Summer Watercolor Ebony Tunic

Redrawing the Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

I have been practically living in my Closet Case Ebony Tees since first sewing up this pattern earlier this year! Now that summer is here in full force it is time to add another to my wardrobe.

Shibori Ebony Twirl | Style Maker Fabrics

While I love the amazing swing to the Ebony, sometimes all that extra fabric does get in the way and I long for a slimmer version. A few fellow sewists on Instagram tackled this issue using various methods but I decided to take the simple, straight forward approach. First, I traced a fresh copy of my front and back pieces on pattern tissue. On each piece, I then measured along the hem 6 inches from the side seam and drew a straight line up to the underarm. This decreased the circumference of the hem by about 24 inches (that seems like a ton, right?). I settled on the 6 inch amount by trying on my shibori version again and pinching in the side seams to get the fit I wanted—seemed like a good place to start.

Redrawing the Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

With my pattern pieces trimmed down, I needed to make sure my side seams matched up. In looking at the original pieces, the back pieces should be trimmed/curved up to be even with the front. I laid the back piece over the front, matching the side seams at the under arms, and drew a gentle curve from the edge of the front piece out to the hem, shown below. With my alterations complete and I continued on as directed in the pattern and with the changes that I made previously for my 3/4-length raglan sleeve tunic.

Trimmed Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

Now for the fun part, fabric choice! One of my favorite pieces in the shop right now is this watercolor stripe jersey knit. Lighter weight and perfectly drapey for a summer Ebony tee! I think my favorite part though it the color and the amazing movement and random look of the print. In cutting my pieces out I did my best to match up the “stripes” as best I could. The variegated look made this a bit more difficult and not an absolute match but close enough. I also decided to cut my sleeves out so they DID NOT match, embracing the abstract look of the knit.

Watercolor Stripe Jersey | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing this Ebony up was quick and straight forward. I finished my necklines and hem with my cover-stitch machine for a professional look and I am loving the results!

Watercolor Ebony Front View | Style Maker Fabrics

I was worried I took out too much of the swing (24 inches is a lot!), but I think it was the just about the right amount, especially for the front. I might continue to tweak the back a bit, add a couple inches of swing back in and shorten the curve of the hem. Nothing major but I think these changes may help fix a bit of clinging that I noticed in wearing this top on repeat over the last week.

Watercolor Ebony Side View | Style Maker FabricsWatercolor Ebony Back | Style Maker FabricsWatercolor Ebony Front | Style Maker FabricsAll in all, I think my watercolor Ebony turned out to be the perfect addition for the summer wardrobe! And this pattern continues to move up my list of favorite patterns. If you haven’t sewing this one up yet, you need to now! And this jersey… I think the photos say it all!

Michelle

A New Wardrobe Basic— The Ebony Tee

This week one of our favorite indie pattern designers, Heather of Closet Case Files, released her tenth pattern, the Ebony Tee! It’s a classic tee in a fun swing style that you can’t help but sway, twist and twirl in. As knits are always one of my favorite things to sew, I immediately started laying out fabric choices and planning a couple Ebony Tees for myself.

Ebony Tee Pattern | Style Maker FabricsThe pattern calls for just about any weight knit depending on the look and style you want. I love the movement of this swing style so I wanted something that would drape nicely and hang closer to my body. I have been eyeing this shibori bamboo knit for a while now (its just so soft!) and thought the large scale of design would be perfect for this pattern. It also is a beautiful weight— not too heavy, not too light, with great stretch, recovery and a fluid drape. I also thought this comfy basic would be fantastic in a French terry. Since I can never have too much grey in my closet I picked out this variegated French terry. It’s closer in weight to a jersey, giving it lots of drape and making it a great choice for a cozy Ebony dress.

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Heather includes three different variation in the pattern— a cropped tee, mid-length dress and raglan tunic. She also includes different sleeve lengths and neckline options letting you design your Ebony to suit your style and wardrobe. I decided to keep my first version simple and go with the mid-length dress (View A) with long sleeves and a jewel neckline for my French terry— might as well take the comfort to the max right? I changed up my cutting layout by flipping my back piece over and rotating it 180 degrees. This maximized the size of my remaining fabric and let me out two sets of sleeves. I often find that sleeves don’t fit me quite right on the first go and since I had the space I planned to do a test set of sleeves.

Alternate Ebony Cutting Diagram | Style Maker Fabrics

Alternate pattern piece layout for the Ebony dress.

This planning paid off as the first sleeve was quite tight and not long enough. If your fabric is a bit narrower, you don’t have this space or your fabric is directional and you can’t flip the back, you could always sew a separate muslin of your trouble piece or even of the whole garment to test it out. I ended up widening the sleeves by half inch on either side and lengthening them by three inches. This pattern did not have the handy lengthen/shorten line on the sleeves so I used the sleeve side-seam notches as my lengthening point.

Other than those few changes, my Ebony dress was a breeze to sew together. I serged the entire garment and finished off the hems and neckline with my cover-stitch. Start to finish, I was done in an afternoon and am loving the results! Secret pajamas is the first thing that comes to mind. Paired with leggings or tight and I am set for a comfy day at home or out and about running errands. As this dress has so much body, I also tried belting it for a more fitted look.

Jumping right back into sewing, I selected the raglan tunic version (View C) using my shibori bamboo jersey. The high low hem of the tunic will really show off the dye pattern and be perfect to wear with jeans, my ultimate go-to! I decided to add three-quarter length sleeves and used my altered sleeves from View A as a guide. For a bit more relaxed fit, I widened the sleeves another half inch on either side and kept the added three inches in the length. For this version, as the fabric was a bit more directional, I did follow the cutting diagram as directed in the pattern. Again, construction was a snap using the serger and cover-stitch. I didn’t even have to change thread colors as I used white for both of my Ebonys!

Shibori Ebony Hem | Style Maker Fabrics Shibori Ebony Back | Style Maker Fabrics

Shibori Ebony Twirl | Style Maker Fabrics

After sewing both of these up I can definitely see why Heather has been living in her own Ebonys over the past we months as she was finalizing the pattern! While we were taking these photos I couldn’t help but twist and twirl. And check out that back! I love how this tunic length shows off the fabric so well. Did I mention it is as comfortable as it looks, if not so?!

Closet Case’s Ebony is a great variation on the classic tee and a fantastic way bring a new silhouette into your closet. I can’t wait to sew up more of these this spring. I’m thinking a stripe jersey might have to be next, what do you think? I definitely recommend this pattern, with so many options to choose from you are sure to fine the perfect match for you and your style!

Happy Sewing~

Michelle