Tory Burch Reimagined

27 Sep Tory Burch Reimagined

In 2015 one of the publisher rejections we received for The Tunic Bible came from a woman who told me the tunic look was on its way out – especially The Tory Burch style with trimmed and decorative plackets. She went on to tell me the book proposal seemed more appropriate for a magazine article.

You can’t argue with someone whose mind is made up, but I knew she was wrong. The tunic is the original garment and it will never go out of style.

You can imagine my delight upon seeing this image and caption on the Tory Burch website two weeks ago.

“This dress is an update to our signature tunic. The longer length and asymmetrical hem look great with tall boots.” — Tory  


Greetings 😊

I’m not going to argue with Tory Burch, and often look to her for fashion guidance. Tory found the tunic pictured below at a Paris flea market. It was the first silhouette in her collection which she still considers to be the quintessential wardrobe staple, epitomizing chic and effortless dressing.

It’s true – her empire  started with a tunic.

I was immediately inspired to update the The Tunic Bible pattern by adding  an asymmetrical hem and a little volume to the sleeves.

Maybe I cheated a bit, but I found a pattern in my stash with an asymmetrical hem. I cut out the pattern, matched the waistline and traced the new pattern piece. It was that easy.

What wasn’t easy was finding fabric. The Tory Burch tunic is made of polyester. I haven’t seen the actual garment, but I’m guessing it is a crepe or twill. I browsed every fabric website I could find, and eventually settled on this Black & White Floral Polyester Woven from Mood Fabrics.At $7.99 /yard I didn’t know what to expect, but was delighted when I opened the box. The fabric weight is substantial and has a texture similar to a man’s necktie. I really love it.

Since I’ve made approximately 45 tunics and have a go-to muslin, the process went quickly. Most of my decisions were design related.

Should I add back darts? I did not. I believe the spirt of this tunic dress is free flowing, and it did not need a fitted back.
How full to make the sleeves? I began to flare the sleeve pattern just above the elbow. I wanted just enough fullness to gather at the wrists with elastic.
 Which placket? How long to make the trim? I used the Inside Facing Wide Split Placket from The Tunic Bible  and embellished it with two widths of Black Petersham Ribbon. I extended the smaller and outer ribbon to the waist to avoid drawing the eye to the bust.

Since inside of the dress shows due to the asymmetrical hem, I used French seams throughout the garment.  I also used a narrow hem to avoid disrupting the flow of the fabric.

It’s been a while since I’ve sewn a tunic, but I’ll never stop as long as  I’m attracted to $500 polyester tunics 😊

Until soon!



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  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 07:23h, 27 September Reply

    Looks fabulous!!! I remember when you told me publishers thought the tunic was “outdated.” It’s a classic and can be varied in so many ways (as you’ve demonstrated) that it will never get old. The longer length paired with boots is perfect for fall.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:34h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you, Mary! Yes, that rejection taught me to trust my instincts. I too love this longer length and fuller sleeve – Tunics reign 😊

  • Madeline Rodriguez
    Posted at 07:27h, 27 September Reply

    Love that one! I will have to try it.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:34h, 27 September Reply

      Go for it Madeline – it was a fun one to make! Many thanks for your comment 😊

  • Mary Frances Giattina
    Posted at 07:55h, 27 September Reply

    You nailed it! Love “window-shopping” Tory Burch emails, and the weight and design of your fabric is perfect for us here on the Gulf Coast. Looking forward to your next inspiration 🌴

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:59h, 27 September Reply

      Thanks so much, Mary Frances! Window shopping has definitely been redefined, and I love the new definition. The weight of this fabric is just what I was looking for, and I’m not sure why I had such a problem finding it. 🤔

  • PatB
    Posted at 07:57h, 27 September Reply

    Perfect, just what I need. I love everything about this dress. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:01h, 27 September Reply

      My pleasure, Pat, and many thanks for your comment! Finding that photo was truly one of those light bulb moments for me 😊

  • Gail Cunningham
    Posted at 08:45h, 27 September Reply

    This dress with those boots just hit the nail on the head! I didn’t know I needed to make an asymetrical dress until I saw it on you! My attempts to order this fabric off the Mood website keep reverting to “empty cart”…I’m assuming we readers are all trying to purchase at the same time, causing this glitch! And now, to get back to the Mood website before that fabric is sold out…

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:48h, 27 September Reply

      I didn’t know I needed an asymmetrical dress either, Gail! Funny how that happens… Good luck with the fabric. When I posted the photo and link this morning there were over 100 yards available. 😊

    • Marion Masullo
      Posted at 11:47h, 28 September Reply

      Dear Sarah, anohter fabulos dress! Yes your are right! The tunic ist the “mother” of the dresses. And you can interpret this in so many ways!!!! Also in a very elegant! Greatings Marion, mmideaeopera

  • Margene Yeaton
    Posted at 08:48h, 27 September Reply

    Absolutely FABULOUS!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:49h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Margene! Tory’s tunic took me by surprise and I’m grateful for her inspiration 😊

  • Marie Barrese
    Posted at 08:48h, 27 September Reply

    Love your new take on the tunic! What do publishers know???

