Simplicity 1461


20 Sep Simplicity 1461

It’s Tunic Time again meaning my ongoing attempt to make the perfect tunic has resurfaced!

Hubs was determined to get a photo of me with dolphins in the background. Do you see any?


All I wanted was for the wind to calm down.


Then it was time for a football game, and our photography session abruptly stopped. By the way, the colors I am wearing are not associated with any football teams. It’s not a Halloween costume either.

Greetings from Edisto Island where I am enjoying the last weekend of summer 🙂


I found the front princess seams in the  Simplicity 1461 tunic pattern flattering, and thought the back seam line would offer a better fit for my narrow back. I also liked the sleeve and neckline options.



My fabric is a silk crepe from the stash, and I had just enough to sew View B. The princess seam lines disappeared into multi-color, geometric design resulting in a nice fitting top that is perfect for Fall in the South.

IMG_0004 2

I made no changes to the pattern other than adjusting the length of the bodice following the guidelines on the pattern pieces. All seams were finished on the serger, and the entire project required very little time.

001 facebook_cover (1)Truly, I love it………. but I’ve hit a bump.

Tunics are  e v e r  y w h e r e – from the doctor’s office to parties, on women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and all walks of life.  They are not difficult to construct, but tell me –  how does one turn a nice tunic pattern into a high-end tunic?

I’m ready to kick it up a notch!


 Until soon!

PS….. a warm welcome to one of my new affiliates, my favorite source for quick and economical Christmas cards!

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  • Deborah R Penner
    Posted at 18:26h, 20 September Reply

    Might a color blocked version work with a longer length? Perhaps in yellow and white?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:35h, 22 September Reply

      I think so too, Deborah! Looking forward to trying some color blocked versions soon 🙂 Many thanks!

  • Valerie
    Posted at 18:42h, 20 September Reply

    Tunics and caftans are big here too. You have already brought yours high end by using silk, but I’m thinking 2″ longer, in a plain colour and with some sort of trim.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:36h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Valerie! 2 ” longer is a great idea. I too love trim but I’m not sure how to apply … Many thanks for your comment!

  • Vancouver Barbara
    Posted at 19:04h, 20 September Reply

    My suggestion is to go to some high-end clothing stores and try on high-end tunics; look at them with a discriminating eye to see why they look really good on you (or not) – is it fabric, proportion, neckline, finishes, details, sleeve length, color – there are so many things to figure out even with a garment as simple as a tunic. Good luck and tell us what you’ve found.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:38h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Barbara! On me not too oversized, lovely silk, lots of trim and occasionally a lining! How to put this together stumps me at the moment 😉

  • justine
    Posted at 19:30h, 20 September Reply

    Yjjou have made it really into your style. Elegant! Great fit too. Not boxy at all like a lot of tunics.

  • Jet Set Sewing
    Posted at 20:32h, 20 September Reply

    I’ve also been obsessing about tunics, having spent the summer in Martha’s Vineyard (Tory Burch central). Silk crepe tunic? Yes please! (Tell your husband I saw the dolphins, waaay off in the distance…)

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:39h, 22 September Reply

      Oh he’ll be thrilled 🙂 Tory Burch tunics are my favorite for sure !

  • CheraleeS
    Posted at 20:44h, 20 September Reply

    I am wondering if a contrasting yoke perhaps with some appliqué would also work. Whether ribbon, very thin bias tape or even trim already on netting like the MOB dress’s trim applied to the yoke, or around 3/4 length sleeves wouldn’t dress it up. The implication of more sophisticated sewing on rack clothing makes me always give items a second glance. Also, I can’t make it out in your photos, but notched hems are something I always expect in a tunic. I think it’s the little details rather than one fell swoop that will make the difference. I have looked at that pattern probably 5 times. I just haven’t decided yet. Yours looks great!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:41h, 22 September Reply

      Thank you, Cheralee! Great idea on the notched hems! I too love lots of trim and appliqué but it’s hard to find and I’m just not sure how to apply 😉

  • Myra
    Posted at 22:36h, 20 September Reply

    What a great Tunic Sarah! A beautiful back drop too! Sorry, I don’t see any Dolphins but who cares when you have such a great scenic view! Can’t wait to see how you make this tunic better!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:42h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Myra!! I don’t see the dolphins either but let’s keep it on the Q T 😉
      OK……. I’ll keep trying to improve it! Many thanks for your comment.

