Lucky and Goth Four-Piece Tunic

I have read that the number four is unlucky in Japan, because the word for “four” looks very similar to the word for “death.”

What to do, but sew a four-piece tunic from a Japanese sewing pattern book, using goth fabric and trims?

Tunic with Roll-up Sleeves from “Happy Homemade Sew Chic”

This is an altered version of “Project O: Tunic with Roll-up Sleeves” from “Happy Homemade Sew Chic” by Yoshiko Tsukiori. My version has four pattern pieces – front, back, sleeves and a neckline binding. (I’m not counting the trims as pieces, m’kay?)

I bought this cotton stretch shirting fabric from Banksville Designer Fabrics in Norwalk, Conn. last year, intending to make a blouse for work. I liked the abstract purple and fuchsia microdots dots along with the gray and black on a white background, to give a bit of pop to the standard neutral officewear. But when I laid out the fabric to cut it, I realized the print was actually an abstract snakeskin design. Ouch. I am all for mixing it up in the office, but this was a bit much. So back in the stash it went.

I thought a tunic would be just the thing to save this fabric from stash oblivion. And I gothed it up with leftover black trims and ribbons from an upholstery project, and even some metal cord caps leftover from a handbag project.

This pattern really works better with fabric that’s less structured and more drapey and flowy -as you can see, this fabric clings a bit. I altered the pattern a bit so it would play nicer with the fabric:

  • Added two big fisheye darts to the back.
  • Shaped the sides at the waist a bit.
  • Understitched the neckline binding on the right side before sewing the channel for the ribbon, so it would lie flat and not gather up.
  • Shorted the sleeves to just above the elbow, then added the trim.
  • I skipped the roll-up sleeves because of the trim, and because the bell sleeves don’t play well with rolling anyway.

Now all I need is a motorcycle and a bad attitude, to make this a darling of my wardrobe! Happy 4th birthday to The Monthly Stitch!

If you’d like to see another version of this top I made, or other projects from “Happy Homemade Sew Chic,” see by blog, Sewing Japanese.

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