Pattern Review – Simplicity 1461 Tunic

Refashion a scarf and shirt into a tunic with Simplicity 1461

I have a golden rule when it comes to sourcing second-hand fabric from thrift stores – always buy fabulous fabric no matter what form it comes in.  At the Burlingame Goodwill Outlet store, I rescued a beautiful ikat scarf that wasn’t large enough to make a garment but could be mixed with other fabric, like this button-down shirt.  I’ve used this handy refashion hack many times when I had to make do with a shortage of fabric.

I chose Simplicity 1461* because the center panel of the tunic made a great focal point for the scarf.  The last thing I need is another tunic, but I’m hopelessly addicted to them. Tunics are comfortable to wear when my weight fluctuates and impart a boho-chic vibe I adore.  When I want to look dressy without trying too hard, I throw on a tunic with skinny jeans and boots.

Simplicity 1461 view D is a simple, straightforward pattern to sew.  I don’t sew princess seams often, but it’s almost like straight line sewing with a bit of ease around the bust.   If you are new to princess seams, check out this Itch to Stitch tutorial.

Everything was coming along beautifully until I decided to hack the back.

The back of the pattern has 2 panels with a center seam.  I thought it would be smart to add another scarf panel with princess seams that mimicked the front.  How cute would that be?  With my basic pattern drafting experience, I knew I could easily extend the front of the princess seam to the back.

Refashion a scarf and shirt into a tunic with Simplicity 1461

I’m 1″ off on both sides!

I got overconfident with my pattern drafting and didn’t do a reality check with the front.   My hubris got the best of me when I sewed the shoulder seams and saw the princess seams didn’t line up.   The back panel was 2″ larger than the front panel!!!  I intended to make a seamless center of ikat from front to back.  Instead, I have this ugly jog of seams on the shoulders.  I could recut the ikat panel, but I didn’t have enough black fabric for a do-over.  That’s the bummer about refashioning – you can’t run to the store and get more fabric when you mess up.

Here’s a view from the back.  Wouldn’t this look lovely if the center panel was 2″ thinner?

I encourage my son to see the bright side when something seems bad, and it would be hypocritical if I didn’t do the same, so here goes:

  1. I love the fringe sleeves.
  2. I like the front slash of the neckline that’s finished with a facing and topstitched with a 1″ seam allowance.
  3. The pattern is easy to sew.  View D looks like the simplest pattern, but the other options have some interesting necklines and trim I’m eager to play with.
  4. The fit is perfect.  The pattern has separate pieces for B, C, D cup sizes for misses and C, D, DD for plus sizes.  I’m an A cup, and the B size was spot on.
  5. The top is easy to pull on and off.  No buttons, zippers or closures to get in the way.
  6. The fabric is made of scrumptious cotton.  The scarf and shirt have a high thread count, and it was a pleasure to sew.
Refashion a scarf and shirt into a tunic with Simplicity 1461

At least the front is cute.

The main take away with this project is to measure twice and cut once (such a cliche but so true!).  I’m not sure if I want to keep this shirt.  Most people probably won’t notice the mistake, especially if I grow my hair longer, but it will always bug me when I wear it.  It’s like a canker sore – you try to ignore it, but you know it’s there.

What do you think?  Is this a keeper?

Refashion a scarf and shirt into a tunic with Simplicity 1461

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There are 13 comments for this article
  1. JoAnn Hyde at 4:39 pm

    I say to keep it. It is a very pretty top. I really like it and someone who sews is not going to notice the mistake. I know that it will be in the back of your mind but I am sure you will get a lot of compliments on it. I made a top that was not supposed to have a seam on the front and I cut it out wrong and there is a seam. I know it’s not supposed to be there but I have worn it anyway and have received many compliments. Know one knows is isn’t supposed to have a seam on the front. So again I say to keep it. JoAnn

    • melissa1lin at 4:56 pm

      Thanks JoAnn. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s hard to for me to let go of this mistake. I just have to learn to embrace it as a “design detail.”

  2. Wendy at 6:58 am

    I am not a sewer, but really enjoy your blog when you post. I would keep it, but I also struggle with being a perfectionist when I craft (so I completely understand if it bothers too much). But I do think it is adorable! I also love the fringe sleeves.

  3. Jean Cogdill at 10:45 am

    Just like you said… most people won’t notice. Give yourself a break… it’s beautiful. I’ll bet when you wear it people ask you where you got it! Am I right? Just remember the satisfaction you got/get when people ask that and you can truthfully tell them you made it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s lovely. And remember your answer should be…. I meant to do that! LoL… have a great day!

    • melissa1lin at 9:21 am

      I wore the tunic out and about shortly after posting. No one asked where I got it, but then no one noticed the shoulder seam either, so I guess it’s a good thing.

  4. Carol in Denver at 6:01 pm

    Oh, definitely a keeper; it looks so cute on you. If you can salvage two narrow strips of the black fabric and applique the strips over the shoulder seams, the mis-match might not bother you so much. It would look like intentional trim.

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