Hello readers! Today, I’m sharing with you the new tunic that I’ve recently sewed for our transitional spring weather here in the Pacific Northwest. The tunic is the Schnittchen Katha tunic, a versatile tunic pattern that offers two different lengths, a sleeveless or long-sleeved version, and two different sleeve cuffs for the sleeved version.
Schnittchen, a German-based pattern company, is a relative newcomer on the indie pattern market, and they now have some cute offerings for their curvy pattern customers. A few months ago, Schnittchen expanded their range for some patterns to now include European sizes 46-56 (up to a 53.5″/136cm bust).
Size Range: The Katha Tunic is available in both Schnittchen’s Plus size range and Misses size range. The Plus size range encompasses European sizes 46-56 (42″-53.5″/106-136cm bust, 45″-56″/114.5-142cm hip). The Misses size range encompasses sizes 34-46 (32″-42″/82cm-106cm bust, 36″-45″/91cm-114.5cm hip).
What size did you make?
Based off of the size chart, I made a size 52, blending to a size 56 from the bust on down (aka a “cheater” FBA). I debated doing a “real” FBA on this one, but frankly, I didn’t want to deal with adjusting all of the darts (armhole dart + waist dart + bust dart to be added by the FBA). The only downside to this method is that the armhole would gape slightly if I opted for the sleeveless view.
That pattern runs true-to-size according to the size chart. This experience is consistent with the other Schnittchen pattern that I previously sewed.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I made minimal adjustments. I did do a length-only FBA to move the bust seam down:
I also wanted to retain the shirt-tail hem of the “long view”, but didn’t want a tunic/dress that reached my knees, so I shortened the “skirt” pieces by 3″ to retain the hem/shape but get the hem to hit me at my preferred spot for a tunic.
One thing to note: I am only 5’2″, and the sleeves on this hit me at bracelet length, without shortening them. I often need to shorten long sleeves on patterns, so this caught me by surprise, given that the instructions/pattern always referred to these as “long sleeves”. They’re clearly not drafted to be full-length long sleeves.
What fabric did you use?
I used Japanese cotton lawn in two coordinating colorways, purchased from Miss Matatabi.
Recommended fabrics for this pattern include cotton, light denim, viscose, and jersey. Based on my experience with this pattern, I think that rayon challis and double gauze would also work well for this design.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The construction process was easy, in the sense that I didn’t run into any drafting errors, and everything fit together as expected.
I do want to point out that the technical drawing for the pattern isn’t entirely accurate. While the technical drawing shows fisheye darts in back, it only shows the armhole darts in the front. There is also a set of fisheye darts in front, adding additional waist shaping. The points of these waist darts actually meet up with the point of the armhole darts, creating almost sort of armhole princess seams, but with darts.
I found the instructions to be sparse, but accurate. They do not have any illustrations, but they were easier to follow and understand than, say, Burda magazine instructions. There were some…interesting…German to English translations (e.g. “close the shoulder seams”), but I would think that a reasonably experienced sewist would be fine with them. You’ll also generally want to know when to finish seams, which way to press darts and seam allowances on your own, as the instructions are not detailed enough to describe these steps.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I like the pattern’s fit a lot; the tunic is very comfortable and practical for our transition into warmer weather. It’s nice being about to just go from the size chart and sew something with an appropriate amount of ease, rather than trying to play guessing games from measuring pattern pieces, etc.
I think that this style will work well for a lot of figure types. The empire waist seam hits most women at their “narrowest” part, giving waist definition. However, the tunic skirt is loose enough to skim over lumps and bumps. Additionally, with fisheye/waist darts in front and back, it’s pretty easy to customize the fit on this tunic.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I would definitely make this again–I’d love to make it in a cotton double gauze. Overall, I think that the fit is pretty good. However, on my next go-around, I might try shortening the placket area above the bust–it’s a little bit too long (as can be seen in the photos) on my short figure, causing the neckline to crinkle up a bit.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
The biggest stumbling block that I forsee for this pattern is the sparse instructions. However, if you’re okay with StyleArc or Burda instructions, you’ll be able to figure these out. There isn’t anything particularly unusual about the construction of this tunic. My other tip would be to go slow, and concentrate on precision, especially when sewing the placket and the curves/points for the neckline.
Size Range (1-5): 5 (Nicely inclusive size range).
Instructions (1-5): 3 (I didn’t have a problem with the instructions, but they’re probably a bit sparse for some of the CSC audience.)
Construction Process (1-5): 5 (No construction issues.)
Final Fit (1-5): 4.5 (I am very happy with the final fit.)
Overall Rating (1-5): 4.4 (Average all scores)
Note: I received a promotional copy of this pattern for review; however all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.