Take Two for 2022: The crisscross tunic

Pattern: Butterick B5954

Over the last few years, I’ve not been great at keeping up with this blog. At the start of each year, I have all these intentions for how I am going to start writing again through all my projects, but it always seems tp fall off very quickly. In fact there are dozens of projects I completed in 2020 and 2021 that I have not written about at all.

All that aside, I had a good idea for my blog this year and I really want to stick to it. As we head into another seemingly challenging year, it feels like many of us are in need of a do-over. As my wardrobe expands, I myself have been looking at my past projects and noticing how I could have done better if I had the experience I have now. Therefore for this year, I’d like to focus my sewing around the remake. A take two for 2022.

My goal is to post at least 2 times a month – hopefully more. It definitely helps to reflect after a project is done before diving headfirst in the next project. Maybe this year I can focus just on the writing and not about trying to have that perfect picture or narrative.

My first project of the year had me re-visiting a pattern from one of my earliest days of sewing. I made this top from Butterick (shown below), which I actually still love, back in 2014. This was before I owned a serger, which means it still has all raw edges on the inside that I didn’t bother to finish. I know no one can see the inside, but I know it’s there and it’s not up to my current standards for garment making. The shirt has held up pretty well despite it’s age, but it was made before I understood the basic concepts about working with knits, such as using a zig-zag stitch or how to hem stretchy material.

I got the idea to try this one again when I recently saw someone wearing a similar style shirt. I wondered if this style was back in fashion or at least showing up at some clothing store. This seemed like the right time to try out this pattern again, with hopefully a more professional look.

You can sort of see the burnout pattern in the fabric here. I’m glad I found a great project for this fabric, because I really like it and was stumped as to what I would make with it.

For this new top, I used this black knit with a sort of burnout leafy design that I already had in my stash. It was definitely more stable than the sweater knit I had used before so I was able to cut and press it a lot easier. This time I used my serger for most of the seams, which not only gave it a more finished and professional look on the inside, but sewed up a lot faster than before. The front panels are hemmed and I didn’t bother serging the edges, just pressed and hemmed like normal. I did machine-baste the collar and the sleeves before I used the serger on them, to make sure everything fit and lined up right. I also did some adjusting on length – I wanted it just a little shorter so it wasn’t so much like a tunic. I like this length better. Unfortunately, I also shortened the sleeve length, which was not actually necessary. They are maybe a tad short, but it still looks good.

Attaching the collar…and it lines up with the hole!

I like this shirt a lot. Because it’s all black, I can see it getting a lot of use in my wardrobe. It’s definitely more professional looking than my first attempt and I was very pleased at how fast this was to make. The collar is not quite as drape-y as the first one, because the fabric is so much thicker with less stretch. However, the hems and the lines look really great. And it’s always a great day when you can use something from your stash. I’m liking this whole improving on a classic thing – here’s to 2022!

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