Sewing for Me: Turkey Day Tunic


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this very food-centric holiday! When I lived in Japan for a couple of years, a bunch of ex-pats and I would gather together to re-create Thanksgiving with the works: turkey, yams, pumpkin pie. We had to special order all the ingredients and we doused ourselves in nostalgia as we gorged on astronomically expensive Western food – good times. With my mom here this year, we’re going Japanese style all the way and noshing on sushi. K isn’t the biggest fan of sushi, so she requested mashed potatoes and gravy, which I will whip up, but otherwise, we’ll be enjoying quite an un-traditional feast.


Since our T-day is super low key, I don’t feel the need to dress up in any way, but I did make a tunic top perfect for the occasion. It’s a little reminiscent of the Tova (I wear the ones I made all the time), and I absolutely love this style. Pintucks! Loose and floaty! Metal buttons! Black black black!! The princess seams work nicely to create curves without bust darts, which is a great discovery. I wasn’t too sure about the sleeve tabs, but now that I’m looking at the photos, I like them. The best part? I can stuff myself with sushi and no one will be the wiser.


I used a very thin black cotton. It’s either batiste or lawn, but whatever it is, the drape is just lovely. It’s sheer enough to ensure that people don’t think I’m with child, but not sheer enough to be scandalous. The pattern is Simplicity 2365. I wanted a top that mostly looked like View A, but I thought the length was too long, so I cut view B’s bodice and added 2.5 inches. This is the length with which I’m most comfortable, I’ve learned: that magic spot that hits just at the upper thigh.


The back is a bit wrinkly, but it’ll do.


As far as construction goes, it came together rather easily. I am notoriously bad at pintucks, though I still can’t figure out why I have so much trouble with them. I dream of having Morgan’s pintucking expertise one day.


The metal buttons on the front are non-functional. I started to make button-holes and then my machine wanted to eat the fabric so I had to switch gears quickly before my top was completely ruined. It was a close call. You can also see that I ran out of black serger thread, so I had to improvise with a spool of grey. I know, I know, French seams would have been the way to go, but that would have made too much sense.

I love this top and know that this will get a ton of wear. I’m slowly gaining more confidence with sewing for myself and it’s so incredibly fun.


I’m thankful for so many things. But for now, thank you my sweet friends, for continuing to visit this little space. I’m taking tomorrow off to spend some much-needed family time and to get rid of this cough once and for all, but I will be back Monday with a darling outfit for K. Salut!


40 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: Turkey Day Tunic

  1. I have a giggle when I read your blog, you have some sense of humour! Loving the top, beautiful work as always (don’t be too modest, your workmanship speaks for itself). ^_^ Happy holiday and hope your mum enjoys her visit.

    1. Happy Holidays Lulita! It feels like the official start, doesn’t it? Thanks for the sweet words – I’m always trying to improve my workmanship! 🙂

    2. I agree, your tunic looks fantastic! I’ve only tried wider pintucks – I can see how the tiny ones you did would pose more of a challenge. Nice job with them! I hope your sushi feast was delicious.

  2. I thought I recognized that top! I’ve made that pattern twice. It’s a great one. Your version is perfect. I really like it in the slightly sheer fabric. Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

  3. eek! sanae! you’ve done it again! i have like four tops so similar to this pinned with the pintucks up front, and i thought i’d have to figure out how to make it myself. there’s a fair chance i repinned them from you 🙂 now i can try to hunt it down in a black friday joann’s sale (if i work up the courage to go, since last year was an altogether terrifying experience). this is definitely one of my favorites of the things you’ve made yourself! beautiful! happy thanksgiving.

    1. You’re a brave woman to face Joann’s Black Friday sale, Ashley. I haven’t gone near a retail venue on BF for years! I thought this was one of the better drafted big 4 patterns and I’ll be making more for sure! Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

      1. i didn’t go. couldn’t muster the courage. i went last year by accident if you can believe it, because we never know what day it is in our house. i left bleeding and hypoglycemic. i just couldn’t do it again this year, even intentionally! i did go sunday, and the pattern was out of stock. grrr!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve lived in Spain for 5 years and have made efforts in years past to pull together a traditional meal. But this year I’ve all but forgotten about Thanksgiving- so at the last minute, just to feel a little bit of nostalgia, I made pumpkin muffins and butternut squash soup to enjoy today. It’s enough, really.

    I love this top! It really looks professional and is very flattering. I love black, too!

    1. Mmmmm pumpkin muffins and butternut squash soup sound divine, Gita. 🙂 I bet it gets more and more challenging to uphold American tradition overseas, but Spain! Such a beautiful country. And thanks, glad you like the top!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! An American Thanksgiving dinner in Japan and a Japanese Thanksgiving dinner in America totally make sense and sound delicious! And wow for the tunic! I think it is one of my favorite things you made. So classic looking and still relaxed. Love the buttons. And your stiches! Impressive. I will go look for that magic spot for finding the right tunic length now….

    1. Thanks Ute! This is one of my fave makes too! I’m starting to get to the point of wearing my handmades more and more. In the beginning I kept feeling like my clothes looked too homemade, but slowly, I’m improving. The benefit of all of this is figuring things like that magic upper thigh spot 😉

    1. Happy T-day to you, Robin. I hope it was spectacular! It’s a super comfy top and I think this is very much your style too.

    1. A very timely sewing project indeed – I love clothes that don’t restrict me from eating to my heart’s content 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you!

    1. I hope to master pin tucks one day, Miriam, because I really love them. Don’t look too closely because they’re far from great, but this fabric is forgiving 🙂

  6. Of course, I should have realised that the trick to the non-preggers tunic is in choosing a sheer fabric. Clever you.
    Great sewing and lovely photos. I’d choose Sushi over turkey any day so enjoy an extra helping on my behalf!

    1. Ha, in theory, the sheerness should prevent the maternity look, but after dinner I realized that I looked pregnant anyway from eating too much! The sushi was awesome and the mashed potatoes were tasty too 🙂

  7. Sushi for Thanksgiving sounds good to me! I have a friend who does sort of All-American-junk-food-sushi-mashup stuff at pop-ups in SF. I believe he’s done a Thanksgiving themed dinner (think rolls with turkey and gravy…a little strange to say the least).

    Happy Day and lovely top!

    1. I’m so intrigued by your friend’s pop up shop, Alana. So are they sushi style mash-ups or like tapas style? My mom and your friend would hit it off, I’m sure 🙂 Happy Beginning of Official Holiday Season, as I like to think of this weekend!

  8. You look stunning, Sanae! And your pin tucking looks flawless! I’m not a very patent pin-tucker, so I’m always impressed by those who do it well:) So glad you’re having a lovely visit with your mom and that she was able to spend Thanksgiving with you. And may the next few days work wonders on your cough once and for all!

    1. Oh, thank you Lucinda – shallow depths of field can be deceiving and my Pintucks need a little more work, but I’m very happy with the top anyway 🙂 Thanksgiving with my mom was amazing, and though my cough is refusing to let up, I’m steadily getting better! Hope you had a wonderful celebration!

    1. Cherie! I hope you had the loveliest Thanksgiving as a family of four! I miss your blog updates, but I imagine you’re a little busy these days 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tara! You should totally try to make one. The pintucks and the collar is a tiny bit of a pain, but overall, the top comes together easily. I figured out that hand-stitching the collar facing is much more accurate than machine-sewing, and even with my uneven pintucks, the top looks store-bought, I think!

    1. Thanks so much, Erin! I ate so much for Thanksgiving, it looked like I was cuddling a mini turkey under my shirt! 🙂

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