Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tunic top for the queen of the kitchen

In early August I needed to zip over to Stone Mountain Fabrics in Berkeley for some lining. I was making a silk duppioni dress for a client and I wanted rayon bemberg lining in a matching shade, gold or light coral. I am appreciative that such a good shopping resource exists close by, they have a great selection of fashion fabrics but it is the supporting players - lining, interfacing, china silks, buttons, etc. that are often the make or break item which can be difficult to find.

I asked my mom if she would like to join me on my quick shopping excursion and she said "sure and could we stop at the Market Hall?" The answer is always "of course."  Another shopping venue that epitomizes life here in the bay area. Here is the link, Rockridge Market Hall, if you want to check it out. They do have an online store if you see something you can't pass by. The fresh pastas are some of the best I can find, and they have a great array of other goodies including a cheese shop, charcuterie and lots of items to taste. Are you a grazer? I cannot resist. They often have jams, mustards, cheeses, olives, fresh bakery items, I taste them all! Mom bought a selection of salads for our take-home lunch including a little tomato tart which she analyzed closely in order to recreate. Side note - I got the sewing bug, she has the foodie bug and loves to try restaurants for new inspiration. Then she really does recreate or try new items at home - and we in her circle are the very happy recipients of this effort.

When shopping at Stone Mountain we saw this fabric on the half price rack in the back of the store. The colors are so vibrant and I thought it would make a nice tunic top. It is 100% cotton, but seems a bit nicer than ordinary quilting fabric and once washed it was plenty soft to wear.

Swirl tunic for J
For the contrast pieces I found a 100% linen upstairs in the half-price section and bought a yard because I think it would be useful for accent or trim next summer if I ever get around to making a top like this for myself. 
This style may look familiar as I made a top like this for her last year, here is that post Garment Clone - Tunic Top. There are details in that post on how I copied a RTW wear top she already had to create the pattern.
I did make a slight boo-boo by making the center V a bit too deep, looking at the original it has buttons so I need to make a note on my pattern piece for the future. I put a piece of the blue linen to fill in the neckline and I think it looks OK. Maybe it needs some buttons? I will have to rummage in the button box. 

Swirl tunic close up
Post-vacation I am not really in a sewing mood, this is just about the only item I have made since I returned. Maybe because it is fall and time to put away these luscious beachy colors?  Only 264 days until summer here :)
As for the garden, on Saturday I bought these from a local grower so I hope to have some fresh salad greens just outside the back door. I am planting in larger containers and hoping to keep the garden mauraders away. Arugula, mache and rainbow chard.
Happy sewing, Beth

New greens


  1. It is very pretty. I love the colors.

  2. Oh, I do miss Bay Area food! Lovely tunic too. I thought that the insert was part of the pattern until you mentioned it.

  3. Hi Beth....
    You've made me really homesick for the Bay Area after my move away a little over a year ago. Most of all, I miss Stone Mountain. (I remember shopping there when they had layaway and Suzan (the 'Daughter" part of the team) was still in college finishing her undergraduate degree, do you?!) lol I've found no other comparable (brick and mortar) resource here on the east coast...but I keep looking! Stone Mountain has always kept those staples we need to finish our projects perfectly, haven't they? Sigh....I had my side trips, too. (I loved the Berkeley Bowl right down the street!...lol) Thanks for the reminder!....


  4. Great colours, Beth! I would be wearing this one constantly!

  5. Great fabric find. It's a great summer colour. Speaking of which, you're more than welcome to come to Australia for some more summer. Why wait 264 days?

  6. Funny I looked at the photos before reading and noted the area where you said you went too low. I looked at it and thought it was a nice design. I think the tunic is lovely.

  7. A very pretty top! And you are *so* lucky to live so near Stone Mountain!!! I rarely get over there, but it's a fabulous store!!

  8. Very pretty tunic -- colors are so vibrant. Fresh salad greens -- heaven!

  9. Love the colors, it looks so perfect!

  10. You really love your blues! this is going to look just gorgeous with your colouring :)

  11. No, no, please don't add any buttons to the top because it is absolutely PERFECT as it is!

  12. "Only 264 days until summer here"

    You are a woman after my own heart. Everyone here is all excited that it's cooling down and I am mourning the loss of sandals and floaty dresses for the next 6 months. *heavy sigh*

    I love this top! The little fill-in piece looks very intentional, I wouldn't change a thing.


Related Posts with Thumbnails