Tunic Time

The Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult is seriously into tunics. I mean, what with all the elastic-waist shorts and culottes and harem pants, you gotta wear something long to cover that shit up.

I love some of these looks as layering pieces. Here’s my to-make list, and a “hell, no” item.

IMG_20150425_172851714This Cross-over Tunic is my favorite. It has a little shirring elastic at the shoulders and a bit of gathering at empire-waist length to give the tunic some body. It’s shorter than the others. Also. the wrap-around look is nicer than the plain box of some other tunics in this book.

The pattern description’s a bit literal:

“Cross-over bodice.

Wrap-around look.”

I earmarked some fabric for this one right away. It’s a cream polished cotton with a ginkgo design. The pattern calls for cotton.

I also really like this cutie, Tunic with Roll-up Sleeves:

IMG_20150425_172909442Fabric’s key here. The book calls for hemp or linen, but that must be a mistake. The tunic in the picture looks like it’s a sheer striped cotton, like what the next pattern calls for (see below). The pattern description adds to the confusion:

“Adjustable sleeves,

Joyful versatility.

Light and cool if made from hemp fabric.”

I have never worn hemp, but I’ve sure tried it on and rejected it plenty of times. I don’t think it’s light or cool. Just as the picture suggests, this pattern needs something sheer to give the garment a chic sheen. I picked out for it some peacock-colored scarf weight rayon with metallic stripes, imported from India.

Finally, check out Box Tunic:


This is only one of two patterns in the book to get the double-truck treatment. This baby requires two pattern descriptions. The look on the left says:

“Straight-cut body and sleeves,

Voluminous gathering.

Sheer fabric perfect for layering.”

And then, for the full-figured gal, you have the look on the right. This description makes me smile every time:

“For a full silhouette.

Belt complements

Bohemian style.”

I guess it’s news that someone might want to belt these voluminous tunics. I’d also argue that the look on the left is more “Bohemian style” than the right, but what do I know? I just pledged my soul to this cult, no questions asked.

I like the keyhole neckline, but the rest of this thing is a potato sack. The pattern actually calls for a huge 3 yards (3 m) of London-stripe cotton, which sounds more suitable for the Tunic with Roll-up Sleeves. Doesn’t the picture looks as if this tunic’s made of hemp? It calls for so much fabric because the pattern basically asks you to cut two huge rectangles for the front and back and then sew them to another rectangle with a hole cut out of it for the yoke and two crooked rectangles for sleeves. Thanks but no thanks.


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