you can try either my tissue paper method found HERE. OR you can use the fabulous 'Stitch Witchery' product by Dritz, which I have recently stumbled across and love.  I simply iron it on, and then sew over it to secure. Takes care of all wavy seams - BUT please note - do not use this product if you still need the fabric to stretch. It removes most of the stretch because it has ironed the fabric securely to the hemming tape. But there you have it - a super cute, fun and flirty tunic dress or top that you can wear all year round!

Looking for me things Me Sew Crazy? You can always find me hanging at any one of these places: {blog} {sewset} {facebook} {pinterest} {twitter} {instagram: @jessrabbott} And to find the gorgeous Fresh Produce Shockwaves Fabric used in today's post - be sure to check out The Fabric Fairy and their lovely selection of on-line knits! Thank you so much for having me here today Tricia, I absolutely love your TopTober Series and look forward to seeing what else is shown!

Don't you love it.  I need one.  Want to see some of Jessica's other creations, check out her designer page on Sew Set. The Flying High Fleece, Flower Tunic, and Quilted Fairy Tales Jacket, are just a few of my favorites. Thanks so much Jessica for being here today, and sharing this fun project.

9 comments:

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

Thank you again so much for having me Tricia! I was so excited to share this tunic, I wear it all of the time now :).

Laura said...

I absolutely love this, gorgeous top and amazing fabric. Brilliant tutorial too Jessica.

Cherie said...

Suuuuuuuper cute!!

estetik said...

It is absolute good, it does charge a bit added detail though. estetik

Delia said...

You are adorable Jessica! Great top.

Emily said...

Love this Jessica!!! :)

Taryn Morvillo said...

I know its been awhile since this tutorial has been posted, but I just want to thank both of you for it - it's so well-written and clear, I refer to it all the time when I am putting a top or dress together and am fuzzy on the construction - Jessica, that shoulder trick is simply genius and so much easier than the 500 other "easy ways to line a bodice" tutorials out there - it's like a secret weapon! Thanks again!

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spot on white pants said...

Thanks a ton for this tutorial! It looks so easy, yet so very classy. With all the simple make your own tutorials out there I will be making most of my clothes from now on for a unique and well fitted look.