Octotunic!


I’m really sorry about the name. I just couldn’t resist. And I’m probably the last person on the planet to hear about “octomom” or whatever, having gotten my first pedicure in eons last week. I know I can’t be the only person who only gets their celebrity news by reading ten issues of Us and People on the rare occasion that they visit a salon. And lest you think I’m some sort of Gentlewoman of Leisure, getting manis and pedis on a whim while an au pair pushes my toddler around the park, I’d just like to say that my getting a pedicure is more an act of community service than anything else since I can no longer comfortably reach my toes. Strangers were starting to look away in horror as I passed on the street. In addition to learning who/what “octomom” was (if you don’t know, please don’t bother) I also learned that no one else goes to the salon at 6 pm on a Friday night (Mr Rae was watching Elliot). Sad, but at least I got all of the magazines to myself.

Enough of that. Here’s today’s FO, evidence that I am chipping away at the Mendocino in my stash slowly but surely. This one almost made it onto the Spring Top Week roster but I couldn’t get it finished on time:


: : Pattern Process : :
This began as the back of this top and the front of this top. Neckline, armholes and waist width later got adjusted for various reasons (Arm: you need more room if you add a long sleeve; Neck: you need more room if you’re going for a boatneck look; Waist: you need more room if you get knocked up), resulting in a finished product that no longer really resembles any of those beginning tops.

The neck thingy (what IS that called?) was just a trace of the neckline about 4 inches or so wide, with a longer portion in the middle for the slit. I sewed the right side of the neck thingy to the wrong side of the shirt, then clipped the edges and corners, flipped the whole thing around to the outside, and sewed it down.


Oh the arms: the bane of my existence! I didn’t have a good “arm” pattern anywhere, so I had to draft these bell-shaped ones out myself, resulting in many, many reject muslin arm pieces on the floor of my sewing room and multiple tearouts.


In the end, the urgency of knowing that the top would not fit me if I tarried too much longer was enough motivation to get it finished. Here’s one last pic, in which I’m starting to resemble another large sea creature…

41 thoughts on “Octotunic!

  1. Love it, love it! Perfect thing to do with the Mendocino line! And the perfect style to wear during AND after pregnancy – it would be a sorrowful day if that top only were for 9 months! πŸ™‚

  2. That has to be my favorite one yet! I am a huge fan of the Mendocino fabric and the tunic is adorable. Great job.

  3. This looks great. Your creations are awesome. You give me inspiration to keep sewing. Thanks.

  4. Oh this is very cute….I might have to make one for myself and I’m not pregers. Love the fabric combo together.

  5. Love, love, love it.

    And just so you know you’re not the only one…I get the community service pedicure every so often too. LOL!

  6. I love this! Sadly, I am not good at changing around shirt patterns. Skirts, pants, dresses I can do. I am 5 months pregnant and wish there were more cute maternity shirt patterns out there!

  7. This looks great! I think the neck thingy is called a “placket.” If you get a chance, can you e-mail me and let me know if my e-mail address is showing up for you. I have a Google account through Google Reader, not through Blogger, and I’m not quite sure how to check and make sure it is showing the address. Thanks!

    teresapfister AT verizon DOT net

  8. Ooh, I like that one. And I can honestly say that I wish I had such a top when I was super prego. Anyhow, you should put together something “simple” to allow us to make it work as well – I think I like it better than the one I just made from the Weekend Sewing book. I do like that one too, but it’s got a few things about it that my figure doesn’t like.

  9. Gosh I LOVE thos fabrics… and the style of the top… which of course means that I love it ALL!

    You are so very talented. Thanks for sharing!

    Vikki πŸ˜‰

  10. I love this top! I keep looking at the octopus prints in Heather’s line and wondering how to use them. Now I know!

  11. ok. you probably think i’m a total flake with this whole will-you-test-out-my-maternity-skirt-pattern-thing and then i never get it to you. well, maybe i am a flake BUT i had my hard drive crash among other things losing all of my pics (and videos of the babes…) anyway – i have the pattern drafted and i was able to recover the pics so my hope is to get it done next week. i hope. if it’s getting to far along for you to try it, i totally understand.

    cute shirt btw.

