January 2, 2017

Bringing in the new year with a Concord Tunic

Happy New Year, funsters! And what better way to kick it off with one of my most-worn garments from late 2015: my Concord T-Shirt Tunic hack.

My steely determination to mostly wear tunics and leggings has already been documented in this space right here, and when I spied this amazing Japanese waffle-knit at Mercer’s Fabric, it had to be mine, and, a Concord tunic.

Cashmerette Concord Tunic

The fabric has a slightly curious texture – it’s soft on the back like french terry but slightly coarse and rough on the right side. It also has minimal stretch, so I knew I’d have to make a few alterations.

Given the lack of stretch, I sized up to the 20, and added a little extra on the side seams, which ultimately I ended up shaving back off once it was constructed.  I lengthened the pattern to a tunic using this method I’ve outlined before, and initially, I also drafted a hem facing. However, terry – and this knit – have an awful tendency to stretch out, and the hem facing was El Disastre! The whole thing flipped out like some crazy 60s hair flick. So that got chopped off, the tunic got a touch shorter, and after interfacing the hem I re-did it by simply turning and stitching.

Cashmerette Concord Tunic

The lack of recovery also means a traditional t-shirt neckband (like the one the Concord T-shirt is drafted with) won’t work, so instead I made a neckline facing. I raised the neckline a little because I wanted a bit more coverage for winter, and then traced a facing from the pattern. To stop it flipping out, and also for a fun touch, I top-stitched it with gold jeans topstitching thread!

Cashmerette Concord Tunic

I used the same thread and topstitching for the sleeve and bottom hem to tie it all together, and I love the final look.

Cashmerette Concord Tunic

So my tunic wardrobe continues to grow! I’ve been wearing this one non-stop since I made it – the only weird thing with the waffle knit is I have to stretch it out when it comes out of the washing machine to stop it shrinking every time. But it’s a small price to pay for a Concord Tunic I love! Have you ever sewn with this type of fabric? Do you have any tips for working with it?

16 thoughts on “Bringing in the new year with a Concord Tunic

  1. PsychicKathleen says:

    I love your Concord Tunic! It’s just the right length on you. I also love the idea of making a facing for the neck and topstitching it down with a highlighting thread – a great suggestion for working with a knit with little stretch. Sometimes I use this type of knit instead of a woven but I’ve never used it in place of a stretchy knit. That a daring fit challenge 🙂

    1. Yep, it’s definitely a necessary adaptation if you’re using a slightly less stretchy knit than the pattern calls for.

  2. Mary in AZ says:

    Happy New Year! Great look. You have given me courage to sew leggings this year. Question –raised the neckline a little — How many inches did you raise it? How wide is your facing? Thank you.

    1. From memory I think I raised it about 2.5 inches. The facing itself is 2 inches wide – I will do a tutorial soon!

  3. Susana Pourxet says:

    You say that you sized up to the 20, what size you normally use? Happy new year!! and I will following the neckline facing because I have some fabrics with little stretch and Concord is my favorite tee.

    1. I normally make the 18 G/H – my waist is more like the size 20/22 but because the Concord has a lot of waist ease I can get away with it. However for this, as the knit was less stretchy I sized up. You still need *some* stretch for it to work, but I suspect if your knit only has 25% (instead of 50%) you’ll be OK.

      1. Susana Pourxet says:

        Thank you! That’s good news.

  4. Betty says:

    You look fabulous ! I too would like to know which leggings pattern you are using, because they look so very nice on you! I would never have though to do a top stitching that far from the neckline. Very nice touch!
    Thank you!!

    1. They are a secret… for now 😉

      1. Kate says:

        I was going to ask the same thing! Jenny if they’re a secret, I hope that means there’s a pattern forthcoming (btw it’s winter in Australia… I really need a pattern now!). I can’t find any RTW leggings that are high waisted enough to cover my apple shaped belly and not fade after a few washes. Do you have any fabric recommendations for leggings that is suitable for tunics (ie. not activewear fabric).
        Love the tunic, and LOVE the Washington knit tunic you linked to!

  5. Laura Casey says:

    Yes, love your Concord Tunic….when I work with knits (which is most of the time) I wash the fabric once, and dry on low. (before making)…then when I need to wash again after wearing …I wash on low heat and then let it air dry…..I also turn the knit inside out when washing…..the colors don’t fade, and I believe air drying making the garment last longer, no pilling etc. If I must wash/dry in a hurry, I put in dryer with a setting that will be a bit damp….then let it dry….Now if my husband is doing the laundry, all bets are off! Happy Sewing, dear heart….love your blog!

  6. LOVE IT! You are essentially wearing my uniform here – tunic, leggings, boots. What more do you need? Beautiful top 🙂

  7. Rachel says:

    Love the depth that you topstitched the neckline at.

  8. plumkitchen says:

    I’m so glad I’ve seen this, I made a complete mess of my Concorde (twice!?) because the fabric I had cut out didn’t have enough stretch to fit nicely around the neckline & ended up folded in on itself, I was really cross as I love the fabric, will rescue it with a faced neckline, so glad I didn’t biff it in the bin!!

  9. Julie Armitage says:

    Hi, I was looking at this pattern and wondered if I could use a normal stretch fabric on the back and sleeves but a woven one on the front? I have a small amount of this fabric and would love to use it for a top.
    Thank you

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it because it would end up being too tight – the design relies on stretch all around. You’d be better off trying a woven pattern like the Montrose, and using some knit for a section of it!

Let me know what you think!