My Atelier Brunette Cotton Tunic

This is a pattern that wanted to be made by me for a very long time, ever since I received my SewNow issue 12 last year and is Lisette Butterick 6168. The fabric has been in my stash since the last tip I made to Leeds for a sewing meet-up. It’s an Atelier Brunette cotton lawn fabric from John Lewis (the only reason I still know this because I kept the little receipt they gave me showing the width and care instructions.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted long sleeves. I made the tunic version because there are more chances I would wear it. I chose to use the sleeve pattern from the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case ( for more information about my versions please see here and here

I cut as size 12. Usually, I need to shorten the bodice between the bust line and the shoulder by 1.23 cm or 1/2”, which makes the waist fall exactly where it is supposed to on my body. This is an average adjustment I make when I used Butterick patterns.

I had an ops moment when I realised that I did not adjust the front facings as well. Well to be more accurate, I only figured it out when I tried to attach the facings and they did not match. Once I realised it I just traced the new facing from the modified bodice and making it about 5cm/2” wide.

And if this was not enough I did not have enough left over fabric to cut the new pieces. Darn.. Well, luckily it was only the facing so no one will know, apart from you lovely readers, that I ended up using similar weight fabric instead.


Before adding the little tab, I checked out Alison Smith’s tutorial in the magazine, for any tips to make my insertion flawless.

It should come to no surprise to you that at some point I started doing my own thing and making up my own order of construction. For the pleats I used Megan Nielsen’s technique she used for the release tucks on Flint trousers, here is as link to her tutorial. Rather than gather my ties as suggested in the instructions to add a box pleat. I like to look of it more ( I also avoid gathers as much as I can, I hate gathering fabric, I know it’s silly).

I also overlocked the exposed seams in steps.

I very much prefer inserting sleeves on the flat. I feel that I have more control and get a better result. Then I overlocked the seam cutting off the seam allowance down to 0.7 to 1 cm rather than clip into it.

I then stitched the sides seam and hemmed the sleeves and the skirt.

For a bit of a change I have done a lapped zipper insertion, rather than an invisible zip.

I am really please with my little tunic. It fits well. Has long sleeves, which means I can wear it when the weather is not hot, which around here (England) doesn’t happen to often. Love the little design elements that I changed with the pattern (pleats rather than gathers on the ties, long sleeves and lapped zipper).


The ties make me feel real feminine and elegant when I wear this top. I even take my time to tie them in a bow at the back.


Will I be making this pattern again? Definitely! I will however consider using contrasting fabric for the midriff and ties just because I can.

Do you make the patterns as they are or you tend to make little changes to the original to make them your own? What details you prefer change? I’d love to hear/read about them, so please let me know in the comments.


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