Thursday, March 1, 2012

Eider Tunic Excellence-A Tutorial

My baby is turning 3.....and I am not dealing with it well.

However there is a birthday outfit to sew and there is nothing like a beautiful pattern to sooth mummy angst.

I still get to choose the pattern as she loves everything I sew.
My choice? My favourite! Clever Charlotte's Eider Tunic.

Matilda chose the fabric Tula Pinks Prince Charming. Whimsical and fun but definitely not nursery!

Liddy was eyeing it off so wistfully I decided to sew her one too!

If you fancy making you are.
Tilly measured up to a 2T and that is what I drafted.
Lidia fits in the 5 and I lengthened that to a 7.

Cut out your pattern as well as the binding as directed in the instructions.
Transfer the pattern markings.
I like to draw my fold lines for the pintucks with tailors chalk(or my awesome tailors chalk pencil,thanks Colette).
A tiny snip at the top and bottom of the fold line can also be helpful.
Apply interfacing the wrong sides of the yoke pieces.
I like to use a pressing cloth.
The interfaced yoke pieces.
Sew the pin-tucks as directed in the instructions.
I fold and sew using my machine foot as a guide line rather then marking the sew line.
For perfect pin-tucks turn back the stitch length to a smaller setting.
Press the first pin-tuck well and then do the next.
I find it best to do one at a time rather then stitching them all in one sitting. It allows you to press each step perfectly before moving on to the next.
When the pin-tucks are stitched press well away from the centre seam.
I like to use a pressing cloth and plenty of steam. I let them sit and cool before moving the pieces.
I like this already!
Transfer the pin-tuck markings to the sleeves.
I poked holes at the top of the stitch lines on the pattern.
And then mark the spot with tailors chalk.
Fold along the stitch line marking the start/stop with a pin.
Stitching the pin-tuck.
Don't reverse and lock the stitch at the beginning of the seam.
Rather then reversing to 'fix' the stitches pull them through and knot underneath. This will finish the pin-tuck nicely.
Press the nest pin-tuck and repeat.
Once they are stitched press them towards the back.
Aren't pin-tucks lovely?
Following the pattern instructions sew the sleeves to the fronts and back.
Rather the press open I like to clip the curves,sew and neaten and press to one side.
If you are sewing a shirting weight this is fine,anything heavier,use Charlottes directions for a nicer finish.
The seam pressed to one side.
The seam clipped before sewing.
Seams-clipped,sewn and pressed.
Following the instructions pin the side seams matching notches and the under arm seam.
Sew the side seams and clip the curves well. Press open if you wish.
As I was using a shirting weight I overlocked the seam together-neatening the clipped seam bit still allowing ease and movement.
Press the seams well,
Take the time to press really well,it will be difficult to do this after sewing the front seam.
Getting there!
Prepare the waist tie channel as directed in the pattern instructions folding and pressing the seam allowances.
Mark the sewing line on to the tunic with chalk.
I found it quite easy to line up the pattern with the bottom and move and mark.
Find the centre back of the tunic and the casing and pin them to mark the spot.
Match the pins to find centre back.
Matching the top of the casing to the transferred marking line and pin in place.
Sew the top of the casing first.
Press well-really really well-and then pin the bottom of the casing in place.
Once the casing is sewn,yes thats right,press well!
Consider pre-neatening the front seam.
Following the pattern-pin the tunic front from the notch.
Sew the seam and clip to the stitching at the notch.
Press the seam open below the notch.
Stitch the centre front of the yoke below the notch.
Clip to the seam at the notch.
Press the seam open.
The front view.
Pin the front yoke to the back yoke matching notches.
Press the seams open.
Use a pressing cloth to avoid sticking the iron to the interfacing.
The yoke.
As the patterns directs stitch around the yoke with a smaller stitch length.
To make sure my pin-tucks were stitched outwards I sewed around the edge almost to the second set of pin-tucks.....
and then I flipped it over and sewed from underneath.
Following the instructions-clip into the seam allowance up to but not through the stitching.
Press the seam allowance inwards along the stitching line.
Charlotte suggests making a cardboard pressing guide-I did and it was very useful indeed!
Clever Charlotte!
The yoke with pressed in seam allowances.

Next up-Attaching the yoke.
x N


  1. Ooooh, great fabric choices! I hear you about the mommy angst...I went grocery shopping the other day and stood in the middle of the baby clothes section fighting back tears. I felt ridiculous! Good thing it was late at night so there weren't many people milling around :-)

    1. If their were any mothers around I am sure they would have understood completely Susanne!

      I know I have to stop sometime.....but I just cannot imagine my home without a baby!

      x N

    2. What will be, will be, my friend. You never know. Besides, just wait -- you've got 5 kids who may have 5 kids each (or more!) of their own, and then you'll have a never-ending supply of grandbabies to sew for!

  2. I love the fabrics you are useing for these! Oh the mommy angst! I can't believe that my baby girl is 2 years old. sniff sniff. We are having a another baby but it makes me sad to think there will be no more baby girly things to be sewn and grandbabies are a way off for us. Maybe my sister or neice will have a little girl soon. :)

  3. Mummy angst I feel it everyday! I absolutely sympathise with you. We are planning the planning of a third baby but even I know the angst will still crop up just as much. Hang in there! She's a little one still and who knows what the future holds?

  4. I cannot wait to see the finished tunics on your girls! Could she have the same birthday as my granddaughter? She will be three tomorrow (Saturday).

  5. CAN NOT wait to see the rest of this!

  6. Very pretty! You stopped just before the step I wanted to see! Eagerly awaiting the next post.

    3 was the hardest birthday for me. 2 still sounds like a baby, but not 3. She is growing up!

  7. This is looking lovely - can't wait to see it finished - will be using this post as a reference for mine (soon hopefully!)

    I agree, Sandi - 3 is a hard birthday to deal with.....

  8. Oh dear lots of mummy angst!
    At least I am not alone.
    Thank you everyone for your warm comments.

    Matilda will be 3 on Monday,she would like a pink love heart cake and lollies-Very easy to please!

    Tunics finished and blogging in process!
    xx N

  9. Love your work Nicole, we have the number 3 birthday this month too ;o)

  10. Thank you Colette-that is seriously kind of you!

    Third birthdays=big girls=bitter sweet,don't you think?
    x N