The New Forty – Garments 22 and 23

10 Aug The New Forty – Garments 22 and 23

Greetings from the amazing Chautauqua Institution! Situated on 750 acres beside the Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, it is one of my favorite summer destinations for culture and enlightenment.

unnamedAlthough clothes and fashion are hardly on the minds of the learned souls who inhabit this lofty sight, I found the trip a perfect opportunity to sew two very different casual pieces both from The Tunic Bible.

Above is a simple tunic made from a sarong purchased at the Roberta Roller Rabbit at Kiawah Island ~ sometimes you just have to think outside the bolt!

sarong     piped neck

IMG_0023I embellished the neckline with piping cut from the border around the front neckline. With built in borders for the sleeves and hem,  I finished the garment quickly.

Since my cute photographer stayed behind on this trip, we took photos of garment #2 before I left.


I haven’t sewn a garment from broadcloth in nearly five years, but this Cynthia Rowley fabric brought broadcloth back into the picture which turns out to be a good fabric choice for one of my favorite neckline and collar combinations from the book. The Wide-Split Placket and Angled Collar  was inspired by some of our favorite Ready-to-Wear tunics, primarily Sail to Sable. This is the first Wide-Split Placket and Angled Collar I’ve made in one year, and fortunately, I’m just as fond of it as when we designed it for the book!

IMG_0010This tunic also features a contrasting 3″ bottom band. By ‘slipping’ the bodice into the band, the garment is weighted and the double layer band needed no interfacing.

IMG_0025 I ordered the fabric from B and J Fabrics immediately upon seeing these cheerful colors ~ two yards for the bodice (though 1 1/2 is sufficient for a sleeveless tunic) and one yard for the contrast. Pre-washing the broadcloth with an extra dose of fabric softener worked miracles and yielded a much softer hand for garment sewing.

Since this fabric is heavier than the first tunic made from a voile, I wanted a slightly closer fit and sewed two long narrow darts in the back bodice. This is just the fit I was looking for; loose enough for a casual fit, yet shapely.


Julie and I experimented with finding the perfect hem length which is totally a personal choice, but the rule of thumb is right above or right below your widest measurement is the most flattering.  For this tunic I opted for right below.


So Dear Readers, I’m totally delighted with the result of this tunic, fabric and all, enough so that I think I should make another.  Now, however,  it is time to live the Chautauqua way of cultivating curiosity and wonder outside of sewing~

Until soon 🙂



  • Caroline Lazzara
    Posted at 16:34h, 10 August Reply

    Really need that book to come out!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:55h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you, Caroline! I hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂

  • Janee Connor
    Posted at 16:48h, 10 August Reply

    Your tunics are both wonderful! You snagged my attention with the mention of Chautauqua – I have a sister-in-law who spends two weeks there most summers. As a matter of fact, she just came back a few days ago, having spent last week there! She absolutely loves it, and hates to leave to come home.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:00h, 10 August Reply

      Many thanks, Janee! This is my third trip and it’s a wonderful place ~wish I could come every summer like your sister 😉

  • Deborah Penner
    Posted at 17:11h, 10 August Reply

    Lovely yellow tunic. Would not have imagined the broadcloth would work so well for a garment.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:02h, 10 August Reply

      You and me both, Deborah ~ and it was a very pleasant surprise 🙂 Many thanks for the comment!

  • Nancy Rosenberg
    Posted at 17:46h, 10 August Reply

    Love your creations and look forward to the book

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:03h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Nancy!

  • Karen G
    Posted at 17:47h, 10 August Reply

    Do your tunics have a zipper closure? They are all beautiful garments.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:04h, 10 August Reply

      The zipper is optional. For a more fitted garment I like the zipper, but this garment does not have one.
      Many thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Jeff Laskowski
    Posted at 17:57h, 10 August Reply

    Wow! You make slacks look great.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:04h, 10 August Reply

      LOL ~ thank you!!

  • Brenda Everett
    Posted at 19:12h, 10 August Reply

    Oh my goodness! Are you at Chautauqua right now? I live about 20 minutes from there and spend as much time there in the summer as I can! Isn’t it an inspirational place? Maybe I will run into you!! BTW love the tunics, too. You have mastered the fit which is something I am still struggling with. Kudos to you and maybe I’ll see ya!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:06h, 10 August Reply

      Hi Brenda!
      Indeed, Chautauqua is such an inspirational place! I am here through the week. Please speak to me if you see me ~ I’ll be wearing a tunic 🙂

      • Brenda Everett
        Posted at 15:13h, 11 August Reply

        I will be attending the ballet/symphony on Friday evening and also the concert on Saturday evening. I will definitely keep my eye out for you! I would love to meet you in person as you have been such an inspiration to my sewing.

