White Polka Dot Voile!


27 Apr White Polka Dot Voile!

Greetings from the nation’s number one wedding destination spot, Charleston, SC!


Hubs and I are in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, just across the bridge from Charleston. We’re staying in an inn above one of our favorite restaurants and attending a wedding in a historic home on the Ashley River.

So is there anything better to wear while strolling amidst the gentle breezes and tree-lined streets of this charming city than a white cotton voile tunic?


The tunic was a work in progress beginning with my own pattern and this delightful polka dot cotton voile from Mood Fabrics. After cutting the bodice I knew it needed to be lined or worn with a camisole. I chose to underline the bodice with a white poly-cotton voile from Mood found here.

The poly-cotton voile lining is light, sheer, wrinkle resistant, and provided much needed body to the giant polka dot fabric. Experimenting with the collar led me to try a light-weight linen from the stash, which provided a gentle contrast to the polka dot voile.

Originally I planned to use the polka-dot voile for the sleeves until I noticed a scrap of the lining lying next to the bodice. It was a much appreciated aha moment and the rest fell into place!


I anchored the sleeves with linen cuffs and repeated the linen in the lower bands to provide continuity. Since I prefer my tunics slightly fitted, I added an invisible zipper in the side seam,


but the original back darts were omitted as they interfered with the fabric design, leaving the back slightly loose.


It seems a lesson appears in nearly every sewing project, and this one was all about the importance of contrasts. I’ve always thought of contrast in terms of color – black/white or blue/red etc…. rather than texture, but no more! It’s time to wake up from the obvious and notice the beauty of subtlety at every juncture 🙂


Until soon.

PS……. the polka dot voile also comes in turquoise!


  • Susie
    Posted at 09:02h, 27 April Reply

    How lovely and summery! Love it. A “fitted tunic” seems a bit of an oxymoron, though. 😉

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:05h, 27 April Reply

      LOL- There’s a variation on every type of garment these days 🙂
      Many thanks for the comment, Susie!

  • Alethia Hudson
    Posted at 09:05h, 27 April Reply

    Outstanding, LOVE it!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:17h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Alethia!

  • suzanne landau
    Posted at 09:16h, 27 April Reply

    like the fact that you added shape with the side seams and zip so you could omit the darting in the back. what did you wear for the wedding though?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:18h, 27 April Reply

      Thanks, Suzanne! I wore my new two-piece DVF lace dress 🙂

  • Jackie Holstrom
    Posted at 09:22h, 27 April Reply

    Really gorgeous!!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:24h, 27 April Reply

      Many thanks, Jackie 🙂

  • Sarah Jo Harris
    Posted at 09:28h, 27 April Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:24h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Sarah Jo!

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 10:04h, 27 April Reply

    I love the sleeves done in the lining! It would only be while sewing it up that I would have realized that the polka dots in the sleeves would have been just “too much” of a good thing. This highlights the polka dots but provides a break from them as well! Well done!! Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:23h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Cindy! I got lucky by tossing the lining or I would be wearing long polka dot sleeves 🙂

  • Alicia @ Pandora Sews
    Posted at 10:13h, 27 April Reply

    You are making me miss Charleston something terrible. Dinners on Shem Creek and drives down River Road by the plantations, and don’t even get me started on Sullivan’s Island!!! Your tunic is beautiful and perfect for a weekend in Charleston!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:22h, 27 April Reply

      Alicia – My daughter misses Charleston terribly and was there this weekend for the wedding. Each and every area is unique. Many thanks for your nice comment!

  • Eleanor Schreyer
    Posted at 10:16h, 27 April Reply

    I liked that you omitted the back darts. You are so right that it would have ruined the back…after all we are not paper dolls! Now your back is just as perfect as the front! Great designing with your fabric. Love the “whole” tunic.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:19h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Eleanor! I basted the back darts twice before deciding to go without. So glad you thought it was a good decision too 🙂

  • Gayle
    Posted at 10:39h, 27 April Reply

    Wonderful tunic! Did you French seam the sleeves? How did you keep the seams from showing on the joins to the sleeves – cuff to sleeve, sleeve to body?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:41h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Gayle! Yes, I French seamed the sleeves. After attaching the sleeves to the shoulders, I pressed the seams towards the shoulders and tacked into place 🙂

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 10:40h, 27 April Reply

    Love the combination of fabrics; you have such a good eye. The collar is really great! How did you do that? What ever happened
    about your dress form? Isn’t Mt. Pleasant great for shopping? Which it weren’t such a hike from Kiawah.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:43h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Mary Lynn! I used a traditional collar technique and topstitched after attaching it to the neckline.
      I was so busy with wedding activities that I didn’t shop – AT ALL!