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:51h, 27 September Reply

      Ha Ha Ha – I do wonder about that sometimes😊 Thanks so much for your comment, Marie – lovely to hear from you!

  • Mary Schulz
    Posted at 08:59h, 27 September Reply

    I’m so thankful you found the right publisher for your inspiring book! This version of the tunic with new hemline is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this new version of the classic tunic!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:10h, 27 September Reply

      My pleasure, Mary! It is always a thrill to share my inspirations in hope that they will inspire others 😊 Leave it to Tory to reimagine the classics!

  • Patty Dorion
    Posted at 09:27h, 27 September Reply

    I am SOOO glad you never gave up on publishing The Tunic Bible. The tunic is one of my go to styles. Your version of the Tory Burch is fantastic. Thank you for keeping the classics alive!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:12h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you, Patty! Classic sewing is here to stay, and I believe tunics will maintain a prominent place among classic garments 😊😊

  • Kelly M.
    Posted at 09:35h, 27 September Reply

    What a great looking dress! I have your book on my Christmas “wish list”. I can’t wait for Santa!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:13h, 27 September Reply

      Many thanks, Kelly! I hope Santa is good to you this year 🤞

  • Mimi Langford
    Posted at 09:37h, 27 September Reply

    Wow! Great for fall 🍂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:14h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you, Mimi!

  • Linda LaMona
    Posted at 09:40h, 27 September Reply

    This is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this as I find it inspirational; I appreciate the details on how you did this.!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:15h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Linda. I plan to follow up with a post on several of the details 😊

  • Becky Thompson
    Posted at 09:53h, 27 September Reply

    That’s just lovely. What fabric(s) so you recommend? I made a tunic top from a linen and it was almost too stiff with too much body. Would a challis be better? ~Becky

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:19h, 27 September Reply

      Many thanks, Becky! I’ve made tunics with every imaginable fabric. When using a heavier linen I go for a more fitted tunic, but with this tunic the polyester twill was ideal! Challis would be great too as long as it is not transparent 😊

  • Marolyn Sayre-Smith
    Posted at 10:17h, 27 September Reply

    You look wonderful in that sty and especially the colors. What a winner!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:20h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Carolyn! This one is a keeper for sure 😊

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 10:43h, 27 September Reply

    Glad you persevered with your book project rather than listen to naysayers. Bravo!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:21h, 27 September Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Bernadette 😊 This was one idea I wasn’t about to give up on!

  • Fleur Bernasochi
    Posted at 11:06h, 27 September Reply

    Hi, I also have recently modified my favourite tunic pattern to update its style. I splayed the sleeves and added wide elastic at 3/4 length and removed the slit at front neck to form a round neck. I then lowered this neckline by 1cm, enough so it would go over my head, and then edged the neck with. 1cm self bias binding. I am very happy with the result. When you have a pattern that you know fits well it is always worth modifying it rather than starting afresh with a whole new pattern. Thanks for sharing. Fleur

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:23h, 27 September Reply

      You are so right, Fleur! We should hang on to those patterns that work for us😉 Many thanks for the comment!

  • Pam Ellen Hudson
    Posted at 11:42h, 27 September Reply

    I love rejection stories from publishers. It’s fun to laugh now! Probably not so great in the moment! This is a great look and super idea about supplementing with existing pattern pieces from stash. You are looking gorgeous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:55h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Pam! I laugh at that comment all of the time (NOW!)😂

  • helen mcintyre
    Posted at 11:54h, 27 September Reply

    I love yours more that the Tory Birch tunic! It looks great on you! I have had the Tunic Bible for a while and have yet to make a tunic!
    This longer length may have inspired me to pull the book out and really get into fitting and making one of these! You do such splendid work!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:58h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you for buying The Tunic Bible! The hardest part is getting started, but once that muslin fits, you’re good to go for numerous tunic projects 😊 It never occurred to me to add an asymmetrical hemline…… leave it to Tory!

