Sunday, July 5, 2009

Knocking off the knock-off master

So, back to the Burdastyle Elinor tunic, the one in which I worked on fitting my forward shoulder. My goal in using this pattern was to copy a plaid silk tunic that I saw at Urban Outfitters. It was on the sale rack and too small for me, but the style is fairly simple and I knew I could easily recreate it. These are no longer available on their website.


Photos from www.urbanoutfitters.com


During my recent trip to Portland, I spotted this interesting plaid silk at Josephine's Dry Goods (on sale!) and thought it would be perfect to copy the UO tunic.




Pattern: BurdaStyle 8516- Elinor tunic



Fabric: Plaid silk. Initally I thought it was charmeuse, but now I don't think so since it doesn't have a matte and a shiny side like charmeuse usually does. I'm terrible at IDing fabrics so I'm really not sure what you'd call this weave...

Notes on construction/alterations:
Besides the forward shoulder alteration that I described in a previous post, I omitted the front neck slit and the empire waist elastic that the original pattern called for.


I shortened the sleeves a bit and finished them with a pleat and bias binding.

I made a lame attempt to match the plaids. Along the side seams, I matched the plaid stripes of the front bodice above the bust dart with the back, which of course means that everything below the bust dart (the majority of the side seams) won't match. Next time I will know to match the side seams below the bust dart. The back sleeve kind of matches the back bodice, but the front sleeve and the front bodice don't match up. I have a lot to learn about matching plaids...



I used Claire Shaeffer's instructions for making a bound placket at the center back neck (page 92 of High Fashion Sewing Secrets). Next time, I'll know to cut the slit a little longer than what the finished length should be, it turned out shorter than planned because the bottom of the slit closes up a bit after you miter the bias binding. Oh well, it's only for looks, I don't need to unbutton it to get it over my head anyway. Also, I used Roberta Carr's instructions for bias binding along the neckline (page 86 of Couture - The art of fine sewing).



Conclusion: I love tunics and I know I'll wear this one often. The modified BurdaStyle Elinor pattern will be my go-to pattern for tunics from now on.

27 comments:

Vicki W said...

Great job on the tunic. It's really cute!

Cindy said...

Gorgeous! I need to pull out my book more often. Thanks for the reminder.

Bunny said...

Great top and lovely knockoff.

Lori said...

Great job, your new tunic looks fantastic.

LeeAnn said...

I used to find myself not wanting to get any fancy magazines or window shop my favorite expensive brands to keep to my budget, but now with knock off results like this I have a new reason to 'shop'! I love the sleeve detail. I wanted to make the tunic in Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book. I have the pattern all traced but I wasn't sure what to do with the sleeves. I needed to do something with them so the top looks less like pjs. This is a perfect solution!

Nancy K said...

great knockoff. I do believe that I have this pattern in an older BWOF.

ambika said...

I just love the title of this post, and the top as well.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

Great tunic. I love the colors. When you figure out how to match plaids please do a post. I can't seem to figure out it.

CarlaF-in Atlanta

Columbia Lily said...

it looks awesome of course....By the way, as a fellow Seattlite... do you happen to know any place that sells hardware locally? Things like large swivel clips or sliders for straps on a messenger style bag?

And are there any large or well-stocked hobby stores besides Joanns here? Thanks for the help...

BConky said...

A trick I use to match plaids is to use crayons on the pattern and draw matching lines on the pattern of the main colors of the plaid. I then take the piece I'm matching and extend these colored lines (after matching notches). Then place on my fabric and line up the colored lines I drew on the pattern piece. Remember to always match at the seam line not the cut line. Don't know if I explained that very well but I find it works great. Your blouse is a great knock off of the original.

Trudy Callan said...

You did an excellent job copying the original. I love the colors you chose.

www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

gwensews said...

Terrific knockoff! This will make a great TNT and one that you can make a lot of design changes.

j.kaori said...

Cute tunic --- nice job! I love the fabric and the details you included in your version, especially the pleats on the sleeves.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Very cute! I love the colors of teh plaid too. Matching plaids is easier for me if I cut everything single layer. But it is finicky work. The tunic looks great on you!

Rachel said...

You did a fantastic job!!! Also, I love your hair. The highlights are gorgeous.

Leslie said...

What a fantastic use for that fabric!!! I love it. The style is great on you, and I love your bindings.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Cute top! I can see you making this in other fabrics.

Adriana B. said...

Very cool! Love the fabric SO much, the way the colors blend ever so slightly!

Xiao Xian said...

What a trendy looking tunic! Awesome choice on fabric.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That looks great on you! Very of the moment.

Cennetta said...

Cute and comfy. I really like to sleeve and neckline treatment.

Beth said...

Love the sleeves & the neckline. Very cool. :-)

cidell said...

Christina! This is so stinking cute. You always make the cutest summer tunics. I need to start considering them. Fabric is perfect! Makes it not too grungy :)

Linda said...

Very cute! Love your fabric.

Cindy May said...

Gorgeous! you are so good about making things to go with jeans. I make too many dresses and never have anything for a night out!

Tany said...

Beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing your process!

Saionara/Blumenau-Brasil said...

Good morning!
I am Brazilian and I live in Blumenau SC.
Beautiful dress with elastic on the sides and back, congratulations because you have a taste similar to mine, only that you make the cuts and am having difficulty ... sew, the more I get there.

Congratulations!
Saionara.