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 10:58h, 27 April Reply

    Such a beautiful version of a tunic. I love it! I also agree with comments by others about contrast. The steerer sleeves really make the polka dot voile stand out. I also learn so much from you & love reading your blog

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:19h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you so much, Mary Ellen for you nice comment! I think we’re all learning together here 🙂

  • Becky
    Posted at 11:01h, 27 April Reply

    This is perfection, really! All of the elements come together in a beautiful way. Great work!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:19h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Becky! I am quite pleased 😉

  • Beth (SunnyGalStudio)
    Posted at 11:18h, 27 April Reply

    very pretty. I was not a big fan of tunic tops but then I made one and they are so nice to wear. Lovely version in white.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:23h, 27 April Reply

      Beth, Thank you for your comment! To me, a tunic is not only nice to wear but can be fashionable as well! 🙂

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 11:19h, 27 April Reply

    Maybe my favorite tunic you’ve made so far — but I have loved all of them. This is so crisp and summery looking. Your variety of texures make it even more special.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:24h, 27 April Reply

      I think this may be my favorite tunic to date as well! Many thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Joan
    Posted at 11:46h, 27 April Reply

    Beautiful job — you look fabulous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:26h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Joan!

  • BeckyPearson
    Posted at 11:48h, 27 April Reply

    That is just perfect! I love the fabric contrasts. I never would have thought to use linen for the collar. I think I need some of that in turquoise!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:26h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Becky!….. I think the turquoise is beautiful 🙂

  • Sharon Hughes
    Posted at 11:51h, 27 April Reply

    Love it on you. Perfect fit and look! I think of all the tunic you’ve made this is my favorite.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:27h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Sharon! This may be my favorite too!

  • Virginia
    Posted at 11:58h, 27 April Reply

    You hit a homerun on your quest for the perfect tunic. The fabric is lovely. I think the light and airy fabrics suit tunics best.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:11h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Virginia! I’m learning a lot on this quest for sure. I think many weights can work depending on the fit, but heavier weights can look a little dowdy if you’re not careful 🙂

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 13:56h, 27 April Reply

    Another lovely project!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:28h, 27 April Reply

      Many thanks, Bernadette!

  • Lori
    Posted at 14:38h, 27 April Reply

    This is such a pretty tunic, you have this mastered

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:28h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you, Lori! I’m working on it………..;)

  • Anne Havard
    Posted at 14:58h, 27 April Reply

    You have done a beautiful job. Perfect choice of fabrics.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:29h, 27 April Reply

      Many thanks, Anne!

  • Rhoda K
    Posted at 15:02h, 27 April Reply

    So very pretty and summery!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:11h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Rhoda!

  • Fran
    Posted at 15:19h, 27 April Reply

    It’s gorgeous!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:11h, 28 April Reply

      Many thanks, Fran 🙂

  • Grace
    Posted at 15:50h, 27 April Reply

    Beautiful choice of fabric! It looks so comfortable and elegant.
    I would love to know a bit more about your pattern. Did you draft it from scratch using your own measurements or is it’s genesis in another pattern?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:13h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Grace! The pattern has evolved through several commercial patterns. Eventually – with pattern paper and measuring tools I created my own, but I’m always tweaking here and there 😉

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 15:58h, 27 April Reply

    You can never go astray with polka dots! Just lovely!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:14h, 28 April Reply

      Totally agree, Karen 🙂 Many thanks!

  • Vicki Maiorano
    Posted at 17:04h, 27 April Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:14h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Vicky!

  • Lisa bartup
    Posted at 17:18h, 27 April Reply

    that Is a lovely tunic is the pattern available to buy?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:24h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Lisa! It is not commercially reproduced.

