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Keyhole Top from ‘Love Sewing’

The other day I was browsing through the latest Love Sewing magazine after it obligingly popped through the letter box whilst The Boys were at football, meaning I could actually sit down for five minutes and read it without interruption.

The cover featured an inset photo with the model wearing a keyhole neck tunic which I rather liked the look of – not in mustard though, I can’t wear mustard.


After a quick glance at the line drawings, I thought I’d give it a go. Not being blessed with model-esque proportions myself, I don’t trust the photographs as I know it’ll never look like that on me!

I remembered some fabric that I had recently been given from a friend who was clearing out her studio which would be perfect for this top.


There were about four metres of thin, loosely woven cotton fabric which, according to the selvedge, was vintage Rose & Hubble.


The top came together pretty quickly and very easily. The neck keyhole opening was simply turned back twice to provide a narrow hem.


I narrow hemmed the bottom of the top, too, as it was such fine cotton.


I made some bias binding for the neck edge.


The pattern called for a continuous strip of binding around the front and back leaving a ‘keyhole’ neckline, but I fancied having ties at the front instead so extended the binding length accordingly.


The finished tunic fits my dressform pretty well. You can’t see the pleats because of the patterned fabric but you CAN see how low the front opening is!!


Sure enough, when I put it on, far too much cleavage was displayed. I do like how the front pleats are stitched down and draw the fabric in underneath the bust though, to stop the top hanging like a shapeless sack.


A vest top will definitely have to be worn underneath, which is a bit of a shame.


The shawl that Tajana made for me on a gift exchange (blogged about here) matches the blue in the tunic perfectly so, with a cardigan, it can be worn in the Winter too.


I’m not really a dark blue kind of person, but the shade is more Cobalt and is lifted by spots of red, white, yellow and green, so it feels quite cheerful and bright. The blue scarf stops the black cardigan from looking too gloomy, too, as I don’t like black next to my (almost) black hair.


Has anyone else made this top? What did you think of it?


Self-Drafted Linen Tunic

You may remember that a few weeks ago I showed you some brightly coloured linen that I bought from Calico Laine.


I made this Vogue designer Summer dress from the ‘Pool Blue’ and blogged about it here.


The gorgeous ‘Leaf Green’ was destined to become a tunic top of sorts, but I couldn’t find an off the shelf pattern that I liked enough so I decided to draft my own.

I had several features in mind from other tops I own that I wanted to incorporate, so I played around awhile until I came up with this: –

A one-piece front with a centre front pleat and two horizontal partial pleats running parallel to the hem.


The back was also to be one-piece and would have some added shape in the form of external darts.

It was also to be shorter than the front and there would be slits on both sides.


This is the finished tunic which, from the creases, you can see has been worn quite a bit already.


The inverted centre front pleat was reinforced with a line of top stitching….


…and a couple of coconut shell buttons.


The parallel pleats at the bottom were designed to lift the tunic in the middle leaving the sides to drape lower.

To acheive the desired effect, the pleats were only partial and I only sewed between the pins as shown below.



I like the darts from the dress I made but was happier after securing them flat against the back, so I did the same with this tunic.


Much better!


French seams and narrow hems were used throughout.


The front pleats hang exactly as envisioned….


…and I added a gathered pocket at the last minute, matching the style with a pleat and another coconut shell button.


It’s a little bit stiff at the moment but will soften after the first wash.

I love it – the perfect loose, linen tunic to throw on over a pair of comfy linen trousers and mess around in the garden.

So cool and easy to wear and a lovely cheerful shade of lime green!


I could have brushed my hair for the photo though – I look like a tree with a bird’s nest on the top:)


Liberty Print Blouse

Hmm, it’s 8pm, we have to be up at 3am to travel to the airport, and I’ve just finished sewing my last top for holiday! (This post was scheduled to go live whilst we were away)

Does that sound familiar to anyone, or is it just me?

Back in April I went to Liberty’s London store and bought a metre of this lovely fabric. P1050333

I chose McCall’s 2818, view ‘D’ which is bottom left on the envelope front. P1050330

The pattern called for 1.5m of fabric and I had the last 1.10m on the roll, so I knew it was going to be tight, even at 150cm wide. Reading through the instructions first (as you always should!) I reckoned I could get away with it if I used plain white cotton of the same weight to make the back facings.


To ensure that the print matched at the hem, I lined all the pieces up so the bottom edges lay on the same line of flowers. I couldn’t match at the side seams as they were all Princess seams and curved.P1050328 P1050329

The instructions required full interfacing on all the facings but, as the cotton is very thin, I thought it would be too stiff so I just used a strip around the neck edges and the buttonhole edge. This worked perfectly. P1050335

The white cotton was fine as the back facing. P1050358

Not as pleasing on the inside as the Liberty print would have been, but it would have cost £12.50 just to buy half a metre to make the back facings – so I figured the plain white cotton would do.


The inside front is better:)


The hem at the side backs and side fronts have a cute little split detail. (Just spotted some thread that needs trimming…)


The neckline with its sharp ‘V’ cutout makes a nice change.


Top made, now into my wardrobe to see what it might go with.

Rolled up jeggings and navy wedge-heeled flip-flops?


Yep, that’ll do nicely.




Right, I really MUST start the packing….