Monday, October 4, 2010

V8580 CAbi Erte Tunic Knockoff

I've always loved CAbi's clothes. So easy, so elegant, so DAMNED expensive. (Take a look here). When I first saw this season's collection, I was immediately smitten with the Erte Tunic. The fabric was beautiful, much like Erte's 1920 Art Deco designs. I've been a fan of Erte's since 1988 when I first saw his work in a gallery in San Francisco.

I sweated out this purchase, alternately 1) chiding myself for BUYING something when I know I can make it and 2) moaning, "but I looooove it!!". Trouble is, I don't looove it $128 worth and when I tried it on, it hung nearly to my knees. Not attractive.

So I set about making my own. Luckily, the Vogue 8580 was closer than anything else I could find on the market. With a couple of design changes, I think it turned out beautifully. Armed with a 40% off coupon and a pattern sale ($4), I spent a grand total of $22 on this project. Not bad. Not bad at all.


Pattern Description: Pullover tunic A, B, C in two lengths have kimono sleeves, self-faced elastic casing with flat front and A-line lower section. A, B: short sleeve with self-cuffs. C: three-quarter length sleeves. Pullover top D is semi-fitted with stitched hems.

I made a straight medium (MEDIUM, people! HURRAY!) of View C with modifications.

Pattern Sizing: Y(XS-S-M), ZZ(L-XL-XXL)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Somewhat. My inspiration for this tunic was the CAbi Erte Tunic from the FW CAbi collection.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I might have glanced at them once. Maybe.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It went together in about 2 hours. Nothing like an instant gratification project!

Fabric Used: 100% Polyester from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: This tunic runs voluminously LARGE and runs LONG, ladies. Check out the flat pattern measurements before you cut. I only made a high round back adjustment and removed 2" from the hem. Simple! I hate elastic, so I also added a channel through the middle of the casing pieces, added two buttonholes to the CF and included a waist tie. 

The pattern of the fabric is really busy, so you don't see these design changes in the photo. In hindsight, I'll be removing a couple of inches from the side seams next go 'round. I also hate hemming, so used the roll hem on my serger for the neckline, sleeves and hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Heck yeah I'm making it again! I just got back from Italy with TONS of new fabric and have one Gianni Versace silk black and white bitmapped flower fabric I'll be using this pattern for.

Conclusion: This is as close as you can get to wearing elegant jammies at work. I highly recommend this easy pattern for a sewing quick fix!


  1. Wow! This looks very, very close to the original. Well done!

  2. Nice job - your version looks great!

  3. I like it! Really nice and the colours are great on you.

  4. YOU JUST GOT BACK FROM ITALY?! You lucky duck. This looks fabulous on you!

  5. I can't believe you met "Eric"; that man is seriously hot! I prefer him to Bill any day, the appeal of the "bad boy", you know... (ooh, starting to sound like a teenager, here, sorry!)