  • Claire
    Posted at 17:19h, 27 April Reply

    Lucky you kicking off the wedding season with sunny weather in one of the best cities on earth! I have loved all your tunics, but this one is my favorite. White is so elegant. Plus, the linen appears so crisp in the photos and not at all wrinkly. Do you think you can attribute the lack of wrinkles to the underlining?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:27h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Claire! The underlining is very compatible to the other fabrics and in my opinion prevents much of the wrinkling. The linen cuffs and collar were interfaced and the lower band is long enough to not wrinkle after sitting 🙂

  • Charlene Greyard
    Posted at 18:29h, 27 April Reply

    Oh, Charleston, my Camelot! We visit every chance we get! You are so elegant in everything you wear and you will create a sensation in this tunic! It is so gorgeous, I wish I could buy it!! Lol! Have a wonderful time. Thanks for more inspiration to try new and beautiful things! How I wish I could make my own patterns!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:28h, 28 April Reply

      You and me both, Charlene – I love Charleston! Thank you for such a lovely comment 🙂

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 18:56h, 27 April Reply

    Great tunic, Sarah! The fabrics compliment each other perfectly. Great choices!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:28h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you Dorcas!

  • Barbara
    Posted at 18:58h, 27 April Reply

    Beautiful tunic. I love the shear sleeves. I am fairly new to sewing and would like to try something like this. How do you treat the seams around the arm hole so the fabric does not fray?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:29h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! After attaching the sleeves I finished the seams on the serger 😉

  • Aura Oriano
    Posted at 19:18h, 27 April Reply

    Love the fitted tunic! I never have thought of doing a side zip for a tunic, thus I end up with shapeless tunics pushed to the back of the closet. You’ve given me a light-bulb moment!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:32h, 28 April Reply

      Aha! Almost all of the Tory Burch and Sail to Sable tunics have a side zipper therefore allowing the tunic to be shaped. Many thanks for the comment Aura 🙂

  • Linda LaMona
    Posted at 19:28h, 27 April Reply

    That is very pretty tunic. Love the dots.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:29h, 28 April Reply

      Many thanks, Linda!

  • Lisa Laree
    Posted at 19:55h, 27 April Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:23h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Lisa!

  • Myra
    Posted at 21:37h, 27 April Reply

    Very pretty and stylish! Love your details!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:22h, 28 April Reply

      Myra – So nice to hear from you and many thanks for the comment!

  • Joyce Love
    Posted at 21:37h, 27 April Reply

    You’ve reached it – Tunic Nirvana!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:22h, 28 April Reply

      Tunic Nirvana!!!!!! Now that’s a new one 🙂

  • Deborah Penner
    Posted at 22:25h, 27 April Reply

    Not a fan of tunics but love the fabric. Will check into the turquoise version of this fabric.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:21h, 28 April Reply

      OK! It should be work well for lots of garments.

  • Joy
    Posted at 23:14h, 27 April Reply

    Very nice! I loved hearing about how your design process evolved so “organically” as you were cutting and sewing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:19h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Joy! I took a different approach to this garment and decided to go with the flow rather than having the entire garment planned. This time it worked 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 23:48h, 27 April Reply

    So elegant! I love the texture mixture – stunning!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:17h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn! I hope more texture mixing is in my future 🙂

  • Becry bagwell
    Posted at 07:11h, 28 April Reply

    Love this!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:16h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Becky!

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 07:36h, 28 April Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous, Sarah! You make a great point – a subtle contrast can be just as powerful as a more obvious one. This tunic looks perfect for a warm, relaxing day, and I’m glad you’re enjoying your time in SC! Beautiful job on this project, as always.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:16h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment, Carolyn! I live in SC, but not on the coast line 😉
      Anyhow, its warm where I live and perfect tunic weather!

