Disappointment in Tunic form (plus leggings)

I’ve been gravitating in a different direction style-wise for a while now.  I can’t put my finger on the impetus, baby is certainly a factor, but I have begun to go bonkers over the Tilton Sisters and what I think of as art-teacher-chic.  My birthday dress was one of theirs, and when I saw Vogue 8817 I had to have it.


It wasn’t a new release, just one that hadn’t caught my eye before.  The colorblocking…the flowing silhouette, the opportunity to really play with fabric:  YES.


But, my local JoAnn sucks.  I checked their drawers THREE DIFFERENT Vogue sales and they only had the larger size range of this pattern in stock.  I finally asked a cashier as I checked out what I could do about my size never being in stock and her suggestion was to buy online.  Thanks, that’s really helpful.

I got sick of waiting and hoping it would actually be restocked and DID end up buying online from BMV; I even joined Club BMV for the year to get a bit of a break.  Plus, I figured it was a good idea to join with pattern sales being fewer and farther apart since the demise of Hancock Fabrics.


So, I got the pattern in the mail, and made my plan.  I wasn’t sure on all of the fabrics, but I KNEW I wanted to use this sparrow fabric from Girl Charlee.  I had intended to make a dress with it, but it was far to sheer.

*sparrow photo*

On the first wash and dry it massively shrunk up vertically and grew leaps and bounds vertically.  I should have washed it again, but I did not.  I really should have just thrown the damn fabric out.  After this project, I’m really feeling done with Girl Charlee but I never say never.


The other fabrics used in this were a gray poly/cotton/spandex jersey pre-cut from Fabric Mart and a teal double brushed poly spandex from (which was also used for my Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs, AKA leggings).


This is a great legging pattern, I found it to be true to the size chart, and it’s free if you join their Facebook group!  I found it was a bit low rise for my tastes, so I added 1″.  Easy peasy.  As long as you can find a knit with 50% stretch in both directions, you’re good to go.


Sorry these photos are a little…weird.  Not my best angle, but meh.  Taking close ups of leggings on my own and trying to leave out the camel toe is a bit of a challenge.


So:  the disappointment on this tunic.  It’s both fabric and pattern related… It looks like pajamas (as my eye twitches).  I wore it in public ONE time and I do not think that will ever happen again.  So, guess I’m wearing it to bed.  Or burning it.


I accept responsibility for poor fabric choice.  I took these photos after washing the completed garment once.  The sleeves definitely got shorter, as I do not recall being previously annoyed by them.  Bad, bad shrinking crappy fabric.


Sorry for the mishmash of photos.  I’ve been taking these with my new tripod, iPhone and a remote bluetooth shutter for a few posts now…and I ran out of space on my phone the first time I tried.  I have a 64 GB of storage but still cannot bear to delete photos of Cheeks that are backed up in at least 2 places.  Sigh.


But mostly I’m really disappointed in the overall fit and proportion of the pattern itself.  The sleeves are an appropriate circumference and fit well, but the armscye is not right; it needs to be decreased and the underarm of the sleeve needs to be raised.  The underarm seam should simply not be so friendly with my upper arm.


After finishing it, I considered that going down a size (12 instead of 14) may have been the answer; perhaps that was the reason it didn’t fit well.  But I’m not sure the sleeves will be comfortable if I do that.  I may go down a size and try an FBA or I might mess with the armscye and see what develops.  The more I look at these photos, the more I feel like it’s just a tad big in the shoulders.

When you’re taking photos of your own ass it can be
hard to see when your brushed poly grabs your tunic

I also feel that the whole thing is maybe too long for me, which makes sense since I’m about 5’4″ and these are drafted for women who are 5’6″ or so, and length is not hard to remedy.  There’s just something about the proportions…


I really wanted to love this pattern.  I was so certain it was going to be my next TNT.  I lusted after it and hunted for it for so long.  Seriously, ask Nakisha.  Ha!

I’m not completely giving up on it, I really feel that it has potential, but I’m stepping away for now…perhaps I’ll try again in the Fall.



13 thoughts on “Disappointment in Tunic form (plus leggings)”

  1. Sorry it was a bit of a disappointment! Still, the leggings look great and it looks good on you! I’ve been trending towards the art-teacher-chic look, too, and picked up several Marcy Tilton patterns at the last sale…

    1. Bummer on crappy fabric. I would try the pattern again in a smaller size and better fabric. The Tilton sisters earlier stuff tended to run big. I collect (key as I rarely sew them, what is with that?) the Tilton sisters patterns but find they can look frumpy if I’m not careful. Same with The Sewing Workshop patterns (started by Marcy Tilton long ago).

      1. I made V8904 for my birthday (also a Tilton) and it seemed to fit fine in a 14. I was afraid to go smaller on this one based on the finished measurements, but perhaps that’s the way to go…

        Totally hear you on the frump-front!

  2. Hi, I made the same tunic. I was apprehensive with the result (I will have to post on pattern review) as I thought ( 3/4 the way done with the top) it looked like a maternity top!. I did complete it and when combined with leggings and high heel booties it is stylish (I think it is the high heels as I am 5’4 also).

    1. Yes, there is something a tad maternity-ish about this! I hadn’t really thought that until you said it. I think my plan to shorten a bit next time may help with that.

      High heel booties help to make all things look less frumpy. :D

  3. Thanks for a totally honest review. I have a couple of Tilton tunic patterns and I want to make them but am afraid they will make me look huge, and older than I am (or like an old woman trying to appear hip). Also appreciate the info on the fabric. Hate it when things shrink/get misshapen after washing. Fabric ain’t cheap!

    1. I feel like they can just be really hit or miss: I’ve seen some really great garments from Tilton patterns and some…not so good looking ones. Fit really seems to be the key (isn’t it always?!). That said, I’m betting once you get your Tilton tunics a try you won’t look huge OR older. :)

      And fabric: this stuff WAS cheap, but even so, cheap fabric is never cheap, ’cause time is priceless.

  4. I am sorry that this tunic didn’t live up to your hopes–how disappointing!! I am not very drawn to Tilton patterns myself (except for that shingle dress, which to me is very unlike their usual aesthetic anyway…) but I think you are right that it’s the proportions of this one that aren’t working. And that armhole looks SO odd–WTF?? I’d love to see those pattern pieces, hah! I think shortening the tunic is a good start, and maybe an asymmetric hem (from side to side) would be better with the volume…I don’t know! And of course the fabric quality isn’t helping how you feel about it either, surely. (Seriously, your honesty about what you’ve gotten from GC has put me off ever ordering there–as you said above, time is precious and I don’t want to waste mine on sh*t fabric, no matter how cheap or cute it was.)

    The leggings on the other hand look fantastic! Love the color, and the fit looks great. (I don’t think “camel toe-avoidance leggings selfie” is ANYONE’S best angle, so don’t you dare feel bad about that, LOL!!) So at least you got one WIN here. :-) I hope you’ll try the tunic again and get a result you’re happy with–after all that hunting, you deserve it!

    1. The pattern piece didn’t look that weird armscye-wise! That’s the thing that made me hmm…so perhaps a 12 instead. Or perhaps I shall put the pattern back in the stash and never speak of it again. :P

      Yes, also glad I have at least one of these to be happy about! Teehee camel toe avoidance selfie.

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