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threadWEAR 301

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Berwick St. Tunic Sew Along Part One: Getting Started


Welcome to the Berwick St. Tunic Sew Along. We will be making a fun summer version using a lightweight rayon challis in a fun Lemon Print. The Berwick can be made in many different fabric substrates but I love how it looks in a drapey rayon. Check out our collection of rayon prints and get ready to sew!

​Today we are going to discuss tips for getting started on your sewing journey. On the back of the pattern envelope you will see a chart that has size measurements (these are your body measurements), as well as one that has finished measurements. After taking your own full bust measurement, compare that to the size measurement to see where you fall.

The Berwick St. Tunic has a fairly standard fit in the bust and shoulders and has a loose silhouette in the hips. Design ease is the extra fullness added to a garment to create the silhouette. We recommend measuring the bust and hips of the tunic pattern and comparing that to your own bust and hip measurements to determine the amount of design ease we have calculated into the pattern. You may want less design ease and choose to make one size smaller. If you prefer even more ease, you can make a larger size. Looking at the finished measurements and calculating design ease can really help you understand how a garment is going to fit you.

Once your pattern pieces are cut, mark all your notches and dots immediately. I start by snipping into my notches, as opposed to cutting triangles that protrude out.

To mark the circles or dots on the pattern, we recommend using tailor's tacks. While you can use a marking pen or pencil, the advantage of tailor's tack is that they don't fade and are easier to match. Use 100% silk thread for your tacks – you can sew through them and they still pull out easily. To make tailor's tacks:

  • ​Place pin through the point you want to mark.
  • Gently separate the pattern tissue from the fabric. Using a contrasting color, take a single stitch where the pin enters the fabric, leaving a 1ʺ thread tail.
  • Complete the stitch loop. Cut thread leaving another long tail.

 A technique that we use in many of our patterns, including in the Berwick St. Tunic construction, is the use of pressing templates. Start by making your own template using a manila file folder or tagboard of similar weight. You will need to make five templates in the following sizes: 2 ″, 1 ½″, 1 ⅜″, ¾″.

Now that we have our materials gathered, cut and marked, it is time to start constructing the garment! Join us for the Berwick St. Tunic Sew Along Part Two where we will create prepare the Right and Left Front pieces.

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Berwick St. Tunic Sew Along Part Two: Preparing th...
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