My first completed make this year, woohoo! Happy new year everyone! We ended last year with all of us sick, one of my girls with a black eye and the other with a fat lip and a tooth injury (haha, not to each other, but totally different accidents!). Our first day of the year was great though, full of relaxing and family time. We’re enjoying playing the card game Sleeping Queens, which if you haven’t played this one with your youngsters you really should! It says for ages 8 and up, but my 4 year old gets it pretty well, and my 6 year old has mastered it, so don’t let the age guidelines dissuade you.
Since I’m getting all personal, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I left all of my jobs last year, mainly putting my family and myself first. We’re fortunate enough to be able to afford this, and my girls aren’t getting any younger, so I put my career “on hold”, or whatever that really will end up meaning. I love being able to enjoy my time with my family, I mean really soaking it up, and it’s been nice to be able to find some time for myself too. Year after year I say I’m going to focus more on myself and never do, but I began working out a couple of months ago after more than 20 years and it feels great, although now all of my measurements are changing which throws a hitch in my giddy up, but that’s ok because I feel good.
This year I really plan to focus on what I want to do. I probably won’t do much pattern testing, except for those designers I really really like, and I want to focus my sewing efforts on learning more about fitting and pattern drafting. I’m also finding that I’ve been enjoying knitting more again, so I’m picking up my unfinished projects and hoping to complete them this year. I’m also working on final versions for a lot of my sewn muslins. The Denver Tunic from Blank Slate Patterns is one of those projects.
I have been crazy about this pattern since the first time I saw it on Melly Sews’ blog, then again when she made this gorgeous quilted version, and then this quilted version from Shwin and Shwin. The Denver Tunic pattern has been out for a couple of years, and although I had made a muslin more than a year ago, I never went back to make a final one. To be honest, it’s quite a fitted top, so every single bulge and roll is quite highlighted (and pant closure, as seen above). I needed to find a fabric that would work well for me, and I really just kind of stumbled onto it by accident.
I love quilted knits and picked up this watercolor one from Raspberry Creek Fabrics earlier this season. When it arrived, it reminded me of those faux quilted poly blankets of my youth. I was a little disappointed, especially because everything I had in mind to make with it would look like a house jacket. The colors in this top are beautiful though, so I had to find something for it. I decided it would have to have princess seams and be somewhat fitted, and that’s when I remembered the Denver Tunic and Dress from Blank Slate Patterns!
My previous tunic muslin measurements put me in a size XXS graded to XS at the waist, but I’m much closer to the XS and S sizes now. This fabric has about 30-40% stretch if I remember correctly, so I was just a bit worried it would fit too snugly, but I went with the size I had made the muslin in and crossed my fingers it would still fit (totally not the way to do it!). I tried it on before adding the bands, and I was surprised it fit as well as it did, but I did have to make some tweaks. It was a bit loose around the waist, so I pinned out the excess fabric and resewed the side seams above the pockets. I also shortened the sleeves 1″ before adding the cuffs.
I think I’m going to need to grade out to an XS in the hips now, and lengthen it a smidge at the hips too. All of that working out (like 3 times a week if I’m very disciplined, haha!) has increased my hip measurement. While wearing the Denver tunic around, my bum is causing the tunic to ride up and the pockets to kind of poof. It’s fine when I pull it down, but I find I’m pulling it down a lot. I should be able to solve this issue with my next one.
Overall I’m happy with this pattern, and I’m looking forward to finishing my next one. I’m thinking in a ponte… Anyway, happy new year everyone! What are your plans this year? Any special sewing, knitting, crafting projects you’re hoping to tackle this year?