Last time I came to Bali I had a great time buying batiks and ikats. One of my favourites was this fish pattern.

In reality it is the deepest French navy with lighter blue fish, instead of grey on grey,  but you get the idea. I bought 5m of it and so far I have made a tunic, with a long sleeve Jac shirt planned for next autumn. If there is enough fabric left after that I may make cropped pants to match the tunic. Matching sets seem to be making a comeback and no longer look so much like pyjamas.

To make the tunic I used a pattern that I have recently developed using the bodice of the Tessuti Eva dress, one of my all time favourites. As you can see from the photo below, I lay the bodice on the fold, at a slight angle, which in turn causes the armscyes to be at an angle as well. This pushes some of the fullness of the skirt to the middle, distributing it nicely in folds all along the hemline, rather than having all the fullness from the diagonal side seams hang limply at the sides like a bit of tacked on extra.

From the bottom of the armscye I run a diagonal side seam to the selvage, then cut the hem a good 20-30cm below that, making a straight bit at the sides which will become an open vent. The back is cut the same, using the back bodice pattern.

To sew,  I sew up the shoulders, then make a narrow hem all along the side vent and the bottom of the tunic. Lastly I  sew up the diagonal side seam, overlock it and tuck the overlocking tail back into the seam, making a neat finish. The last step is to neaten the armscyes with a self bias strip, and often as not the neckline as well. In this instance I made a narrow stand up collar, cutting a strip of fabric the same length as the neck opening and about 20cm in width. This was sewn to make a round, doubled, sewn to the neck edge, overlocked and then the seam allowance topstitched down toward the bodice, so I won’t flip up and show when the tunic is worn. I then folded this strip over again to make small stand up collar.

There are more detailed explanations of my modus operandi on Pattern Review.

Sadly the batik print does not show up as nice in the photos as in reality, much as I have tried to lighten up what looks like black from head to foot.  Looks great in real life though and one of these days I will figure out how to do these very dark colours justice in photos.  🙂