Ebony Tunic

Ebony Top #Ebonytee

Why yes, it IS my third Ebony in as many weeks… did you really expect any different? I’m loving the combo of comfort, style and drama, so this won’t be the last.

Ebony Top #Ebonytee

My first two Ebonys were the dress version, shortened. This time I tried the tunic length with raglan sleeves. The body is shortened about 2″ into a top, and the short sleeves are obviously extended down to 3/4 length. Even with those adjustments, this was still a very quick and easy sew!

HOWEVER:

I’M SO SICK OF WINTER!!!! We are only halfway through our annual 5 months of snow in a relatively mild winter, and I’m starting to go batty. I’m tired of getting into a subzero car every morning and not feeling warm until 30 minutes into the drive. I’m tired of wearing my new-this-year coat and boots every single day. And I’m tired of taking pictures outside while woefully underdressed, and hiding on the porch because snow is falling or the sidewalks are covered in ice! A friend on social media hashtagged an outdoor picture with lush green grass #spring2017, and it made me so envious! We will have snow til April!

(Yes, before you ask, I’ve tried taking pictures in several locations inside… but our house is just a couple metres from our neighbours on either side, and it very dim inside. I’m debating buying lightboxes, but it seems like an awful lot of hassle to store them and set them up each time!) 

Ebony Top #Ebonytee

Which is to say, I brought fake flowers outside, and swanned around pretending to sniff them until a guy walked by with his dog and caught me at the charade!

And then I threw the flowers quickly into the house, and pretended to check the camera as he passed by, like I’m a totally normal person taking pictures of themselves outside on a snowy day!

Ebony Top #Ebonytee

The fabric is a sweater knit from the Fabricland ends table, where they buy in leftover stock from manufacturers or suppliers. I don’t really know where it comes from, but it’s always where the best hidden gems are! This knit definitely has some rayon and spandex blended it, and has a lovely drape and doesn’t cling to itself. Why can’t the sweater knit in the normal fabric line be this good?

Ebony Top #Ebonytee

Can we talk about tunics? I cannot figure out what length and proportions of tunic would look good on me. I like long tops like this and I love short dresses, but I have never worn a tunic that I loved. They sound like something I should adore though, right? Do you have any suggestions?


42 thoughts on “Ebony Tunic

  1. As someone who loves verandas and snow but only gets an hour or two of snow a year, I am loving your photos! I think the length of that tunic is spot on, especially with the dramatic sweep to the back. Lovely!

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  2. This post made me ask, “What’s the difference between a “tunic” and a “long top”?” I typed “what is a tunic” into my search bar on Startpage and discovered:

    vocabulary.com: A tunic is a loose-fitting shirt that looks sort of like a long shirt or a short dress.
    overstock.com: Tunics, hip-length shirts or sweaters, have become a comfortable addition to many women’s wardrobes.
    wikihow.com: A tunic is a long, loose fitting shirt or sweater that fully covers the hips and bottom.
    and my favorite, from dictionary.com: Chiefly British. a coat worn as part of a military or other uniform.

    There is also a guide to selecting the right tunic for your body on styleblueprint.com!

    I didn’t actually click on any links offered, just copied the first part of the definitions. Anyhow, thanks for making me think and I look forward to seeing how you and other seamstresses define a tunic vs a long top!!

    Also, I love this shirt and you should have offered the neighbor a flower to brighten his day! πŸ™‚

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    1. I love that you did research! I looked at the tunic length guide, and for a pear, they suggest it ends either above or below the widest part of the hips. Which is odd to me, because above the hip sounds like a top to me! As for below the hips… I guess it doesn’t take many inches before I consider it a dress to wear with leggings, Maybe that is why I don;t have any tunics! πŸ˜‰

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  3. Your post made me chuckle this morning Gillian!

    Your tunic looks fab on you! I love the raglan sleeves with the wide neckband, and congrats on a great find in the bin at Fabricland!

    Tunic length is very personal, I think. Because they’re often worn with leggings, they need to be long enough to cover the crotch area, front and back. After that, at what point does it become a dress?