        • goodbyevalentino
          Posted at 07:55h, 12 August Reply

          I’ll be there 🙂 🙂 !!

          • Brenda Everett
            Posted at 12:12h, 13 August

            So good to talk to you last night, Sarah! You are just as sweet in person as I had imagined. Too bad we didn’t have more time as I would love to just sit and talk about sewing for awhile! The top I was wearing is McCalls 7390 and pants are Burda 7062-the pants were actually inspired by Julie’s review of them a couple years ago! Funny what a small world it can be, isn’t it? Looking forward to the concert tonight and maybe we’ll run into each other again. I’m hoping you’ll share a copy of the picture, too! If you want to text it to me my cell # is 716-720-3904.

  • Angie
    Posted at 19:19h, 10 August Reply

    We have friends here in the Seattle area who go to Chautauqua every year and rave about it, so this is something on my bucket list. And now I know what to wear once I go! I preordered the Tunic Bible last week, so I’m eager to try the pattern. I, too, like the more shapely fit in the back, so it’s good to see the darted option, especially for crisper fabrics, as you’ve noted. Love the combo of the two reverse prints.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:09h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Angie! This is my third trip to Chautauqua, and its always an enlightening trip. The dress here is very casual and I think tunics are a good choice 😉 Many thanks too for the book pre-order!

  • Martha Town
    Posted at 20:42h, 10 August Reply

    I think I need you book! Love the looks you are creating. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on the book.
    I’m wondering if you use a mannequin to help fit your sewn clothes. If so, what brand do you recommend?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:12h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Martha! I do have a dress form. When I lose 10 pounds and get a flat stomach again, I’ll get a Wolf – the custom made dress form. They are not adjustable 🙁 For now the Singer form works just fine.

  • Karen Mulkey
    Posted at 20:57h, 10 August Reply

    These tunics are both so classy. You definitely look your best in clear-colored garments.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:12h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Karen! I agree with you about the clear colors and they are not so easy to find.

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 22:48h, 10 August Reply

    Love both of the tunics! I’m amazed that the broadcloth looks so nice. Has it stayed soft? If the proper length for tunics is below
    or above your biggest measurement it would be just below my boobs! Cute! Trying to figure out my embroidery/ appliqué machine. You’ll have to get one next year. i realize they grow too fast to put the time into smocking yet. Can’t wait for the book to come out!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:03h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Mary Lynn and thank you for the comment!
      Yes, after soaking in Downy, the fabric is nice and soft. I’m as amazed as you are 🙂 Great idea on the embroidery machine 🙂

  • dorcas
    Posted at 23:38h, 10 August Reply

    I love every single one. Especially the purple and orange one. Duh.


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:04h, 11 August Reply

      Thanks Dorcas! I thought about you as I was sewing the purple and orange Sarong 🙂

  • Jill Morgenstein
    Posted at 00:27h, 11 August Reply

    I hope this question is not redundant…Where can I get the pattern for the High Angle collar tunic?
    You are very inspiring, I love your website. You have gotten me back to my sewing machine. Woo hoo!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:08h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you, Jill! The Angled Collar Tunic is from my book, The Tunic Bible and you can find it here. 🙂

  • Denny Kenny
    Posted at 02:38h, 11 August Reply

    Love the tunics – look so fresh and lovely. As for the white pants – they are fabulous and really make your colours pop. Did you make the pants and if so which pattern?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:10h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Denny! The pants are Ready to Wear, but since I bought them I was introduced to the Jalie Eleanore jeans pattern which I have sewn twice, and recommend 🙂

  • Lynsey
    Posted at 03:20h, 11 August Reply

    Both look great on, I like the idea of thinking outside the bolt, I have some beautiful scarves I rarely wear. The tunics are fab and the fit is very flattering

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:13h, 11 August Reply

      Large scarves make great garments because they often include borders and finished hems 😉 Many thanks for the comment Lynsey!

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 09:07h, 11 August Reply

    Well yes, love both tunics……not sure which one I like best, I immediately gravitate to the yellow/white one….with the stand up collar…but to use a scarf was brilliant….such good use of the borders….now when does your book come out???

