Thursday, 14 August 2014

Prima dress and tunic

Since I've no photos of anything new made, I thought I'd show you a couple of things I made long before this blog existed. These have actually stood the test if time and are still regularly worn.

This pattern from the UK Prima magazine is for a dress or tunic.

The shape at the time was something I was looking for and found this lovely (as in the colour) bottle green polyester satin fabric. The fabric would have come from John Lewis where I used to buy a lot of my fabric in the UK. 

I remember any issues with the make or pattern. I'd made two or three Prima patterns by then and was happy with their fit. It's not a difficult pattern to put together. There were just eight pattern pieces, front and back bodice, front and back skirt the sleeves and facings for the neck. Neither version has any closures, it is a pull on top. 

I would imagine I swore a bit with this green fabric because it would have been slippery. Looking at my construction, I finished the seams using a zig-zag stitch. The fabric certainly hasn't frayed so my choice was justified.


I used to wear this green top a lot but for some reason it's gone slightly out of favour in the last year or so. Possibly because I'm aware the bust darts are not perfect and it's not the best fit. 

The dress is a different kettle of fish. When I bought the fabric for this (also from John Lewis), I had never made anything using a knit fabric before. I guessed the fit would be loser but the pattern didn't recommend a different size for using a knit, even though it states that any fabric can be used.

So I bought this cheap-ish grey jersey and proceeded to cut the dress pattern to the same size as the green top I'd made previously, although obviously I lengthened the skirt! I didn't use a narrow zig-zag stitch as I now do when sewing knit fabrics. I didn't know about these things in those days! It's stitched using standard straight stitch, it's got non-stretchy fusible interfacing on the neck facings and I didn't put elastic around the bottom of the bodice sections, probably because the pattern doesn't mention this. This is something I would do now, I have to add. Consequently when I first finished this, it looked decidedly like it was made for someone about 8/9 months pregnant! So I unpicked the side seams and added the ties which it still has as you can see.

The details - the tunic
Fabric:  A green polyester satin from John Lewis, Welwyn Garden City, UK
Notions:   Thread and interfacing for the facings.
Pattern:   Prima magazine blouse/dress pattern from November 2007
First worn:  I think I can even remember this, it would have been to a Promises Auction for my old choir in the UK in 2008 (I think it was!) Worn here with an old RTW long black pencil skirt (Dorothy Perkins, UK) and some black shoes from Overland here in NZ
Changes made:  None at all. I cut a size 16 and didn't make any changes at all.
Recommend?  If you can get hold of it, it's actually a really easy, quick pattern to make up. I also find the fit of these Prima patterns is great for me and no changes are needed.

The details - the dress
Fabric:  Grey jersey from John Lewis, Welwyn Garden City, UK
Notions:   Thread and interfacing for the facings.
Pattern:   Prima magazine blouse/dress pattern from November 2007
First worn:  I imagine probably for work in 2008. It's worn here with some purple boots I got from Mischief here in NZ. And funnily enough, I'm wearing this dress as I type!
Changes made:  I cut a size 16 and added the tie on the back to add some more shape.


  1. I find it interesting the Prima patterns fit you well. I do wonder how much nationality has to do with fit. When I lived in NZ I had a hard time finding clothes, especially lingerie that fit. I was beginning to think I was a mutant of some kind. (Sewing was such a useful skill for me anyway but especially because of that.) When I moved back to Australia oh it was so easy to find clothes that fit!

    Anyway I love them both, but most of all that lovely turquoise! The grey looks extremely wearable though :-)

    1. Thanks, the grey dress gets pulled out of the wardrobe lots of times! It's such an easy wear!
      I know what you mean about sizing. My main problem I find with RTW here in NZ is that the arms are always too long! I never had the same problems in the UK! Very strange, but interesting nonetheless!