An off shoulder tunic in navy taffeta | Hot Patterns Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouse

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Hey guys, look who’s back?

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately. We have actually been closed for holidays, and if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would have seen some pics from South Africa popping up. And of course, I was not organised enough to schedule any posts while I was away, so you got radio silence.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and we’re back to cold, drizzly London. And it’s been interesting, to say the least since we got back, as I seem to have acquired a tropical disease and spent a bit of time at the hospital last week, trying to figure out what it was. Fortunately, nothing too catastrophic, something called African Tick Bite Fever, which has since responded very well to antibiotics, and I’m feeling much much better.

So much so that I managed to take some blog pictures yesterday, hurray!, though I still didn’t brave the elements and take the shoot outside. So boring white living room walls it is again…

Anyhow, so what are we talking about then?


In September last year, I’ve subsided to the off-the-shoulder trend and finally made my version as well. It’s mad that it took so long to actually take the pics, which unfortunately seems to be a trend this year…However, I have worn it loads, so clearly it has passed the wear-test, which is what matters in the end.

So, a bit about this pattern… It’s called Metropolitan Urban Gypsy blouse, by Hot Patterns and  I fell in love with it when I saw Erica’s version last year. Spring last year, that is, but hey ho, never have I been called a fashion follower… Her version is fab and it really made me want this pattern. I finally cracked and got it in PDF. Unfortunately, my printer did not cooperate, and I had some infuriating hours pulling my hair out while trying to assemble the PDF as it did not scale under any circumstances, and I could not get the pages to match. So I got in touch with the people at Hot Patterns and they very kindly offered me a paper version for free. Really great customer service, guys, thanks a lot!

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I finally cut it out around September time, as I was planning to make it into a dress and wear it a wedding. I added 20 cm at the lengthen/shorten line to make it knee-length, but when I finished it, I chopped them right off, as it seemed a bit too long. Unfortunately, I got scissors-happy before I actually tried it on, so it ended up being way too short for a dress, and I now have to wear it over trousers, as a tunic. I had also initially cut a size 14, as I wanted a lot of volume to be gathered by the elastic, but it just looked huge, really tent-like. So I ended up re-cutting the paper pattern at size 8 and removing the volume from the side seams to what it is now.

So quite a long saga for this, but I really like this pattern, it was easy to sew and easy to wear too. I have dressed it up and down all autumn and winter and even took it on holidays, it came in very handy on a night out in Cape Town.

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My favourite things about the pattern are the sleeve ties, which are meant to be baby-hemmed, but I lost my patience and just roll-hemmed with my overlocked in the end. But if I make it again, I will definitely do it properly, scout’s honour! I also like the curved hem, which looks even better in a dress or tunic length. The pattern also comes with a small patch pocket and around the necktie, but it never felt unstable, so there was no need to add it where I was concerned. But maybe a seam pocket would not go amiss….

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Pattern: HP 1196 Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouses, size 8

Fabric: Polyester Taffeta from Abakhan (stash)

Alterations: Added 20 cm at the lengthen/shorten line, then removed 10 from the hem; roll-hemmed the ties instead of narrow-hemming.

Construction: It’s pretty straightforward and the instructions are easy to follow. I overlocked all raw edges and used with a narrow hem on the bottom. I can’t remember how they say to finish off the hem.

I should have used a tiny bit more elastic, as it pulls a bit on the non-elasticated front part, but I was worried about it not being tight enough.

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Would I make this again? Definitely yes. I still want to make it again in dress length, but keep looking for the right fabric. I think the stiffness of the taffeta works better than some other drapier fabrics I’ve seen in other versions. But some slit pockets sure would not go amiss.


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  1. You look stunning, that blue with your eyes…
    May I ask, did you use the shelf bra? I am about to sew this for my daughter.
    Thank you!


    1. Thank you! I did not use a shelf bra because I don’t think it will offer enough coverage and support. A good strapless bra is always a better option for me, I do wear those a lot even for tops or dresses that are not strapless, to avoid straps showing.


  2. It’s an awesome colour. I love it ! And it looks great with your white walls in your living room. 🙂 so glad you are felling better now. X


  3. Hi Alex

    Am really fed-up I can’t make it you your next Joy to Sew Overlock day. Please could you let me know if you are planning more elsewhere.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Best wishes.


    Sent from my gilly’s iPhone


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