Tuning in to a Tunic...

So this week's challenge for the Refashion Runway was 'Tunic', which left me scratching my head a bit... I mean, what IS a tunic? Any ideas..? See what I came up with on Beth's site (as and when she posts this week's makes) and here, below... you can decide if you think I made something to fit the bill! Meanwhile, here's one of my favourites from the Pinterest board I set up for inspiration!
What do I like about it? It's light, airy, summery, and colourful. So that's what I was aiming for, to go with the final few moments of summer; 'make hay while the sun shines' and all that! ;)
And the blog post soundtrack for today? A fitting summer chill out track from the late sixties...

Now, before I get to the Tunic refashion, I'd like to ask - because I don't think I'm alone in this conundrum; do you keep clothes because they hold great memories, even if:
  • they no longer fit, body-wise
  • they're no longer fit for purpose, lifestyle-wise
  • they're too old/tattered/moth eaten to wear outside..?

I mean - a wedding dress is a great example of this - when would you wear it again..? And are you sure that your daughter-in-the-future-that-hasn't-been-born-yet will want to wear it on her special day, just because you wore it on yours? Too many variables to think of! But I suppose, if you have a loft, or somewhere out of the way, you can keep certain items of clothing for a 'rainy day', without causing too much harm. BUT, what about those items of clothing that AREN'T tremendously fabulous, that weren't that expensive, but you can't bear to part with... even though you can't see yourself wearing them again..? Come on, don't tell me there isn't ONE dress that fits that category in your closet? Well this dress, is that dress, for me...

This photo was taken in 2012, and that beautiful person next to me, is my cousin Sara. It was her Nan's 90th birthday party (that's my Aunty Betty)- and it was SUCH a special day... really beautiful. Not only the picturesque setting the restaurant was in, but the people, all so lovely - with so much love for Aunty Betty. It makes me quite emotional to think back to that day, for so many reasons; one being that my Nan was there, singing along with the rest of the family "You'll Nev-er Waaalk A-looone..."

So - there's me indulging myself in a beautiful memory... and maybe you can understand, in some small way, why I couldn't just throw the dress away, that I wore on that day.

Such special memories.

After the party we went on a drive around the local area, which is where my family (on my Spanish side) used to live; I even found a road sign with my surname on it! (in fact, it's my Dad's name!)

But - in spite of the memories the dress holds, I just wasn't wearing it... but why not? The fabric is very forgiving, and has a soft pastel print that's easy to wear, and accessorize with... But...
Maxi dresses are often too hot to wear in the summer - so whenever I looked at it, hanging in the wardrobe, waiting to be picked out, I chose something else over it every time - because, ultimately, I knew I'd be too hot in it.

SO! a crop was long overdue... and a change of style... and maybe something to liven it up a little. Here's a reminder of what it looked like from behind:

and the front:

I started by chopping off the waist ties...

Then I put the dress back on, back to front, and placed pins at the point I wanted the new hem to be (you can JUST about spot them in the flowers!)...

After that I went in search of a beach sarong I had in my stash, which has a pompom trim around the edge...

I chopped that off!

And then I pinned the trim to the dress...

Before sewing in place with a normal foot (*I tried using the zipper foot, but it made the fabrics move separately and caused it to ripple - so I did it over with the regular machine foot!)...

I then cut away the excess dress fabric from under the trim... and looked to the neckline. I took the ties (cut off earlier) and placed them through belt loops on the shoulders, to create a makeshift halter neck;

I like the drape it creates, through both the back and the front of the dress... so, I think it's now time for the reveal...

My nostalgia-filled dress is now a summer-appropriate tunic, ready for new memories.

In fact, I very nearly made a new memory of falling backwards into the near-dry river bed...

That would've been an interesting end to the day!
Here's a proper shot of the back...

And a 'normal' shot from the front...

So, it's a tunic... and I fit my own personal brief of 'light, airy, summery, and colourful'... and that's all that really matters :)
To place your vote for this week's TUNIC challenge, head to Beth's site, and click on the button next to your favourite (at the very bottom of the page) before clicking on the 'Vote' button.

A Before and After..? OK then!

Oh yes, nearly forgot, here's me shaking my tail feather... well, you have to with a pompom trim, don't you?

A massive Congratulations to both Susan and Carissa, who won last week's Button challenge - a much deserved win..! Again, so sad to see someone go, this week it was Miche, with her incredible sense of style... make sure to follow her blog, it's such a shame as her tunic is just adorable...

In other news, I made and posted my latest Minerva make this week *you can see it here* - which is also my Simplicity challenge entry... the Simplicity 1365. I refashioned it from a rainbow dress, here's the top... 

Have a wonderful week, I hope the weather is kind to you, wherever you are in the world... see you next week, for the FINAL challenge.... entitled, 'Pantone Colour of the Season, Riverside Blue'. Just rolls of the tongue, non?!

Gema x


  1. Congrats, looks fabulous, I'm sure you'll be inspired by the riverside, having just looked up Riverside Blue looks to be just up your street (steam?), don't you look cute with a fringe though..��

    1. Thanks Brian! And yes - always feeling inspired by the riverside...although not sure what that means for my 'make'... :)

  2. I love what you've done to turn a dress with cherished memories into a wearable tunic! I'm with you on the maxi's, I always pass them over thinking they will be too hot. Maybe I need to think about refashioning, too! As always, you look adorable in your photos, and your fun personality really shines through in your posts! Good luck!

    1. Thank-you Susan - I know your maxi refashions would be stellar!
      I was laughing at your post about getting stuck in the boardwalk with your high heels; and it made me think we could all come up with a funny/enlightening post, just about taking the photos for these makes... ;) (*p.s. love your tunic!!)


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