Handmade Wardrobe Project 7 - Inside-Out Layering Tunic

After making the second HWP project - called the 'Weekend Tunic' numerous readers and friends said they'd like to make one too, and asked about a pattern. There wasn't one as the project was improvised, but there were detailed notes in my journal including a list of the improvements I'd make if I had the chance to do it again. Some were design issues (improving the neckline for instance), and others related to getting the best out of the yarn, which I found a tricky the first time around as I was trying to graft shoulders and had to sew up a front and back whose patterning didn't match. In my opinion, this yarn is not easy to sew and the self-pattern seems quite random. However it looks great knitted up, and that's why people love using it.

So I got hold of more yarn (ironic, as the first was a stash-buster) and over the last few weeks I set about making the changes and writing the pattern. I'm delighted with how it turned out and couldn't wait to show you. It's designed as a layering piece, so here it's photographed with a white long-sleeved top (left) and a black vest (right).

This time it was mostly knit in the round which removed the need to sew any seams - a major improvement as it really was a nightmare to sew the first time.  I knit the front and back together rather than attempting to graft them, which resulted in an easy and very neat join (pictured below).

The neckline is higher and the armholes smaller, so the fit at the shoulder is more like a t-shirt. Additional changes to the cowl neckline also mean it sits much better, and the stitch patterning matches. Without the things that annoyed me about working with the yarn (King Cole Opium) the first time, I actually enjoyed knitting this one - even though I chose a notoriously tricky colour!

As it's part of the Handmade Wardrobe Project, it was important to me to write the pattern in a way that would make it easy to customise at various stages. As well as including three different size options, the length, armhole, neck-to-shoulder ratio and cowl length can all be knit to suit the wearer. I love the 'wrong' side, hence it's an "inside-out" tunic, but I've included instructions on joining the front and back to get a 'rightside-out' tunic if that's more to your taste. 

The pattern has gone out to testers and I'll post an update when it is ready for release. Update: the pattern can be purchased from my LoveKnitting designer page and is also listed on Ravelry so it's easy to favourite/ add to a project queue etc.  

In the meantime, I have SEVEN handmade garments ready for my 'mostly handmade holiday'. Not sure if I can squeeze another in this week but there is some gorgeous new yarn here, and I have an idea for another garment - something I can easily knit on holiday. More on that soon.

If you're enjoying these HWP posts, be sure to check back in later this week when I have a really interesting interview with one of the people who has inspired me to make my own clothes. Follow Facebook page updates, via Bloglovin' or subscribe by email (in the sidebar, above right) so you don't miss it! 

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