Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Highland Tunic

About a month ago, I had been gifted a large collection of a friend's mother's tapestry and embroidery sundries in a box, and in amongst all the unlikely-to-be-used items was some khaki patterned, heavy knit fabric.  Lucky me!  I knew exactly the pattern I wanted to try with it:

I used my usual preparation format for this make: cut out the paper pieces on a Friday, the fabric on a Saturday and then do the sewing whenever I get a chance through the week.
Here are a few detailed photos of the front cowl and pleats and the back with tab and buttons.

The photo of the close-up button is the closest to the true colour of the fabric.
The only alterations I made to the pattern were to add 5" to the hem and the instructions said to press a fold into the collar, but I wanted it to flop/drape wherever it fell, so I just left out the pressing part.

The Highlands near our house

The colours in this fabric really remind me of the hills around my house, so I am naming this dress after the Scottish highlands.  And to that end, these photos are all taken from the hills above our village (on a day filled with intermittent sunshowers mind you!)
I am trying to blend in with the moss and lichen and my camouflage dress.
My mister REALLY likes taking photos of waterfalls, and this is really close to our house, so I indulged him in return for a few photographs of my new dress. 
We had sunshowers all day today, but it does make for an atmospheric scene.  In the photo on the right  you can see some of our village.

This is the first of this pattern that I have made.  The second one is a sleeveless version and can be seen here.  This is such a comfortable dress and so versatile for my country lifestyle.

Below is a copy of my PR pattern review

Pattern Description: 
A tunic style knee-length dress for knit fabrics. It has a cowl neck, long sleeves and empire line waist with pleated skirt.
Pattern Sizing:
The pattern goes up to a size 24, which is the one that I made.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Make any changes?
There is only one page of instructions inside this pattern envelope, as it is a fairly easy make. It does say to double stitch everything, but I just used the stretch stitch on my machine instead, as it is very reliable. The one thing I did change was to add 5" to the hem, as I wanted it a little longer, but the pattern as it was would have hit me on my knee, and I am 5'7" so this would have been fine too.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really like the neckline. The instructions say to press the fold into the doubled over neckline, but I chose not too, I am going to leave it to hang and drape how it falls. I like the piece on the back with the tab and buttons as a feature. The pattern also suggests putting 1/4" elastic around the waist, and I wasn't going to at first, but once I had tried it on I decided that I would. Without the elastic the dress looked a little too maternity-friendly on me. Encasing the elastic into the seam allowance helped to bring the dress in a little underneath the bust. 
Fabric Used:
I used a fairly substantial knit, it only stretched in one direction and perhaps only 20%.
Would you sew it again?
I would sew this again, but I'd try it without sleeves so that it was wearable with a top underneath, just to provide a bit of variety.


  1. Trying to pinpoint where you live, but can't!. Looks lovely anyway. Great dress too, and even better being free. I love that you missed out the pressing on the collar, I think it looks great being floppy (plus I hate pressing).
    John loves taking pics of waterfalls too - maybe it is a man thing! Juliex

  2. What beautiful photos! This dress style is really great on you :)

  3. What a gorgeous make -- I'm inspired to dig this pattern out. I've had it a long time but can never seem to find just the right fabric for it. It has to be stable, but I won't be able to deal with a traditional ponte in this style -- I'm hot-natured, and live in a hot climate to boot! I seem to have the hardest time finding all-natural fiber double knits. Great photo shoot! :)

  4. Oh Nessa! I love it - you look stunning in it and you just glow in these photos. This highlands color is a good one for you. What a lovely little village you live in. g

    ps - I made this dress once and I looked preggers. You, however, do not!

  5. What a lucky gift ! The fabric really does blend in with your beautiful surroundings. I have made that pattern up once too and I just love it . I just tried to adapt it to make a top but unfortunately did not have enough fabric.

  6. That dress looks awesome and looks awesome on you. Well done. I'm very tempted to try this pattern for myself since seeing your results.

  7. Oh, it looks FANTASTIC on you! I love the way you've done the collar, and the button detail at the back is just lovely. Perfect marriage of pattern and fabric!
    Your idea of a sleeveless version is a great one too - will we be seeing it any time soon??
    PS: Your photos are always so glorious!

  8. I love the colours of this fabric! And the button detail at the back! This is lovely.

  9. I love this dress and the photoshoot is just great. I really enjoy seeing a bit of where other people live. I'll have to get myself motivated to get out for photos sometime soon.

  10. I LOVE the neckline too...and it looks great on! (I love it when a plan comes together!)

  11. Perfect dress for a lovely landscape!

  12. Absolutely beautiful photos! The dress is perfect for fall. I love your boots, such a gorgeous contrast! Did I see that the name of the dress is *Muse*? Love it even more! So glad to "meet" you. First time stopping over. Going to read some more of your blog this afternoon. Have a nice weekend

  13. Beautiful details, I especially live the buttons!

  14. Great work Nes, great blog page

  15. great fabric, great tunic, great location!


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