sewing

Wiksten dress + tunic

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I’m sitting here, feeling sorry for myself because I just had braces put on my bottom teeth today and my mouth is hurting a lot. Did it hurt this much when I was a teenager? I can’t remember but I’ve delivered two babies naturally, with no medication, and this maybe hurts more. I decided to distract myself from the pain by writing a short post about a recent sewing project I did but never talked about or blogged. If you listen to the new podcast that my friend Katrina and I host (I talk about all of my none-spinning related making), you may have heard me chatting about this tunic/dress.  I stumbled across this pattern when I first began thinking about a ‘uniform’ at the beginning of the year. Being a mom of two children under 5, we are constantly on the go and I often find myself feeling a. Frumpy and b. At a loss of what to wear. The idea of A Daily Uniform started to percolate after some conversations on Instagram and looking at what other mom’s were creating to wear as part of their handmade wardrobe. I’m not super interested in scraping everything I already own in my closet but I am incredibly interested in investing some time and energy into creating some new functional pieces for my daily attire.

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While I know that it is going to take a while to create this uniform, and it will change as our needs as a family change, I can commit to not buying many clothes in the shops and thinking more about how to make my clothing. Once the kids are both in school, I’m hoping to have my sewing machine set up permanently so that I can sew one day a week while the kids are at school. In the meantime, I’ve started to think about what I enjoy wearing and how I wear those items. One of the things I’d really like to have is a tunic dress that I can wear for any occasion with jeans or leggings. The Wiksten tunic + dress pattern fit that bill nicely. What I sewed was a wearable muslin and I am planning on dyeing this to be more functional – I just haven’t gotten that far yet!

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There are a few things I need to change when I make ‘the real thing’ which includes:

  • Wider bias fabric for the neckline and shoulder finishing – it is just too skimpy to turn under and finish nicely. I did my best with this stiff linen/cotton blend but I’ll cut them wider next time.
  • Choose something that doesn’t wrinkle quite as badly – this is terrible! I haven’t even worn it and it’s wrinkled already.
  • A side-zip under one of the arms. The tank needs an invisible zipper under the arms for ease of getting in and out of the dress. It would be more wearable with a zipper, I think.

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Overall, I really like the aesthetic of the dress. It’s a little long for my short height, which I’m a little concerned about so I think I’ll shorten it slightly when I make it again. On the other hand, it has a really great utilitarian look that I think will work well with a long-sleeved shirt and jeans underneath.

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The dress/tank is incredibly scoop necked so having something underneath for me is absolutely necessary but it has me wondering about wearability in the summer …

I’ll keep you posted about my next version. Hopefully, I can get the fabric I’m hoping to use and cut it out in the next few weeks.

Do you have a daily uniform? What makes it functional?

6 thoughts on “Wiksten dress + tunic

  1. I really envy people who can make their own clothes! The best I can do is knit items for now.

    I do kind of have a daily uniform for work — at this time of year, it’s usually black or gray pants with a sweater (often a hand-knit sweater). I get a little bored with it, but I remind myself that I’m at the office to work, not to put on a fashion show. So my main criteria are comfort and warmth (my office is always cold). I am getting a little bored with my sweater choices, which means that it’s time to knit some new ones!

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    1. I love the idea of a daily uniform but yes, I can see that it gets a bit dull. I wonder if the items that we make even become dull with tons and tons of wear. I hadn’t thought of that but yes, then we get to make something new!!! I love that!

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  2. My uniform is jeans and tshirt. One of the things I truly appreciate about your blog and podcasts is that more intentional approach to clothing. I would like to get to the place where my clothes are functional yet reflect more of me. There is nothing in ready to wear that I care for. Also I’m short so it’s hard to find things that fit that don’t look like I’ve been shopping in the young girls department or that are affordable. So keep on blogging and sewing. You are an inspiration.
    BTW I’m sorry to hear that your braces are so painful. You are right though, the pain of childbirth I have forgotten but the pain of braces on my teeth I can still remember to this day. I’m sending good thoughts to you that the discomfort will subside soon.

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    1. There’s very little that I want to wear in ready to wear either. I’m not sure what it is about buying clothing off racks that has become so unappealing. Thank you for the kind words about the blog and podcast – I appreciate it!!

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  3. My uniform is linen & anything by FLAX since I used to work at the factory half a life time ago. I can move around, stretch, the clothing breathes and it is gentle to my larger figure these days. I was always a flannel and holey jeans girl in the grungy 90’s and in my own way I still am. Still wearing what is comfy ;)

    I love wearing the muslins!

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