First off, I have to say that Amy Butler rocks! Her fabric and her sewing patterns are amazing! Here is the Amy Butler “Anna Tunic” (available here) I finished over the weekend…it is by far my most favorite piece of clothing I have made thus far!
I used the Amy Butler cotton quilt weight fabric in “Park Fountain Mustard” (available here) and I can’t tell you how in love with it I am! It is the most beautiful shade of mustard and is so soft! I chose to line mine (yes, it is lined!!!) with a Moda muslin in natural, but really wish I would have taken Rhea at Alewives suggestion to line it in a fun fabric. If I had to do over again. I would use “Diamond Dandy New Day”, a Denyse Schmidt fabric from her Hope Valley collection (available here). It definitely would have been worth the extra $10!
When cutting out my fabric, I found that folding the pattern up (on top) made it much easier (than folding it under) to cut and pin. For the first pattern piece, I folded the bottom at the tunic line (it is available in three lengths) under and accidentally cut the pattern piece underneath it…I will never make that mistake again!
I consider myself an “advanced beginner” sewer and this pattern was perfect for me. I found the written instructions and diagrams to be very clear and concise, and other than me not reading the directions carefully enough on a few occasions, they were not difficult to follow. When sewing the back exterior and interior lining of the yoke together, I missed reading the entire line on starting a half of an inch up from the bottom, so when it came time to sew the yoke to the bodice I was befuddled on how to separate the lining from the exterior. While sewing the tunic, I ran across several sewing “firsts” for me. Understitching was one of these “firsts”, and I went through my sewing books and online tutorials to try and figure it out…not realizing the next step of the directions thoroughly explained how to understitch, ha ha. Please read the instructions carefully!
This was the first time I ever made button loops or actually even used “functioning” buttons on clothing (other than doll clothing) and am quite proud of how it turned out! I had to adjust the pattern because my buttons are 3/4″ and the pattern was designed for use with 1/2″ buttons. No problem, I added an inch to the button loop pattern so that when I cut it down to four loops they would each be 1/4″ longer. I also had to figure out my own positioning of the buttons (as I couldn’t use the button template transfer dots to position them) and admit this was a little tricky. I had to reposition the top two buttons a couple of times to get it just right. Once they were properly aligned, I used a ruler to measure the distance from the edge of the back yoke and the distance between the top two buttons, and then used those measurements to mark the placement for the other buttons (which made positioning the third and fourth buttons a piece of cake).
I adore this large removable fabric flower pinned on the left side of my tunic. This was another first for me, and I was impressed with the final result and the ease with which it came together. Next time though, I would sew my rows closer together make a fuller flower.
The matching belt was super easy to make, but it looks horrible on me. The belt causes the fabric to bunch and adds too much bulk to my waist line, which I don’t need (thank you very much!) I had to go up a size to accomodate my bust and should have listened to her instructions (in the pattern) to adjust to your measurements and taken the waist and hips in when cutting the pattern. I admit I was a bit afraid to alter her pattern, but I promise the next time I will be brave and try it!
All in all, I think this was a very easy and enjoyable pattern to use and I will definitely make another Anna Tunic using some of Anna Maria Horner’s cotton voiles ( a much lighter fabric) for the summer. If you are less than an advanced beginner, I would suggest starting with the Sew Liberated “Schoolhouse Tunic” available here.
I liked using her patterns so much that I just ordered the Amy Butler “Sun and Surf Halter” pattern (here) and will tuck that away for a project next month. I love that this is a mother and daughter pattern (in one!) and that I can make one for R. too!