Tunic times

It’s not all velvetine suits chez Crab & Bee. Last fall, I made a workhorse addition to my handmade wardrobe’s tunic section: a cotton/hemp/lycra knit tunic I made when I was recovering from being sick. I was craving sewing but wanted a simple, wearable project. It was also around the time I was putting together this post where I took stock of my past and future sewing ambitions, so the pattern (Simplicity 2472) was on my mind. I’d tried it in a magenta poly-cotton thrift-store sheet, and it looked stiff and wrinkly.

crabandbee.com | Simplicity 2472

(Any PDXers recognize this wall? When the universe offers you a graphic background against which to photograph your charcoal-grey tunic, you accept.)


I used my walking foot and a mild zig-zag stitch, and then serged the seam allowances. I haven’t really put any of these stitches to the test as the garment is wildly unfitted, but none of them have blown out.

I also used the knit binding technique from Pattern Scissors Cloth.


I also added a bottom hem band, which is my favorite way to hem knits. The walking foot eliminated most of the waviness of my seams, although there’s a bit at the hem band due to the thickness of the three layers of fabric. It was a supremely simple project, but it’s a perfect backdrop to leggings, boots and scarves. It also served me well during my figure drawing class – I could wipe my charcoal-covered hands on it without repercussion.


In other news, thank you for your incredible responses to the Pollen & Wax interview and giveaway! I couldn’t help myself – I made a pie chart of the beauty disasters from the comment section. As you can see, the vast majority of them were hair-related! Eyebrows had a surprisingly good showing for being such a small area – was it because some of us were trying to look good in the 90s?

Beauty disasters by type:


Within the hair category, there was a surprising amount of variety, although amateur dye jobs comprised 11 of the 36 total hair disasters.

Hair disasters by type:


Some of my favorite hair disasters in the “other” category were Andrea’s failed dreadlocks and Candace’s clandestine haircut.

Pollen & Wax

Without further ado, the winner of the collection and pouch is Joanne from Zoe Livana. Congratulations, Joanne! Bee and I also decided to pick a second prize – Miss Allie Mass wins a cleanser and toner of her choice. Winners, please contact me at crabandbee [at] gmail [dot] com within the week and let me know where you would like your gift sent!

Finally, for those interested in learning more about cleaning up their beauty routine, I highly recommend the Environmental Working Group’s site. It’s a database that allows you to look up beauty products and see what kind of health impact the ingredients in your products may have, as well as search for replacements. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty extensive (and very eye-opening!)


30 thoughts on “Tunic times

  1. It may not be all velvetine suits, certainly – but it’s always some good looking clothing, for sure! It looks comfy as 🙂
    Love the graphs – its comforting to know I’m not the only one whose had a bad perm experience! (Come to think of it… has anyone had a GOOD one???). To the lucky lady Joanne – how lovely!
    Cheers for the link, too. I think I’ll enjoy reading through it 🙂

    1. Why, thanks, Melanie!

      I somehow avoided having a perm, even as a child of the eighties. Even though I secretly wanted one, I think the smell was enough of a detractor!

  2. I love the tonal combination of greys in your outfit…including that cute clutch! The hem band is a good trick…I’ll have to remember that.

    1. Thanks, Heather! They were super fun to put together. The pattern is quite basic and something you could easily draft yourself from any kimono-sleeve knit – if you were feeling so inclined – but it was nice to reclaim it after my beginner attempt!

  3. CUte tunic,a nd great photo background. I bet you get a ton of wear from this baby. And thansk for the link to the Environmental Working Group site!

  4. oh god, I’d totally about my disastrous perm in the 80s! Great tunic, it looks so comfy and i love your backdrop. I’ve also used the bottom hem band which i really like the look of.

  5. Great tunic and what luck to have that fab wall as a dramatic backdrop for it! I also like hem bands. I did one unintentionally on the vogue dress that you also made with the 3 bands. I made mine up in jersey and the fabric I had for the bottom section was too thin and see through so I doubled it and made it into a band. It finished the dress off nicely and meant I didn’t have to worry about how to finish off the hem! It was a happy accident!

  6. great tunic! i still need to add tunics and leggings to my wardrobe, though i think my pear shape is what keeps me from giving it a go. love all the accessorizing you could do with this, or lounging! whatever the case may be!

    1. Interesting, I would have thought a tunic/leggings outfit would be flattering on a pear shape. You could experiment with the shape by adding some length to shirts and seeing if you liked it! Worst-case scenario, you could cut off the extra fabric.

  7. Tunics! They are popping up all over the place. Autumn is on its way here in Aus, so i might need to join the bandwagon! love this easy style (and how great are scarves?)

  8. What a groovy and comfy looking outfit. Love the styling. I have plans of a black tunic swirling around in my head at the moment.

  9. I love your new tunic and (ahem) have the pattern myself, so I’m pleased to see what it looks like made up. Really can not beat tunics for comfort and style!

    1. Hear, hear! It’s always a bit hard to tell what a pattern like this will look like made up – you never know what sort of styling and photographic magic have been applied.

  10. What a casually chic addition to your warddrobe. I love seeing anything with those leggins. Thanks too for the graphs. Aaaah, I miss my 1980’s perm !

  11. Love it! Such a good, solid staple to have. And I’m so impressed with your neck binding (then again, I’m impressed with all your sewing!). The graph is great too – sad that I missed the chance to enter the giveaway – I love skincare products!!

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