  • Terri Baker
    Posted at 22:46h, 20 September Reply

    Love it! I e recently purchased this pattern so Now I need to kick it up a notch too!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:33h, 23 September Reply

      Thanks, Terri! Can’t wait to see how you kick it up!! 🙂

  • Sharon
    Posted at 00:27h, 21 September Reply

    Very stylish tunic and love the colours. Taking it up a notch for me would be the fabric but you have already used silk! The notched hem would be one and now I need to check out what is here in our RTW.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:33h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Sharon! Love the notched hem idea 🙂

  • Amanda
    Posted at 02:20h, 21 September Reply

    I just love your style. This is a lovely tunic and I always envy how they look on other people. I just can never carry them off! You look fab!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:35h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Amanda! I think you would look great in a tunic 🙂

  • Patricia Moore
    Posted at 02:26h, 21 September Reply

    Did you make the pants too? Beautiful color and fit!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:36h, 23 September Reply

      I did NOT make the pants. They are Kate Spade jeans that I bought a couple of years ago 😉

  • Rachel
    Posted at 03:50h, 21 September Reply

    Looks pretty classy to me. Luxurious fabric, detailing and trim (cleverly contrasting or complementary) would indicate high end to me. So, fabric = tick. Not sure about detailing or trim on yours. It looks lovely already though, and the fit is spot on. Did you make the trousers too? They also fit you really well. Lastly, what a perfect place to spend the last weekend of summer – especially one that included a wedding! Enjoy yourselves. Rachel ☺

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:39h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Rachel and thanks so much for your comment! The jeans are Kate Spade that I bought a couple of years ago. I agree with you about adding trim and contrast but am not sure how to go about adding the trim that I see on tunics such as Lilly Pulitzer etc….
      It was a great relaxing weekend and now we are back to reality 🙂

  • sewruth
    Posted at 06:45h, 21 September Reply

    I think you’re at the top already Sarah – silk and perfectly fitted. Hand sewn embellishments on a plain fabric might raise the bar but otherwise, I’d say you’re there!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:40h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Ruth! I really want to learn how to apply trim 🙂

  • Ebi Poweigha
    Posted at 08:33h, 21 September Reply

    Great fabric, oh my!! Who needs dolphins when you’re dressed to kill, eh? *wink* No advice on the tunic front from me, but Vancouver Barbara’s advice sounds pretty solid.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:41h, 23 September Reply

      LOL! The dolphins were there – just not posing for photos 🙂 Many thanks, Ebi!

  • mlweaving
    Posted at 08:54h, 21 September Reply

    Sarah, the tunic is lovely. They are everywhere now aren’t they? I agree with others here, a notch at the hem (is there a side seam in this pattern? if not, on the front princess seam notches would be fine), and maybe even a notch on the sleeve. The silk takes it to a new level as is. Well done embellishment on solids or really open prints also can be pretty. I also love your pants. Are they ponte? or a woven? I’m going to assume you made them! 😉

    May I ask to you address a topic? You’ve become such a style icon as well as a sewing icon. I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on fall/winter wardrobe for women in the Deep South. We’ve just finished building our home on Lady’s Island, in SC. I’m baffled as to what to make/wear as we move into fall. Being from the North, my fabric stash is well stocked with wools in every weight and shade of black with a few navy’s and burgundy’s for variety! It all seems a bit of overkill for here. The fashion mag’s/designers and stores all market winter clothing to a world that has snow in the winter. What do Southern women wear November-February? I think this might be an interesting read for all your audience, not just those in the South.
    Thanks, Marji

