I have felt a desire lately to put more craft and creativity into my Fresh Makes. I recently purchased the book “Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style.” Putting a spin on one of her patterns was a perfect way for me to the get back into touch with my artsy side.
The book includes patterns for five basic garments. This is the Esme Tunic. The Esme includes two other versions, a hip length top and kaftan.
The fabric I used is Alison Glass Knits in Indigo. I purchased it online at Harts Fabrics for $15.99 per yard. It is also available at several other online fabrics stores. I had already made two simple shirts with Alison Glass Knits, and thought this would be a perfect fabric for this simple tunic. I love this knit fabric! It is very stable, substantial weight jersey knit, that after a few washings, feels like flannel. (Beware: It shrinks a lot! I prewashed this the Indigo twice because my first two projects with this fabric shrunk more in the first wash after completing and wearing.)
I added a reverse applique design at the neckline inspired by Alabama Chanin. When the Alabama Stitch Book came out in 2008, I was obsessed with the techniques and garments from the book. I made countless projects for a year or two. Then time marched on and I focused on other things. But recently I felt a yearning to do some handiwork, and thought this neckline would be perfect for some embellishment. (The stencils are of my own design, not from the book.) The paint I used is Jacquard Lumiere, Pearl Megenta.
The lime colored facing was attached so the right-side of the fabric shows through when the blue fabric is cut away.
LET’S BE HONEST:
1. I traced and cut a pure size medium without any alterations (except for the length). The flair was significant enough to accommodate my larger hip to smaller bust ratio.
2. I took off two inches from the length before cutting because I thought I would make it a just below hip length to wear with jeans. I tried it on and asked my 20 year old daughter for her opinion as to whether I should keep it long or make it shorter, and she said keep it long. So I did! If I knew I was going to do this, I might not have taken off the two inches. I feel perfectly comfortable in it, but, I’m old!
3. The Esme Tunic is a simple pattern that a beginner could sew. BUT not solely with the instructions provided in the book.
4. I bought this book out of curiousity and because it seems to be getting a lot of hipe on social media (or at least the stuff I follow). I have always liked Lotta Jansdotter’s asthestic and the fact that she’s Swedish. I’m part Swedish and have visitied Sweden many times. But I have to be completely honest, intially, I thumbed through it pretty quickly and thought it was a waste of money. The accessory projects are so easy, I definitely didn’t need a book to show me how to do them. But I realized I am not the target audience for this book, and it is comforting and inspiring for someone who is non-crafty to make projects from a curated book from lifestyle icon.
5. BUT, I thought, I spent money on the book, I need to make something from it. AND, I have to admit, I LOVE the cut and fit of the Esme Tunic. I might even make another one!
Very pretty. I love the neckline detail, the color and style of the tunic. Well done and inspiring!
Sits beautifully, that set-in sleeve is very nicely done. Love your crafty addition, hand-sewing is so satisfying.
I’ve heard of Lotta Jansdotter! She had a book on using vegetables to stamp fabric/paper that intrigued me. (Ended up not getting it.) Looks like you had fun getting creative. What a great way to kick off your 2016 Fresh Makes. 🙂
Hi Ebi! Yes, Lotta Jandotter got her “start” block printing on fabric in her basement.
This is just artsy enough to still be wearable. Love your color combination & you did a great job on the applique’.
How did she finish it if you want sleeveless for summer–armhole facing or bias?
The book does not have instructions for a sleeveless Esme. Bias tape would be best. If I were to do a facing, I would make an all in one neck and armhole facing.
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As a beginner who has cut out the fabric for the tunic (with the caftan neck like yours), I am curious to know what got left out of the instructions…
I just re-read my post and the instructions…maybe I shouldn’t make general comments like I did. There is nothing specific that has been left out. I just think in general that written instructions that aren’t accompanied by step by step illustrations might be hard for a beginner to follow. Hopefully this will not be the case for you. Good luck!
Thanks! I made the jacket and it was ok, the hardest part was tracing the pattern!
Just wanted to throw out some gratitude. I actually like the book for getting me thinking about my style, but half the projects are so simple it’s silly, while the other half include totally inadequate instructions. As a novice there’s no way I could have followed her directions.