  12. Oh so seriously adorable. Makes me wish I had more sewing skill… and the my machine wasn’t in the repair shop! I REALLY need to find one to borrow, because like you said in your last post I am also suffering from an abundance of projects and a deficit of time! Thanks for giving another 5 month pregnant lady inspiration!

  13. Lovely. Aaah, the pictures make me think of my own pregnancy and the wonderful outcome. Enjoy every single moment, nothing like it in the world!

    I just made a blog, inspired by you and other crafty people in blogland.

  14. Adorable! Love Mendocino – and you made it so fun! BTW – I get my celebrity “news” in a similiar fashion, but usually about 2 months late, since all the magazines I do peruse in these opportunities are ancient πŸ™‚

  15. I love love love this tunic! Would you happen to be thinking about drafting a tutorial/pattern?? (pwease??)

  16. I love that you sew by trial and error just like I do and that you call the pieces “neck thingy” and the like. Good work!

  17. That is so cute! I wish I knew how to sew when I was pregnant! Make my own cute maternity stuff!

  18. Oh! This is just the sort of neckline treatment I’ve been looking for. If you get a chance, could you let me know if it has a specific name? I’m trying to figure out what shape of thing you need to sew to the back before you flip it to the right side (clear as mud, yes?) In other words, I can’t figure out how to get the slit bit to work. I’m still a clothing beginner.

    I love your top – you did a fantastic job!

  19. This is so awesome! You look fab =)
    And thanks for your message the other day, it’s been tough lately but I’m feeling better now

  20. super super cute. and i am so impressed by your ability to create a shirt out of this front, that back, muslins for arms, etc. i can do that sorta with knitting and/or quilting. but not at all with clothes sewing.

  21. Very nice.

    I found your blog, via Lori’s and think it’s very fun and inspiring.

    I downloaded the buttercup bag pattern, but have one question. It says to use quilting fabric for the liner, but what to use for the outside? Did you use upholstery fabric?

  22. Thanks guys! I’m thrilled you all like it so much — I was afraid it was a little “loud” at first, but now I’m totally on board…(:

    teresa p: yes, you are right, the neck thingy is called a “placket”! Durr…

    stacy: check out Weekend Sewing; Heather has a thing on how to flip around the neck placket too (although hers is just the slit part, not the whole neck). That may come in useful.

    renee: yes, I used home dec weight fabric. You could also use quilting weight interfaced with decor bond.

  23. Love it! So cute! Love the fabric and the pattern. Oozing the talent! I need more time in my day!

  24. Can you make me one? Haha! Looks so cheery and lovely, wish I had the patience to alter things to fit my growing (too quickly) tummy. Alas, I just stick to sewing elastic waist skirts- no maternitty shirt sewing for me! Anyways, great job!

  25. very very cute! i just love tunics and my daughter’s high school friends all call me a hippie because i wear them all the time! it’s adorable and you did a wonderful job!

  26. I'm a total sucker for a tunic, and I just love this!!! Plus I've just started to show and I would love for it to look as cute on my belly as it does on yours! πŸ™‚

  27. Neck thingie=placket. Had you kept the placket on the inside of the top, as if to line it or finish it neatly, then it would be called a 'facing.'

  28. Rae, I saved this in my google reader forever, wanting to comment on the fabulous tunic and your very cute hair, and look, it's like one month and more later. Hope you're feeling great! You look wonderful and I really, really love the tunic. I want to make one even though I'm not pregnant. I think it is the sleeves and the flattering length – covers all the plump post-preggie bits!

  29. Please, please make a pattern/tutorial for this top! I have been searching for exactly this, and not finding it. Please?

    Wonderful blog!

Comments are closed.