    With 12 inches of snow having arrived yesterday, and most of my Sewing Social in Trenton days this year having been snowed out, I can so relate. And I could almost see you on your porch, freezing, while the camera was clicking away.

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    1. That’s my definitely too, but for some reason I got shy about saying “I don’t consider this a tunic because it doesn’t cover my crotch in front”, like everyone was suddenly going to stare at my lady bits in the pictures!!! Oh, blogging, You are an odd hobby! πŸ˜‰

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  4. Love this! I never would have guessed that was sweater knit! I am cracking up at you chucking fake flowers and pretending to check your camera!

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  5. Stop making things I want to copy πŸ˜‚ There is just not enough time! Is this the tunic length or did you shorten it? I have the same problem with tunics, can’t figure out the correct length either…

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    1. This is the tunic length, shortened about 2″ at the line. I stared at the promo pics for far too longer, trying to decide if the tunic length covered her front enough that it would work with leggings. I decided it didn’t, so I shortened it to a shirt instead!

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  6. For me, tunics have to be long enough to cover the bum so I can wear leggings, but short enough that I can wear them with jeans and not suffer from the past dress-over-jeans trend.
    I am actually working on one now. I’m cutting it so I think it’ll be longer than I want, so I can cut it to the right length.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, that’s interesting! I always think I want tunics to wear with leggings, but I’ve never actually considered pairing them with jeans too. I hope you tunic turns out well – happy sewing!

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  7. The good news- I think you have your question about length all figured out, because that looks great on you. The bad news- Now I want one too

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  8. I know it doesn’t make you feel any warmer to read that your photos with the snow are so lovely, but maybe it helps you trudge on a little? Your new Ebony is very cute. I can’t believe that’s a sweater knit! As to tunic length, I think I agree with yvettechilcott above … covers the crotch and bum, which then would make this top not a tunic in name. So who knows. Yeah, lots of help I am.

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    1. Who knew tops and tunics were so confusing!? πŸ˜› I definitely feel like this is a top because my front bits aren’t covered – aka. I wouldn’t wear this with leggings. I think maybe if the front curve mirrored the back hem, it would be a tunic? But I also feel like it would look Meh on me.

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  9. I second your comment on being completely FED UP with winter πŸ™‚ I’m in Victoria BC and this winter has been almost exactly why we left Kitchener ON! Snow, ice, freezing temperatures for days on end. It’s been brutal. It’s nice now but I’m so shelled shocked I’m half expecting another one of those “arctic flows”. Tunics…I love tunics. I’ve just finished sewing my first Harrison dress and it looks horrid on me. But my longish Harrison shirt looks fabulous. A great lesson in silhouette I must say! No more dresses for me. I’ve been a tunic and leggings woman for years never really fully conscious of why I have so many until I looked at myself in the mirror in that dress. I’ll just cut it down to tunic length and I’m sure it’ll be fine πŸ™‚ I’ve been also looking seriously at the Ebony but I’m shying away for fear that tent like silhouette will be another disaster however seeing it on you has nudged me closer. It looks fabulous! I think the fabric choice is really key. Being super careful to use one that is very drapey so it doesn’t stick out from the body at the bottom. I followed that link to the tunic article that Lisa G. recommended – GREAT article thank you Lisa πŸ™‚

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    1. You guys really have had a bad winter out west, haven’t you? And I know it’s hard when towns don’t have enough infrastructure for snow. Good luck!

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  10. Whatever length your top is – is perfect! It looks wonderful. I’m with you on winter. (Northern New York.) My husband and I discussed a trip to Montreal – until we came to our senses and realized it was WINTER!!! So. We decided to do nothing until it’s spring. (I’ve tried getting into winter sports, but they involve BEING OUTDOORS IN THE WINTER.) Anyway, comiserations aside, I LOVE YOUR TUNIC!

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  11. P.S. Megan can chuckle because she lives in the tropics! Won’t be so funny when we all arrive at her doorstep! (Base Camp on our way to scuba in Bali.) Darn. She left no address…

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  12. Having a very similar shape as you, I don’t like tunics much either, unless they are as long as a short mini dress. However, this ebony and the way you styled it is very lovely. It’s classic and reminds me of a modern aubrey hepburn in Sabrina. She went to france and dressed very smartly, all classic black and white. I like this outfit a lot.