    • Deborah R Penner
      Posted at 19:27h, 21 September Reply

      The topic of what to wear In warmer climates resonates with me as well. Here in southern KS our winters have gotten shorter and our summers longer and hotter. We also have long, warm autumn seasons. Would to hear more on this topic!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:55h, 23 September Reply

      Marji, Thanks so much for your flattering comment and congratulations on your move! I think you moved from Michigan and can imagine you’ll be making some major wardrobe adjustments! We do like color in the South and combined with the casual lifestyle of coastal living you’re bound to have fun refreshing your wardrobe. I would check out the local clothing stores and take a cue from them for your next wardrobe addition. I see tunics……….. 🙂

  • Alicia @ Pandora Sews
    Posted at 09:41h, 21 September Reply

    My In-Laws are headed to Edisto in October, and I have told my MIL to be on the lookout for the most stylish woman on the Island and tell her I say hello. 😉 Ha!

    The tunic is great. I am sure you will figure out how to make high end tunics, but I do agree with some of the others that it has to have a notched hem. One particular tunic that I love in my collection has a very narrow sleeve cuff with pearl snaps. I adore that detail on that tunic, and I think that is what it all comes down to…the details.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:56h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Alicia! Sadly I’m no longer at Edisto but I hope you In-Laws have fun 🙂 Many thanks for the comment !

  • BasyaSpiliakos
    Posted at 09:42h, 21 September Reply

    Simply lovely, Sarah. I love the print.

    High end? You’re already mostly there by having chosen a quality fabric. To bring it up a level, I’d make a tunic with French seams.

  • maryfunt
    Posted at 09:58h, 21 September Reply

    Looks great on you and I love the pattern. The princess seams and neck options are a plus. Maybe trim at the neck and hems. For this fabric it would need to be very simple. Enjoy the end of a wonderful summer!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:59h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Mary! Finding trim is not easy but I’ll figure it out 🙂

  • Fifty Dresses
    Posted at 10:21h, 21 September Reply

    Very pretty, Sarah. I recently saw a lady in the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, who had on a stunning tunic. I was trying to decipher what made it so eye-catching, and I believe it was the strong contrast between the fabric (navy and white print) and the white trim – wide at the neck opening, with a narrow band of it around the bottom and the sleeve edges. Wish I could have gotten a photo of it…

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:02h, 23 September Reply

      You sound like me trying to take photos of people’s clothes 😉 I can imagine this lovely tunic! Many thanks for the comment, Karen!

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 12:11h, 21 September Reply

    So glad you’re back at the beach with perfect weather and a beautiful new tunic to wear. Everyone else has already mentioned all the special details I admire about the beautiful tunics I see around town. I was at event last night where a woman was wearing one with fine crochet trim with a large scalloped edge and I stared way too long. The types of trim used in RTW are so difficult to source, aren’t they? I’ll have to put tunic trim on the list for that longed-for trip to M&J!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:05h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Julie! It was a lovely weekend for sure! Your comment is spot on – finding appropriate trim and applique. That tunic must have been gorgeous!

  • Elaine
    Posted at 12:22h, 21 September Reply

    Your tunic looks very nice, but as others have suggested, perhaps add more contrast to a future one to get the look you are wanting. As Julie said above, RTW trims are so difficult to source. I can imagine it, but can I find the material and trims to make it? Discovering Mood through your blog was a great help, but there is nothing like seeing and touching. (Yes, I know they will send samples!) Have I thanked you for introducing me to Clinique Runway Coral? Now I can throw all those other lipsticks away. Thanks!

    • Basya
      Posted at 18:20h, 22 September Reply

      Elaine, M&J Trimming ( is wonderful. If you can imagine it, they probably have it.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:07h, 23 September Reply

      LOL! So glad the lipstick worked out 🙂 That’s way more important than sewing a tunic!

  • Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
    Posted at 14:22h, 21 September Reply

    I remember seeing a rich navy blue velvet, or something like that, used for an “evening” tunic. It had glass beading at the neckline though, like view E. I think if you use elegant fabric then your garment is only for evening wear!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:09h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Linda! Glass beading sounds heavenly 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 16:31h, 21 September Reply

    Loving your new tunic top! I’m sure you’ll work something out to take it to the next level.

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 19:54h, 21 September Reply

    Your tunic top is lovely. Love the print. Tunic tops are so flattering. I am sure you will figure out how to make one more upscale although this one is fabulous.

  • Tina D
    Posted at 13:30h, 22 September Reply

    I work at a high end clothing store and we sell tons of tunics! I’ve been seeing a lot of color/print blocking, as well as details like pintucking a front yoke, a crocheted yoke (front and back), henley style neckline with contrast collar, and border prints. It’s all in the details. 🙂

    By the way – I love your blog. I love that you decided to make your clothing rather than just buy buy buy!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:11h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Tina! You’re so right – it’s all in the details 🙂

  • dauentina
    Posted at 13:35h, 22 September Reply

    I work at a high end clothing store and we sell tons of tunics! Our tunics have details like color/print blocking, pintucked front yokes, crochet trim and crochet front and back yokes, border prints and sleeve variations. Henley style necklines also seem to be very popular.

    I love your blog, btw – it’s so inspiring.

  • Kathie Bennett
    Posted at 17:08h, 23 September Reply

    I have one just like this but not as cute! I want your tunic!

  • Ann T.
    Posted at 21:50h, 23 September Reply

    I, too, love tunics. I believe that the key to going high end is to embellish with fancy trim at the neck, sleeves and hem. I have a Pinterest board where I have been collecting examples:

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:12h, 23 September Reply

      What a great Pinterest board! I’m your newest follower 🙂 Many thanks, Ann!

  • Nancy
    Posted at 20:58h, 24 September Reply

    On the site, click on News and go to the second page. Scroll down to the article “Jane of Steel”. One of the women is wearing a black tunic with gold beading that looks very high end to my eye.

  • maryglenn
    Posted at 00:58h, 25 September Reply

    Thank you for your kind comment on my guest Blog for Marcy Tilton. It must be in the air as I am also on a quest for some tunics. I love Ann’s Pinterest Board and have some new ideas to work on. Will post on my Blog soon!

  • mlweaving
    Posted at 09:19h, 25 September Reply

    I was just reading and clicking through some of the tutorials on the Threads site, and came across the tutorial on hand beading a motif. I instantly thought of you and embellishing the yoke of a tunic.
    Personally I’m also partial to the Gretchen Scott tunics, and have been looking at her soutache braid embellishments. Her signature tunic seems to be large graphic prints that are then embellished. I’m thinking the freezer paper technique the Threads article shows for beading would be a good method for transfering a design to stitch down some soutache braid too.

  • Carol
    Posted at 01:35h, 26 September Reply

    Love your blog and energy, thanks for many inspirations from you and from those who post here! Your tunic reminds me of trips to India and Indians’ high-end tunics (“kurtis”) with contrast trim. Another option to kick up tunic style with trim is metallic-enhanced braid, or metallic fabric overlay framing the front slit, and maybe hem. The idea is sheen not glitter. Mood Fabrics has metallic braid gimp trims to highlight edges, and metallic fabrics and laces $12 – $150 a yard, (the guipure laces are amazing but pricey, and they sell out!) A half yard or less for a lace overlay would be plenty; many laces can just be cut to shape and stitched onto the main fabric. Shape of contrast trim matters too – Google kurti images for more ideas. Then copy one of the front-facing photos above into a photo edit software, make the tunic 2 inches longer, and “draw” various curved or straight trim shapes right on your tunic. Happy experimenting!

  • Lorene Storck
    Posted at 01:13h, 01 November Reply

    I have just purchased this pattern and am going to make version D but feel the sleeve is a bit short for me – I notice that your version has a slightly longer sleeve which I like. Did you use the ¾ sleeve and cut it shorter?
    Your version looks great and I love the colour combination. Great job 🙂

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