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Athleisure Tunic: Butterick 6388 Review

Have you been following the athleisure fashion trend? The McCall Pattern Company seems to have been designing a lot of different athleisure outfits and I was really excited to give it a try. I was looking for something that followed this trend but was still dressy enough to wear to our casual office or on weekends.

When the fall patterns were released on Butterick's page, I was drawn right to Butterick 6388, a coordinating combo of a top, dress, vest and pants in one pattern. I really liked the tunic and was inspired by the fabric used in the photos (of course, doesn't everyone??) I happen to have a french terry-like sweater knit in my stash. I picked it up here, at Fabric Mart, but I don't think it ever made it onto the website!


It is a cotton/poly blend with some stretch. I pre-washed it and after taking it out of the dryer, it was pretty distorted. So when I cut it out, I lined up the knit weave lines the best I could, and cut. This was quite an undertaking since it's not like it was a woven and I could rip it. I was still a little worried that it would distort in future washings so I stabilized it in a few different places.

Pockets: I stabilized the front pocket using SewKeysE Woven Stay Tape, fusing it to the front and side piece where the pocket would be. I did this so that when I had my hands in the pockets it would not stretch out.

Hem: I stabilized and fused the hem using SewKeysE Double-sided Fusible Stay Tape. This was to help keep the hem from stretching out as well. I use this fusible stay tape on all of my hems whether they are top hems, pants or sleeves. It helps give a clean finish and easier sewing of the hem.

Back Seam: I was really worried that the back would sag at the back seam. So I fused SewKeysE 1" Fusible Knit Stay Tape to both sides of the back seam before sewing them together. Now it hangs really nice and has held up to washing so far.

You're probably wondering what fabric I used for the triangle side pieces? The other side of the fabric! For the face of the dress I used the loopy terry-like side (which technically is the wrong side of the fabric.) For the triangle inset pieces, I used the "right side". It reads more gray than the back of the fabric.

You can see in this photo that the triangle side piece is actually part of the front piece. At first, I thought that the triangle piece came toward the back of the pattern, but it does not!

Fitting:
I tissue fit this tunic using the Palmer/Pletsch Tissue Fitting Method. This was my first time tissue fitting a cut-on sleeve style top/dress. I needed to do a full bust adjustment and followed the directions on page 157 of the book Fit For Real People. I also did my usual forward shoulder, slight broad back adjustment and small high round back adjustment.

There is only one thing that I would change if I make it again: The collar is a little droopy.  It doesn't look like it in the photo below, but you can see it in the last photo of this post. I think I should have used PerfectFuse Interfacing - Sheer, from Palmer/Pletsch. I use this interfacing exclusively. It is what garment manufacturers use and I find gives better results than some of the popular interfacing companies carry.

If you look at the original pattern photo, you can see there is a long sleeve option. I really wanted to do that, but didn't have enough fabric! I was going to cut the sleeve out of a different fabric, but decided that marrying two different fabrics together would create a baggy look that I did not want. So I made a gray modal/lycra knit basic t-shirt, using Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt. (I have used this pattern MANY time!) I didn't get a photo with the shirt underneath yet, so I will add it once I have it.

I love this athleisure tunic dress and can't wait to make more athleisure outfits. McCall's just released their winter collection and I already snatched up some of the patterns from that group.

Here you can see how the collar droops. Not the end of the world, but something to change next time! (Silly me -- I'm looking at a plane that was coming in for a landing! We live near a small airport and we are right in line with their landing area.)
Have you tried the athleisure trend? What have you made?

Happy Sewing! 
~ Julie 

Comments

  1. So cute! Love the contrast of using both sides of the fabric.

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  2. I have this pattern but haven't used it yet. Did you cut the full 36" length of View D? The line drawing on pattern back makes it look like the top actually narrows at the hem. Before your fit changes, did it do that? Thanks, MJ in Tucson (a frequent FabricMart customer)

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    Replies
    1. Hi MJ, I cut the full length. It does narrow a bit at the hem but after doing my adjustment that changed. I guess I could go back and narrow it a little bit, but I didn't think it winged out enough for me to do that. Thanks for the question! I hope you give it a try and share it with us too!

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  3. Looks great Julie! I love this pattern and have made it three times already! I ended up narrowing the collar by about 1/2", and that helps with the droopiness.

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  4. I love this! It may be my favorite thing you've ever made. Now I want to make one! :-)

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  5. I LOVE this Julie! I have a dress from this pattern almost completed and I used a textured fleece. I really love yours and thank you for all the tips on stabilizers and interfacing! You look cute!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sue! Sounds like a lot of people like this pattern. I can't wait to see how others turn out.

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  6. A very cute look to lounge around home in and to run errands. You look pulled together but comfortable. You look very nice!

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  7. Thanks for sharing, Julie. When I compare your dress to the model, I noted the proportions of the neckline are different on her than the dress you made. Her collar seam looks to be farther out on the shoulders and lower at the front. This makes the color lay partly on the sholder and stick up less, giving it less room to droop. The front has a deeper V so the cross of the models collar seems to fall closer to the base of the neck. Both of these would help the collar not sag as yours did. Nevertheless it is a lovely garment and it looks great on you. I am sure some designers would draw a drapey collar on purpose. So if you hadn't mentioned it, we would think it was supposed to be that way.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comments Karen! I was thinking some of these things too. Since I did adjustments I could see how that changed it, although I didn't change the neckline. I'll work on it the next time!

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