If someone would’ve told me six months ago that I’d be testing a kimono style tunic for the absolutely fabulous Victory Patterns I would’ve given them some sort of disbelieving, and probably highly unattractive, animated expression that would’ve said “Are you crazy?”
I’m fairly new to garment sewing and pattern testing and I still get really excited when I hear back from pattern designers. However, I won’t even reveal some of the really dumb questions that I’ve asked my fellow testers. If you’ve tested with me though, you know that I had no idea what sleeve ease was and the difference between sewing-in-the-round and sewing-in-the-flat.
All that silliness aside, I DID get picked to help test this tunic and I have to say that the Trina was an extremely satisfying project. When I first glimpsed at the line drawing I erroneously assumed that this would be a “quick sew”. You know, sew some panels together, bind the neckline, hem…..and then I got into it. This tunic is not a quick sew but for a good reason. The extreme attention to detail with the drafting and construction of the pattern brought me to a new skill level and taught me some good tricks to having a clean finish. Every seam and corner was methodically addressed. It was very apparent that Kris put a lot of thought and deliberation into the construction of this pattern.
This pattern offers two different views. A dress style that hits at the knee and a tunic style that hits right below the hip. I sewed up the tunic and the style and fit is as you’d expect a kimono to be. It perfectly pairs comfort and femininity and even with its billowy style is very flattering.
I did some color blocking with mine and I love the contrast. I will admit, though, that part of the reason that I did solid-colored sleeves is that I chickened out on getting the sleeve pattern piece right with the direction of the print. I think it worked out for the best though, the black sleeves are a complimentary complement to the patterned bodice. Both of my fabrics are rayon challis with really nice drape. I would definitely recommend using this type of fabric for this project as the drape works perfectly with the silhouette. I got the beautiful patterned fabric from my local shop, Stitchology, and I got the black rayon from Joann’s.
The two front bodice pieces are cut on the bias and gathered where they meet the sleeves. The large sleeves have an absolutely gorgeous silhouette. The sleeve doesn’t completely connect to the bodice. There are intentional gaps in the armscye that serves as a design feature. This is where you string through your waist band to secure the tunic. (It took me a little longer to figure this out than I’m willing to admit). The waist bands are long enough to wrap around your back first and then ties in the front (or on the side if you prefer).
I can’t say that I’d do a lot of “activity” in this tunic as the sleeves could get in the way a bit. However, “activity” described as lifting a wine glass or holding hands with your beau would probably be okay. I can also attest that it’s very comfortable to wear while you wordsmith blog posts.
I think that this pattern is a beautiful one. I’ve said before that I usually gravitate towards patterns with a lot of versatility for styling and occasions. I wouldn’t say that the Trina provides exactly that, but I will say that this is a statement of a garment and every wardrobe needs some pieces like that. This tunic is chic, eye-catching, comfortable, and flattering. I’m so happy that it’s a part of my wardrobe. You can purchase the pattern here.
The opinions stated above are solely my own. In return for doing the pattern test and providing the review above I was given a copy of the final Trina pattern.