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  13. That tunic is lovely. What a great length and looks super swingy. Winter might be getting on your nerves but the light reflected from the snow has lit your shots beautifully. I saw somewhere on the net that people made light boxes from LED lights and those pop-up laundry baskets that you get from Ikea. Might be a cheap solution? To be honest I am a bit fed up of Winter now too. We are just having cold, dreich* days here and it has got really bitter all of a sudden. It keeps threatening to snow but never does and I have a nose like a very sniffy Rudolph. I think that tunic length for me would be down to where my fingertips were when I stood up straight. I love tunics as they cover all my wobbly bits up but I can still wear trousers. That bit about your neighbour cracked me up. πŸ™‚ Xx

    ( * Dreich http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/dreich-tops-poll-of-favourite-scots-words-1-2754328 )

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    1. I LOVE A COMMENT THAT COMES WITH FOOTNOTES! ❀
      Good luck with your dreich days – I shall hope you have good heating and modern windows! πŸ˜‰

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  14. I agree with Mother of Reinvention, the winter snow light is great! And your flower was a nice touch too. I definitely fall into the longer tunic camp – I have a pretty set dress length, just above the knee, and for me a tunic is 2″-3″ shorter. Hardly any difference, really! But I have longish legs, and I like where that length hits on me. Always with leggings, that would definitely be a dress-over-pants length. Keep your chin up, winter will end …. eventually….

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    1. My whole white porch does a decent job of bouncing light around – one of the reasons I’ve been so lazy about going anywhere else for pictures! πŸ˜› Then Lightroom does the rest!
      Your dress/tunic length makes total sense… I think for me I’m maybe thinking of my short shift dresses etc as dresses, when if they had a side slit, they would probably be tunics?

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  15. Life is way too short to worry about the passersby might be thinking…it might have been “cute chick in a cute top…her husband should buy her real f lowers!” Enjoy your new top, looks smashing.

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  16. Love this top and it looks fabulous in this fabric. I bought this pattern, you have inspired me. I’ll swap some snow for the heat in Sydney at the moment. We are having a sweltering hot summer, not fun at all. Maybe we could meet in the middle somewhere.

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  17. I’ll add my two cents worth to say that I have come to the conclusion that the length of tops and tunics depends on what is being worn on the bottom half. IMHO leggings need to have rear coverage when bending over. Jeggings look best with front crotch covered and jeans suit finishing around crotch level, (at least in the front)
    The result of this musing has been the realisation that one length doesn’t suffice, so a good excuse to make more clothes….
    Love your Ebony, the fabric is just perfect and I think the length looks great with what you’re wearing in the photo.

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  18. I’m taking notes because the proportions of your tunic are excellent! I’ve made the raglan version of the Ebony, but the proportions are way off. It’s so big it looks sloppy, like wearing an oversized tee to bed, which is incredibly comfortable, but doesn’t necessarily look good in the outside world.

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  19. I don’t know how you do it. The forever winter thing. I work with a Canadian guy who moved to Sydney when he was 11 – he said the first year they were there they kept a photo album, which started out with all the normal touristy things a family would do in a new country over summer, and it just progressed into continuous shots of greenery and flowers in the garden captioned with ‘THIS IS WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!’
    Anyway. I digress. Love the stripe and the wide neckband on this. Like everyone else is saying – tunic length is very personal… but I think most people can do any length depending on how you ‘style’ it πŸ™‚

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  20. It sounds miserable being cold, but living in 38 degrees everyday has its pitfalls too πŸ˜‰
    Regarding your question on tunic length, I think you’ve got it pretty perfect in this top. The photo you took on your side profile looking over your shoulder shows the top off as having amazing proportions. The high-low hem really works.

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  21. Love the top/shirt/tunic. :o)
    I found this video helpful; it addresses *proportion*, which differs for everyone but there are some universal rules that come in handy.

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