Spring has been rather unpredictable this year, swinging from snow to blazing
sunshine and back to chilly rain, so layering pieces are essential. The Colour Block
Tunic works well as it can be worn on warmer days or with lots of extra layers for the
less cheerful ones. I’ve been wearing it over my light blue jeans and with a boiled
wool cardigan as it’s so cold today.
The Dashwood Studio fabrics were very kindly supplied by Doughty’s and were
wonderful to work with. The pale blue is Flocking Birds from the Birdsong collection
by Joanne Cocker and the darker one is from the Copenhagen collection by Jilly
P. Although I normally avoid quilting cottons, I fell in love with the beautiful prints
and the structure that they give to a garment like this.
The construction is quite straightforward; I decided to slow down and make as neat a
garment I could, so it took me a few days from starting to being able to wear it.
Originally I planned to make a shorter top but by switching things round a little and
reducing the number of blocks, I was able to have elbow length sleeves and a tunic
length. I used the main fabric for the sleeves and extended the front and back
panels, using the contrast only for bodice yokes and facings.
I started by stitching the darts, then the front and backs to the respective yoke
pieces, followed by the shoulder seams. If a hem band is used it can be added at
The facings come together neatly if there is a small overlap of the edges, as seen
here. The edges should cross at the stitching line, 1.5cm from the edge.
To ensure a neat ‘v; at the neckline, I drew in the stitching line with a pencil, then
pinned and stitched the facings in place, understitched as far as possible, clipped
notches into the curve and turned and pressed the facing in place.
Sleeves can be a pest! I prefer to insert them flat, whether in knit or woven fabrics,
as I find it gives a neater result. There’s not much ease at the sleeve heads so I was
able to pin and ease them into the armscyes with only a couple of minor mishaps
and without using gathering stitches. Having inserted both sleeves, I then sewed the
side seams and underarm seams.
Next came the zip, which wasn’t my best but is almost invisible, and then the
remaining back seam. Last of all, I pressed and stitched the hems, then slip stitched
the facings in place at the centre back and shoulders.
I’m really happy with the result. It’s smart but comfortable and I’m sure I’ll be wearing
it a lot through the spring and summer.