If you guessed our Eider Tunic-turned-swimsuit cover-up, you win 5 points! Spring Break is next week and we'll be visiting my family in South Carolina. A few of those days will be spent at the beach, and while the weather looks iffy for sandcastles, I am sure Nora's new cover-up will be equally perfect for trips to and from the indoor pool.
Here's another view. Can you spot the quick change?
The tunic is made with a white terry cloth: very soft and fluffy, and, I discovered when ripping out a few seams, very loosely woven. So, rip with care. I made very few adjustments to the Eider pattern itself, but several changes to the construction of the garment--
First, I shortened the length of the front and back pieces by 1.5" (equal to the hem allowance, which isn't needed with the bias tape trim). I omitted the yoke and finished all the raw edges with a colorful bias tape.
Because I wanted to use a separating zipper down the center front, the waist ties that are usually used to cinch in the waist of the tunic would have been somewhat cumbersome. However, I felt strongly that I still wanted to gather the waist a bit to avoid the bath robe look. I tried several methods to recreate the cinching effect, but due to the relative bulk of the terry cloth, neither long gathering stitches nor elastic thread in the bobbin achieved sufficient gathering effect. Instead, I sewed stretched pieces of 1/4" elastic on the right side of the fabric along the waist channel placement line marked on the pattern.
For this size 3T, I sewed approximate lengths of 3" to the left and right of the center front (see below) and another 7-8" along the back. The gathering effect was better than the first two methods, but I think for the next iteration of this tunic, I will opt to use a stronger (eg wider) elastic for an even greater effect. I hid the elastic with the waist tie channel called for by the original pattern, adding some additional color to the tunic at the same time.
I intend to use the bias tape for another project as well, so I used a full yard of fabric, which makes A LOT of tape. (It makes me so happy when I can double up on sewing projects!) For this 3T tunic, I estimate I used 4 yards of the finished double-fold bias tape to bind all of the edges, sew the waistband and create the 2 buttons tabs (see below).
Finally, after debating whether to make the tunic with the original sleeves (sans pintucks) or shortened for warmer weather, I was pleased to find a compromise--a button tab to hold the rolled up sleeves in place for cooler/windier days. On the next iteration, I may try shortened sleeves but add a hood.
I have one more beach-bound sewing project to complete this weekend and I can't wait to show you some "in action" shots of both later next week!
Happy Sewing and, for those of you celebrating, Happy Easter! ~ Erin