Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Redesign: Santa Monica Tee to Fashionable Tunic

For the past week I've been lusting over a knit tunic top at the Newport News fashion website. Here's a link: The top I want!

There are no patterns like this in my stash, especially with those sleeves. Ever since the closest Hancock's closed, it has put a huge dent in my pattern buying sprees. So what's a girl to do? Get out a TNT tee pattern and get to work redesigning the pattern to look similar to the Newport News tunic. Thinking that maybe somebody might be interested in my love of pattern alterations and redesigning (I'm not kidding--a true geek here), I've documented my journey from the close-fitting Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee to the Phat Chick (Re-)Design. I'm certainly no pro in these areas, but I do love the challenge of both.

Here's a rough sketch of what I want (minus the princess seaming in the upper front bodice). Bear with my lack of artistic/drawing talent:

The TS pattern below is my starting point. I've made this top at least three times and it has been altered to fit--FBA, forward shoulder, broad upper back, with a few more tweaks. This is actually a raglan style, but that doesn't matter to me. I'll be keeping the raglan seams.

So I retraced my altered pattern and added my new style lines. I'll need:
  • A horizontal style line/"empire" seam below the bust on the front.
  • Redesign the neckline to a deep scoop neck.
  • A horizontal style line on the back as well with princess seams above that style line for a precise back fit.
  • A horizontal style line at the elbow area on the sleeve.
  • Slash and spread bottom fronts and backs for gathering.
  • Slash and spread sleeve bottom for balanced fullness.
  • Length added to the front and back bodice pieces.

Here is what I did on all pieces from the bulleted items.

Front: Added the new style line and drew in possible neckline scoops.

Length also added to front:
Front separated into top and bottom.
Seam allowances added to top and bottom fronts at the seamline. Slashed and spread the bottom front to add gathering at horizontal style line:

Back: (the princess seam style lines will NOT extend below the empire style line in fabric). Added princess seam to upper bodice only and added the horizontal style line.

Princess seam style lines and horizontal style line created with seam allowances added. Slashed and spread bottom back to add gathering at the horizontal seamline. Length added.

Sleeve: Horizontal style lined added

Sleeve cut on style line:

Seam allowances added to the horizontal sleeve seam. Balanced fullness added to the bottom portion of sleeve. The lower sleeve seam will be gathered and stitched to the horizontal seam. The sleeve hem will have an elastic casing.

That completes the basic redesign. The muslin has been cut and is ready to stitch up. I'm using some soft-but-ugly grey knit that I purchased for $1/yard during PR Weekend 2006. The intent of that fabric was for knit muslins like this. I really want to cut out my wrap dress but need to clean off my entire kitchen table. Those dress pieces are really long. Maybe this weekend.

Looking forward to testing the redesign...


Lindsay T said...

Ooh, I'm eager to see how this turns out. That top is one of my TNTs.

Rhoto said...

WOW!! I'm impressed with what you're taking on!! (Wanna come over and help me rotary cut some straight lines ;) )
Soft hug,

Cennetta said...

Ohhh! This is great! Thanks for the details.

connieB said...

That almost a whole original design now!! Forgot to mention that I also nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award!

goodworks1 said...

That looks like a fun project! Have you previously tried scooping the neck on the Santa Monica Tee? I wonder how that will work with the raglan cut and the extra weight from the full lower sleeves. In any case, I think you picked a top to copy that will look great on you!

angie.a said...

Very cool. I'm interested to see if the scoop on the neckline will actually work because of the way the arm seats on the neck in front. (So hurry! :D )