The Tunic of Doom !

I have been taking some pattern cutting classes in order to improve my sewing skills and after 4 weeks of block making, drafting, toile-ing and pattern making I was finally given the go-ahead to make up a garment from my pattern.

Now for some reason which I still can’t work out, a pattern manipulation class led to my pattern doing away with darts which have been manipulated and incorporated into curved seams and a panelled garment (I don’t own any garments made this way and now I know why…)


This is the back side piece as an example.

I have never had much of a bust and was very surprised to find such curved seams appear from my measurements, where did the curves come from ? I’ve never had any !

Both my first and second choice stash fabrics were too small to fit all the pattern pieces so I settled for a piece of cotton which I must have had for 10 years solely based on its length being sufficient. It was a gift and has been in my stash for at least 10 years because I don’t really like it that much for garment use and in fact have used it as a tablecloth.

Have you ever sewn with a fabric you don’t really like ? It puts a downer on proceedings right from the start.

There were obviously no instructions for assembling the garment as all I had were the pattern pieces so I was relying entirely on acquired knowledge for the construction process. I started by attaching the side front panels to the centre front piece which was similar to easing in a set in sleeve but MUCH more difficult. Where did all the fabric come from ? The pattern pieces had originally been one piece of paper so how come the side panels seemed to have so much more fabric along the curve than the centre front ? Eventually I got the two together then had to recreate for the back but why are there curved panels on the back ? I don’t have angel wings or anything…..

I ws getting grumpier and grumpier by the minute but consoled myself with the knowledge that this would fit me really well because it was made to my measurements and the toiles had been corrected to my shape except that this has turned out to be the absolutely worst fitting garment I think I have ever made….EVER !  I really didn’t enjoy making it and it has got its revenge by being awkward and turning out really horrible.


Trust me you don’t want to see it on. The bust is in the wrong place, it’s all baggy in the middle and generally bleurgh….


I made a nice facing for it….IMG_6810

My invisible zip is nice and invisible…..


It’s got side splits at the hip….but I can’t tell you how much I hate and resent this garment, let alone the disappointment that it doesn’t fit better.

I will be taking it back to class next Monday to see what I have done wrong but I am not altering it and I am certainly never wearing it. Me and this tunic top are through…

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5 Responses to The Tunic of Doom !

  1. Hi. The curved seams are called Princess Seams. They take some work but in time you could use them well if you like vintage inspired clothing. I don’t know why your teacher didn’t work with you to sew up a toile. If it is the first time you need step-by-step guidance.

    The curved seams should be stay stitched 1/8″ above the sewing line, inside the seam allowance. The stitch should be long, like a basting stitch. It should run from the top of the neck to a few inches below the apex point. The seams are then clipped so that the curved side piece can be pinned and basted to the less curved front or back piece.

    It is hard to assess where your problems are because of the print of the fabric. Solid color fabric is best for trial runs when first starting a new kind of sewing, such as this.

    I think you did a great job of matching the print. I don’t see where the seaming runs. My first time sewing Princess seams was as a teenager. I used a polished cotton fabric with big roses on it. None of the roses matched up but the garment fit me well. I wore it to school anyway!

    Here’s a YouTube video that shows how princess seams are done:


  2. P.S. This video shows how to do it without pins and basting. I think this woman has a lot of experience with a factory machine. I prefer pinning and basting. Still, I hope you will reconsider princess seams.


  3. So sorry it didn’t work out for you. Sometimes when things don’t work out for me (too small, too short, etc.) but are otherwise lovely, I give them to charity. Someone will love it! Is there an Amazing Fit pattern with a princess seam? Some patterns can teach you fitting really well.


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