children's clothing · sewing

nigella tunic

Sometimes I sew things for my daughters as well as myself!  I whipped up this tunic dress for Clare during the week.  It’s such a simple pattern, but the bubble hem and contrasting fabrics give it a special touch.

Nigella tunic

The fabrics are jersey scraps from clothing I’ve made myself, and they were all used up in making the tunic. A pity, because I had planned on making coordinating leggings for her from the stripe, but there just wasn’t enough fabric. And these purchased leggings that she already owned worked beautifully anyway.

Nigella tunic

The pattern I used is Nigella.  It’s all in German, so I pretty much used the pattern pieces then winged the construction.  I couldn’t determine whether the pattern pieces included seam allowances or not, or just how they were sized.  In the end I chose the size based on height, in the same way that Ottobre size their patterns.  It fits nicely around the body and shoulders, but the sleeves ended up too short – she has the long cuffs turned back once in these photos to make them a definite three-quarter sleeve rather than long-sleeves-that-look-too-short.  I used 6mm seam allowances throughout.

Nigella tunic

So, in terms of the order of construction, this is how I did it:
1. Sew one shoulder seam together.
2. Cut a neck band (I cut mine two inches wide), fold in half lengthwise, and press. Sew this to the neckline, stretching as you go. Cut off any excess.
3. Sew the other shoulder seam together, matching the neckband seams nicely.
4. Press the neck seam toward the body of the top, and topstitch it in place.
5. Sew a line of gathering thread on sleeve head between the markings. Pin the sleeves into the armhole, gathering gently between the armholes. Sew into place.
6. Pin the bodice side seams together and the sleeve seams together, and sew in one in one pass.
7. Sew the cuffs down the long side, then turn in half so that the wrong sides are together.
8. Pin and sew the cuffs to the bottom of the sleeves.
9. Sew the side seams of the underskirt.
10. Sew the side seams of the overskirt.
11. Run a line or two of gathering threads along the bottom edge of the overskirt. Right sides together and matching seams, pin the bottom of the overskirt to the bottom of the underskirt, drawing up the gathers of the overskirt to fit. Pin in place and stitch.
12. Turn the skirt so that the wrong sides are together, and match the side seams at the waist edge. You can run a line of stay stitching around the waist edge to secure the two skirts together or do what I did and just pin.
13. Pin the skirt to the bodice, matching the side seams and centre points, and stitch.

Ta-da! And last night I made a smaller one for Stella. Back with that later!

Nigella tunic


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