I’ve created my first YouTube Live video series! I did a step-by-step broadcast of me sewing Simplicity 5197 – which is now out of print, but I’ve had it in my stash a fairly long time. The fabric I chose for this is a linen print I got from a Hembots stash swap, and I used bias tape I had previously made and kept in my stash for just such an occasion as this.

I won’t go through all the construction details, because you can spend 6 hours of your life that you’ll never WANT to get back, watching me stumble and fumble my way through becoming a YouTube personality and sewing a new-to-me pattern ON AIR! But I will note things about this project for the future… or anyone else who wants to make this.

First of all, I made the error of cutting a size 18 based on bust measurement even though I should know by now that a 16 or even a 14 fits me better around the shoulders and armpits. I need to make one heck of a FBA to do a 14, so a 16 is a better option. The size 18 feels oversized pretty much everywhere. It sits quite loose around the armpit and the collar feels loose on my neck. I have LEARNED now. I will not repeat this error.

I am very glad that I took a gamble and replaced the facings with bias bindings on the armhole and neckline. I loathe and detest neckline and armhole facings; I can’t decide which I hate more. A simple 1 1/4” bias strip, wrapped around the seam allowances and back to the inside, then hand-stitched in place: SO MUCH BETTER. It looks clean and doesn’t flip-flap-flop around all the time. I truly feel that pattern designers should stop doing facings. They are rarely seen in ready-to-wear anymore.

Aside from the FBA (full bust adjustment), I did the flat-upper-back adjustment, taking a small tuck out of the centre back. To provide more flattering shaping on the back, I did a French seam centre back instead of cutting on the fold.

Finally, I added under-bust darts to give the front bodice a small amount of shaping, and am very glad for it. There’s a lot of fabric in this tunic, and the darts stop it from standing around my body like a cylinder. (Not a good look).

I think I will take this pattern and see if I can grade it down to a 14 or 16 at the upper bodice, and make it again using a border print ponte that I also got at a stash swap. The ponte will have slightly softer drape and I think I like this neckline. This could become a TNT (tried n true) pattern for me!