Neoprene Tunic

If you saw my Hooded Cape, you might have spotted my addiction to cowl necks. At Mood I spotted this jersey backed neoprene which said, “If you think Star Trek is fashion forward, then I am the fabric for you!” You don’t have to ask to beam me up twice!

The jersey gives a soft lining and the neoprene makes edges safe from fraying. (I did go over everything with fray-stay just to be extra sure).

For my first experiment into neoprene, I wanted a simple pattern. I also used my serger with a roll stitch to sew all the pieces together, thus avoiding lining and hidden hems. All the serger hems are on the inside, like a sweat shirt.

I traced a shirt onto muslin and kept adjusting the length, arm scythe, and fronts panels until I got the tunic shape that I wanted.

Cutting the Pieces

Once I had the fit right:

  • 1 Back: this needs to be cut on a fold to get a complete back.
  • 2 Front Panels: cut one panel then flip it over to cut a mirror image.
  • 1 Pocket: Cut a 6×8 rectangle for a pocket
  • 1 Neck: measure your neck on the back and one of the front panels. Cut a rectangle for the total length by 10 inches. My neck was about 22 x 10.

Panels

Sew the Front Panels to the the Back on the shoulders. Each Front Panel should only be attached by one shoulder, so it opens like a cardigan.

Now sew up the side seams, attaching the sides of the Front Panels to the side of the Back. Notice the red notch on the side of the back. I didn’t new all the way from the arm down to the bottom, I left about 8 inches below that open on me so that the tunic would open near my waist. This way it doesn’t block me from putting my hands in my pockets.

My tunic opens on the right, so my neck piece starts starts on the right shoulder seams and wraps around back to the edge of the left Front Panel’s neckline.

Side Zipper

P1120799

For the zipper, I used a sports zipper and started on the Front Panel. I sewed one side of the zipper along the left Front Panel and up the side of the Neck. I then “draped” the other side of the zipper across the front of the right Front Panel to where I wanted the left Front Panel to hang. The zipper is what attached the left panel to the right, so by hanging it a little lower than a perfect match, I end up an asymmetrical tunic instead of a doctor’s gown. (Crusher would be, well, crushed)

I top stitched the zipper onto the front of the right Front Panel up towards the other, unzippered, edge of the Neck. I made a small snip in the zipper edging so that it would go from the top of the garment to being tucked behind the neck. Then I sewed the rest of the zipper to the neck.

Since my zipper opens at the bottom, near my arm, I cut the top to be flush with the top of the cowl neck and used hot glue to seal the ends to that the zipper wouldn’t come off.

Pocket

The placement of the pocket is personal preference. I placed my flush with the right side seam, where my arm would naturally reach it. Then I top stitched the sides and bottom into place.

I played with the idea of a giant front pocket, or using the reverse side for contract; but it looked like a romper a school marm would wear.

Side Snaps

Instead of sewing another zipper inside on the right to make that shoulder hang, I used nylon sew on snaps. I attached two, roughly in the same position as where the zipper held the mirror side.

Once it is done, you do put it on like a vest, snap up one shoulder and the zip up the other. So it is a little slipping into a straight jacket with all of the fasteners, but the fabric was fun to work with and the jersey lining made it really comfy cozy — as I head down to engineering to check on the warp core.

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