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 12:19h, 27 September Reply

    What a great make, love the changes you made to hem and sleeves. Have a couple of polyester makes…fine when it’s cooler. Yep, no need for back darts……this would be beautiful long using a light cotton, perfect for an island retreat……..
    See, very versatile….just as you said…..”A clothing standard” indeed.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 12:26h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you, Laura! I credit Tory Burch with all of the changes! I LOVE your idea of a lightweight cotton 😊

      • Laura Casey
        Posted at 15:25h, 27 September Reply

        A Couple of questions 1) When you make a muslin of a pattern (such as your tunic pattern) do you not use the finished muslin as your permanent pattern? Or do you retrace on paper for future use?
        2) How did you get that enhanced picture of you at the end? Is that just the camera, or is it a program…..?
        PS: you’re always enhanced in my book!

        • goodbyevalentino
          Posted at 15:50h, 27 September Reply

          I’ve done both with the muslin, but generally I’ll use the muslin to trace a new pattern piece so I don’t get confused with all of the markings.

          The picture at the end…… This was a camera malfunction! Even though it was 1:00 PM, everything went dark when my husband shot the picture. When we lightened it to see what it looked like, we loved the dramatic coloring. It looks like it is dark outside doesn’t it? .We couldn’t do that again if we tried 😂

  • Mary
    Posted at 12:36h, 27 September Reply

    Love, love, love! Thank you for this post, Laura.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 12:40h, 27 September Reply

      You are so welcome, Mary and thank you for the comment 😊

  • robin
    Posted at 13:14h, 27 September Reply

    Long live the tunic! Which has been in existence since the bible days–even Jesus wore tunics. I bought your Tunic Bible months ago and I am in the process of creating a tunic sloper. I’m liking this longer length with the asymetrical hemline. Thinking of lots of sleeve and hemline variations.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:27h, 27 September Reply

      Indeed, Robin – long live the tunic!! Many thanks for buying The Tunic Bible and I hope to see some of your tunics!😊😊

  • Francesca Passalacqua
    Posted at 16:25h, 27 September Reply

    Hah! Vindication. The tunic is a classic that has endless possibilities. Your book is my go-to for comfort and style. I hope you can come back to Honolulu and do another workshop when it’s safe to do those things again. Meanwhile we have your blog to keep us stimulated and inspired.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:42h, 27 September Reply

      Success is the best revenge so they say 😉
      I would love, LOVE, L O V E to come back to Honolulu! Thanks so much for your great comment, Francesca and also for your support of The Tunic Bible!

  • SusanKelley
    Posted at 17:07h, 27 September Reply

    ANTHER GOOD INSPIRATIONAL POST. ALWAYS ENJOY WHAT YOU PRESENT.Now if my production would just keep up with my appetite, I would be in good shape.It is only beginning to get slightly cooler here in N.E> Fla. I see boots so you must be cooler up your way. Stay safe and keep on posting!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:06h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you, Susan! I’m not quite ready for boots in SC but it won’t be long! I identify with the entire appetite comment. The pandemic has done a number on my waistline 😩

  • Molly Hayden
    Posted at 18:32h, 27 September Reply

    I was wondering when we would see another Tunic Bible creation. They have become my favorite TNT and I share your book recommendation frequently with friends and students. Now I have another great pattern change to add to the list. Thank you again!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:13h, 27 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Molly! I too love The Tunic Bible and so appreciate your support and recommendation of the book to others.! It’s always fun to make another tunic and especially so, after being inspired by Tory’s most recent update.. Her latest was just what I needed! 😉 Many thanks again.

  • Gayle
    Posted at 21:42h, 27 September Reply

    You look fantastic in this Sarah!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 04:39h, 28 September Reply

      Thanks so much, Gayle! I’ve never owned a dress with an asymmetrical hem, so it’s a departure from the usual silhouette.😉

  • Alethia Y Hudson
    Posted at 21:50h, 27 September Reply

    This is absolutely beautiful and chic! The print you chose for your version is great! Kudos to you for not backing down on your vision.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 04:41h, 28 September Reply

      Hi Alethia! – So nice to hear from you 😊 I lucked out with the fabric for sure. Backing down was not an option for The Tunic Bible!

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 23:35h, 27 September Reply

    It’s fabulous, Sarah! You’ve done it again… 😊

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 04:43h, 28 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Karen! I wish we could go back and add all of the latest variations to the book …….

