Thursday, December 15, 2011

the portfolio tunic

 I recently took a little stroll in the local shops. Just to look. I spotted a very pretty, sheer top. Probably the only thing in the store to catch my eye. But the hefty price tag and country of origin prevented me from trying it on. I love clothes, but I could see that my only real option here was to start making some things on my own. Besides, the breastfeeding wardrobe was getting frustratingly limiting, with most pre-baby tops displaying a gaping button.

It has been a long, long time between sewing projects of the adult clothing sort around here. In fact, I've only ever made two things for myself in my whole sewing life.

I'd had the Portfolio Lisette pattern for some time. I chose the tunic length in the size 10, but in the end needed to take the upper sides in 1-2cm. This project was really a test run, to try and get the sizing right before cutting into bought fabric. And if I could wear it in the end - well, that would be a bonus.

The fabric was an op shopped rayon that I had sitting around. Though the tunic was detailed and with interesting features to the blouse, I found the pattern instructions very thorough. Though I wouldn't say it was easy,  re-reading and re-reading made it a do-able project for someone like me who is not what you would call "experienced". 

I didn't have any iron-on interfacing, so I used some scrap cotton, which did create a little more work and probably bulked up those seams a little bit more.

Please don't look to closely at the wonky stitching. But I made it and actually wore it which is an achievement in itself.

 It had it's first outing to our school concert last night. So here it is in a disheveled, wrinkled state, post concert. You can tell I've been sitting most of the night. Definitely not the greatest photo in the world, but I thought you might like to see it on.

I'm quite excited at the prospect of making some more items for a summer wardrobe. Does any one have any suggestions for good patterns?


  1. Great job! The fabric is gorgeous and I love the buttons. I'd totally wear it!

  2. Oh well done. It looks wonderful on you. Nothing quite like making your own clothes, is there.

  3. I really love that fabric, the tunic looks great.
    in the DIY section has great easy tops. It is just finding the time to make them. I love making my own clothes now, so much cheaper.

  4. i love the style tania. how great it turned out and how nice to see you there in it too! i just wanted to also wish you and your family a happy christmas and new year. i am taking an early mark from blogging to have some quiet time with my children now that playgroups & school are finished up. i will be back in the new year with a fresh mind and outlook on my blog. take care, veronica. xo.

  5. Oh wow! You did a fantastic job and the design and fabric colour and pattern are gorgeous! Well done for making something wearable! :)

  6. You did a great job Tania! I am not brave enough-yet-to sew big people clothing. I love the print and the colour looks great on you too.

  7. I'm so glad you showed a pic of your wearing your tunic did an amazing job, I really like it :)
    I made a promise to sew more for myself this summer but apart from the refashioned dress I did a few weeks back I haven't gotten much further than procrastinating. My trouble is finding patterns and fabric I like.

  8. you did a great job! i love that fabric, and it really suits you on.

    Well done you!


  9. Very cute! The color looks great on you :)

  10. your new dress looks great, i love tunic dresses! very good sewing :)

  11. Looks beautiful, I am in love with Tunics. The buttons are so sweet, great job!

  12. oh i LOVE this!!! i have been looking for a lovely tunic/smock type pattern for a while! what a great job you have done!! i'm impressed :)

    i have been making a few of the wiksten tanks from here

    they are great and really easy! pattern is a little expensive but they really are the perfect summer top! i have made three already so it's worth the $$ :)

    Kel x

  13. It looks fabulous and not at all like a trial run before the proper thing! Well done! :)

  14. I'm so glad you posted on this! I have this pattern and was planning on making it so it is really helpful. I can highly recommend Simplicity 3835 which you may be able to get on Ebay as it is out of print now. Otherwise the schoolhouse tunic is also really lovely and quite easy.

  15. Tania it's great! I love how the op-shopped fabric gives it a vintage style even though it's freshly made. I hope you're inspired to make more for yourself!

  16. Looks great Tania. You should be proud.
    I have bought a few patterns from Toni at

    Happy sewing!


  17. You look just gorgeous Tania. The colour is perfect. I'm waiting until next year when both kids are at school and am sewing my entire wardrobe or repurposing old items. I absolutely despise the fashion in the shops at the moment. Can't recommend any patterns but will be watching this spot.

    Anne xx

  18. Wow that looks FANTASTIC on you. Love the cut and the fabric, go on make some more! By the way, can I ask where your pedestal sink came from in the bathroom photo, or what brand it is- I am looking for one just like that and cannot find it anywhere.Ta, melx

  19. You're so clever, Tania. What a cute littel tunic. One of those in about 5 different colours with some leggings will be all you'll need for a funky new wardrobe:)

  20. Tania this tunic looks great. Love the pockets too. x

  21. That turned out great!

    Two pattern I like that are easy to make are -

    Simplicity 3835, it is a really easy pattern to sew up, looks good on and fits well. Quick too. There are heaps on Flickr.

    And the Wiksten Tova top.

  22. I love it! You are so beautiful! I'm planning to make the Shearwater Kaftan for the summer.

  23. Hello, dropping by after Rhonda at DTE mentioned your blog :). That's lovely fabric and a versatile pattern you've found. Don't worry about a few stitching wriggles as you are probably the only one who knows they are there.
    I saved this to do for my daughters as it's easy, the directions and pictures are great and it's free :).
    Hope it's useful to you.


Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have any questions please check back later as I will do my best to answer any within the comments section.