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:49h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Laura! The book is released on October 1. 🙂

  • Michele Brunskill
    Posted at 09:41h, 11 August Reply

    Beautiful tops. Love the first one for it’s colours but I do love the second one for it’s mix of colour patterns. Cheers, Michele

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:53h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Michele! The first one is so simple that it’s difficult to compare it to the sleeveless tunic. I’m delighted I have two new tops that both worked out nicely 🙂

  • Ruth
    Posted at 11:10h, 11 August Reply

    Summery, happy tunics. Your white jeans are a prefect foil for the colours.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:54h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you, Ruth! There is nothing like a good pair of white jeans for the summer 🙂 🙂

  • Angela
    Posted at 11:35h, 11 August Reply

    Beautiful garments as always! I look forward to new posts – and preordered the tunic book long ago. 🙂 Does your coauthor Julie have a blog also?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:55h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you so much for the comment and book order, Angela! Julie does not have a blog, however she has a huge presence on the Pattern Review Website 😉

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 15:30h, 11 August Reply

    I am itching to get that Tunic book!! Love them both!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:56h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Cindy! Thank you so much 🙂

  • Jennefer Penfold
    Posted at 16:05h, 11 August Reply

    Love your blog and your tunics! I’ve got the book on order for shipment as soon as it is available. Can’t wait to try some tunics myself. They seem to me to be the perfect travel top!! Many thanks for all the wonderful ideas and fitting/construction tips!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:57h, 11 August Reply

      Many thanks for the comment and the book order, Jennefer! Would you believe I packed a tunic to wear everyday for my trip this week?

  • Barbara Hewitt
    Posted at 16:21h, 11 August Reply

    I love reading your blog. Your personal garments are wonderful. great ideas, great workmanship and creative fabrics. It always gives me ideas for my own personal sewing. Even if I’m in the middle of sewing for four granddaughters that are fashion forward.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:59h, 11 August Reply

      LOL ~ I rely on my daighters to keep me straight with clothes. I can only imagine fashion forward granddaughters!
      Many thanks for the comment, Barbara 🙂

  • Kathy Russell
    Posted at 00:42h, 12 August Reply

    Love your tunic’s . Very inspiring. Just pre-ordered your book and cannot wait for it to come out.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:48h, 12 August Reply

      Thank you so much Kathy for your comment and book order!

  • Debi
    Posted at 16:11h, 12 August Reply

    Everything you post is so beautiful…as are you! You have inspired me to start sewing again. i am not the greatest but i hope to get back into it again. i think my biggest hang up is fabric…never sure what is right…any suggestions on how to learn more about fabric? thanks and enjoy your week in Chautauqua…i have heard of it and can only imagine how wonderful it would be to visit!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:57h, 15 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Debi! I was not so great when I picked up garment sewing five years ago after a long break. Part was lack of confidence, but the more you sew the better you get 😉
      Mood Fabrics has a great encyclopedia type book on fabrics that you might find helpful. Good luck with your sewing!!

  • Eleanor Pollack
    Posted at 23:33h, 12 August Reply

    You and Julie have created some beautiful tunics. Looking forward to your book. I’m hoping I spotted you out of the corner of my eye walking toward the back of the Antheneum during intermission for the Charlotte Ballet this evening. Tomorrow night’s performance with Joshua Bell & Chris Botti… I have had the pleasure of visiting a friend from Jr High at Chautauqua many times over the years. Always a treat and a tug of the heart when we must miss…

  • Cynthia Gilbreth
    Posted at 17:28h, 13 August Reply

    Both tunics look absolutely great on you, but I really like the yellow with the coordinating fabric. I preordered the book and can’t wait for it to come!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:55h, 15 August Reply

      Thank you so much for the comment and book order, Cynthia!
      Obviously the yellow is more involved that the first one, but both turned out as I hoped 🙂

  • KathieBennett
    Posted at 08:47h, 15 August Reply

    Your tunics just get better and better! I love both of these but that yellow one is simply fabulous.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:53h, 15 August Reply

      Thank you, Kathie!

  • Rosemary
    Posted at 11:07h, 17 August Reply

    Beautiful, summery and cheerful – love them! I was just in Nantucket and I would have loved wearing something like this – everyone dresses up in happy colors there! I saw that your book will have great variations in length and style – can’t wait til it comes out!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:59h, 18 August Reply

      Thank you so much, Rosemary! Nothing like happy colors for vacations 😉

  • neucarol
    Posted at 10:24h, 20 September Reply

    Good tip on prewashing and using fabric softener, Thanx for the reminder.

    Posted at 13:18h, 24 September Reply

    i’m from Italy and i’m very happy to have discovered that blog!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:16h, 17 October Reply

      Thank you so much, Miriam!

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