  • Lori Anne
    Posted at 13:38h, 28 April Reply

    I love your blog and your courage to sew for yourself! My daughter wants me to make her a white voile ruffled skirt similar to one from Garnet Hill. I’ve been looking at 100% cotton voile fabric, but I’m wondering if you think this poly/cotton voile would work as well for that purpose? I know she’d love not having to iron it as much!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:54h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Lori Anne! I took a look at the Garnet Hill skirt and though I’m sure it’s cotton voile since the manufacturer says it is, it doesn’t look as sheer as voile. The poly cotton voile is very sheer and while it’s prone not to wrinkle excessively it will need to be ironed on occasion and sometimes polyester is tempermental to heat. I suggest ordering a sample to check it out. Good luck!!

  • Sewellen
    Posted at 14:36h, 28 April Reply

    Lovely lovely! I love Charleston, just spent spring break at Isle of Palms, I love that area, Great tennis at Wild Dunes! Your top is another beautiful creation!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:56h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Sewellen! I too, love everything about Charleston – such a pity that lovely trips must come to an end 😉

  • Sharon kane
    Posted at 18:14h, 28 April Reply

    Lovely tunic and perfect for Mt. Pleasant. While there visit Mt. Pleasant National Golf Course. It’s a great course and I have it on good authority the owner’s wife is a excellent sewist!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:20h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you, Sharon! We are in the Charleston area fairly often and I will certainly check out MP National Golf Course 🙂

      • Sharon kane
        Posted at 07:48h, 29 April Reply

        Correction, Sarah, It’s Charleston National Golf Course in Mt Pleasant.

  • Nancy
    Posted at 22:37h, 28 April Reply

    Another beautiful garment. I love it and the orange pants too. Don’t you love how comfortable and elegant tunics can be? I’m really beginning to embrace them. Enjoy Charleston – I’ve never been there but one day …..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:15h, 29 April Reply

      Thank you, Nancy! I do love the comfort of tunics, as well as the versatility. You MUST go to Charleston. 🙂

  • Cindy C.
    Posted at 22:37h, 28 April Reply

    The fabric spoke to you and you listened. Utterly gorgeous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:16h, 29 April Reply

      LOL – very true! I need to listen more often rather than making the fabric listen to me 😉
      Many thank, Cindy!

  • Sonia Carreon
    Posted at 11:39h, 29 April Reply

    Lovely pairing of White top and orange pants… What fabric is your pants.. thanks

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:25h, 29 April Reply

      Thank you, Sonia 🙂 The pants are Kate Spade jeans purchased in 2013.

  • Wrenaissance Art
    Posted at 17:46h, 29 April Reply

    That tunic is gorgeous–like you said, texture mixes are just as interesting as color mixes.
    White tunics for summer are so classic, I’m sure you’ll be reaching for this one a lot! 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:25h, 29 April Reply

      Many thanks! I hope to wear this one through the summer 🙂 🙂

  • Sew, Jean Margaret
    Posted at 07:44h, 30 April Reply

    Gorgeous Tunic! This will go with so many things and always look fresh.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:03h, 30 April Reply

      Thank you, Jean!

  • Carol de Villiers
    Posted at 11:53h, 02 May Reply

    I love tunics and this one is an absolute beauty! Well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:59h, 15 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Carol!

  • Fiona
    Posted at 09:47h, 06 May Reply

    Love the tunic, I think your design choices make for a lovely dressier version of a classic shape. I contacted you a while ago to say you had inspired me to try out a pattern and I’m proud to say I have now made 2 skirts for my children! I started with a very simple pattern (Buda 8237) and then slightly more detailed, (Burda 9480)
    Delighted with the results and to discover that I can actually follow a pattern! One day I will attempt something for me.
    Thanks once again for the inspiration!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:00h, 15 June Reply

      Hi Fiona! Thank you for this nice comment 😉 Now you MUST make something for yourself!

  • Super Mom - No Cape!
    Posted at 17:13h, 12 May Reply

    I love this top! I reminds me of a couple of tunics I made in the 70s (dating myself here.) Yours is a much classier version though. I really like the v-neck line as that is what’s most flattering on me.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:00h, 15 June Reply

      Many thanks, Super Mom! Tunics have come a long way from the 70s, huh? 😉

  • Ginge Wise
    Posted at 05:34h, 21 June Reply

    Love this tunic. Will this pattern be in your new book? Also, can you recommend a good tunic pattern that I can use before your book is published? I have already ordered it but it will not be released until Novermber.

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