      • Alania Sheeley
        Posted at 11:08h, 28 September Reply

        What about a book with supplement styling/patterns? Sort of an “add on”. Independent pattern makers do this all the time. You might want to reach out to Rae Cumbie or Pamela Leggett; both are members of ASG.

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 05:24h, 28 September Reply

    Lovely post, it reminds me of publishers who rejected J.K, Rowling who wrote Harry Potter!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 28 September Reply

      Thank you, Cynthia! I do love the J,K. Rowling story 😊

  • Alania Sheeley
    Posted at 11:11h, 28 September Reply

    Sarah, to determine the amount of yardage needed for this style, would a good rule of thumb be to use the maxi dress yardage option with long sleeves? I have a student that is working on perfecting her muslin for The Tunic Bible and Sew Many Dresses, So Little Time so she can design off them. She loves you and Julie’s classic style.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:03h, 28 September Reply

      So lovely to know, Alania! Yes, I would order enough fabric for a long sleeve maxi tunic!
      Many thanks and good luck to your student 😊

  • Ellen Miller
    Posted at 11:17h, 28 September Reply

    I love the new style lines for your tunic! Every good style deserves an update now and again.
    I’m so glad you persevered as I love The Tunic Bible.
    xo, Ellen

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:04h, 28 September Reply

      Thank you so much ,Ellen! What a great way to look at it, and I couldn’t agree more 😊

  • Marie in AZ
    Posted at 13:56h, 28 September Reply

    Hi, Sarah–I’ve been sewing since I was 9 years old (a looong time ago!), and your comment, “What wasn’t easy was finding fabric.,” really hit home with me. Not being able to find fabrics I want to use is the SOLE reason I stopped sewing. I am not comfortable ordering fabrics online, and what we have in our local shops, quite frankly, is not to my taste. Oh, how I miss Sakowitz’ fabric department and the quality fabric shops from my long-ago early adulthood on the east coast. I am 5′ tall, and I continue to alter RTW, but honestly, it has become a tiresome chore because everything I buy needs some sort of alteration. I admire your patience and diligence toward achieving the perfect fit! Maybe I’ll get that “sewing spark” back, but for now, I admire yours! Thanks for all your wonderful posts.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:07h, 28 September Reply

      Marie ~ Thank you for your comment, but I was sad to read you quit sewing because you’re uncomfortable ordering fabric online. You can find anything you want and many stores offer samples. Stay tuned for my next post 😉

  • Helen McCleneghen
    Posted at 08:43h, 29 September Reply

    Sarah, what butterick dress bottom did you use for the bottom?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:14h, 29 September Reply

      Helen, I used Butterick 6050, but only because it happened to be in my stash. 😉

  • Becky L
    Posted at 12:11h, 29 September Reply

    Very nice tunic dress! Where’s the pattern available? Could tunic be made with cotton fabric? Cotton/polyester? I enjoy dresses but lately just wearing blouses and skirts going to church. I pulled out a sunflower jumper from my office/sewing machine area the other day. It didn’t fit too good way back when I made it. Still a bit tight but may be able to fix it. I made a caften years ago I enjoyed wearing as a robe. Don’t have it any more. Have a good day!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 12:36h, 29 September Reply

      Thank you, Becky! The pattern is available in my book The Tunic Bible available on and in selected sewing stores.The book offers many neckline variations along with different lengths and sleeve options. I added the handkerchief hemline by overlaying another pattern over The Tunic Bible pattern.

  • Bobbie Calgaro
    Posted at 10:45h, 05 October Reply

    Hi Hi Sarah. I love this dress/tunic especially for my B body type ( belly). Do you think it would make up well in rayon challis.? I’m pretty prejudiced against polyester. Just my own quirk I guess. It never feels good on my body and I hate when it gets all staticy. Anyways, I think this would be a great fall dress and wondered how it would do in challis. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too soft. And if so what would you suggest for a natural fiber fabric?
    . I have one more question. Do you have someone to help you with your pattern adjustments and if not how do you work solo? Thanks so much! I learn so much from you

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:28h, 05 October Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment, Bobbi!
      I usually do not sew polyester but I was so pleasantly surprised with this fabric!
      Rayon Challis would work nicely as long as there is no transparency in the fabric, and a natural fabric recommendation is silk. I’ve made several silk tunics and especially like silk twill.
      I generally fit myself. My husband often pins me and then I work on a dress form. Occasionally I’ll call one of my sewing friends to help.
      Good luck with the dress!

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