A Drape Drape winter tunic

I found myself on New Year’s Day wanting to sew something fun and just for “me” rather than my blossoming business. So I looked through my patterns (helpfully online so I did this part while still under a duvet!), selected a pattern then proceeded to trace, cut, and sew this up in an afternoon. Definitely fun, definitely me!

I appear to be the first person online to make this tunic, from the third Drape Drape book, number 9. Sizes were S/M or L/XL and since it’s Japanese sizing and I’m like a 2XL, I made the larger size and crossed my fingers it’d be ok in a jersey. It was!

I used a super-soft viscose jersey I bought very cheap at Hancocks while visiting my parents in Virginia in November. It feels like vintage teeshirts and drapes nicely. Of course I love the turquoise colour, too- it’s one of my favourites. There was also a soft, neon pink version of this I passed on but of course I wish I hadn’t now.

There are only two pattern pieces to trace, though the Front/Back is massive and split into four parts to trace then tape together:

The only difference between the front and back is the neckline (and some weird 1-2mm difference at the shoulder where I frankly couldn’t tell which line was which between the two sizes, seam line, cutting line, and front vs back. In a knit, it hardly matters much anyway). Rather than cut each out in single layer just for the neckline, I cut them double layer, then separated them just to cut the necklines.

This is called a “dress” in the book, but IMHO the bare minimum definition of a dress is that it covers my bum, so this is definitely a “tunic” in my book!

The big plus is that this is very easy to sew – there are two main gathered sections on the front and back, a couple of folds, and it’s done! There’s some hemming to be done on the front, back, and the sleeves, but in all of the cases the hemming stitching is folded up inside, so this could really be optional if you’d rather.

My only real problem sewing it was that I think my serger/overlocker blades must be a little dull because they had a horrible time chewing through the really thick sections around the hips – I had to go over the stitching again with the sewing machine to reinforce them. But it’s the extra, non-gathered layers that stabilise the gathers without fiddly seam tapes, so they’re there for a reason!

It’s also a little hard to tell, but the sleeve seams also have some cool tucks and pleats which bring the hem in and twisted when worn.

I did the neckline in my preferred teeshirt way rather than a folded bias edge like the book suggests – I serged on a folded band, then topstitched the seam allowance under.

All in all, it’s a great result from a fun and enjoyable afternoon of sewing and a great start to the new year!

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