Classic Elite Yarns (CEY) is one of my favorite yarn companies; over the years I've used their yarns in many of my designs, including the Anjou sleeveless top (Provence), the Dayflower Camisole (Premiere), the Wisteria Child's Dress (Provence), and the Lutea Shell (Sundance). The Lutea shell was the first design I published in Interweave Knits, back in Summer 2007, and at the time Pam Allen was the editor there-- but she left shortly afterward to become creative director at CEY (and has since moved on to Quince & Co.).
The Odessa Tunic, in Sanibel yarn, is worked flat and sideways, in four pieces, and then seamed at the sides and the center front and back. All pieces are worked from the center out, with increases shaping the neck, and short rows shaping the armholes, so I decided not to complicate matters by adding any waist shaping, and used a twisted cord tie at the waist instead.
My favorite feature of this tunic is the subtle contrast between the plain knit body and the lace "skirt," and this was really inspired by the yarn. I spotted the yarn in a yarn store four or five years ago, in the same color (Maize) I ended using in this tunic, and was intrigued by the subdued variegation, the ribbon construction, and by the unusual mix of matte and shiny (it's composed of cotton and rayon/viscose). When I started swatching with it, I was struck by two things: its beautiful drape, and how different the variations in color and texture showed up in stockinette compared to lace. So I knew I wanted to put lace and stockinette together in this design, and then it just became a matter of finding the right lace pattern.
I also love how versatile this tunic is. It can be worn over jeans, like in the photos, or over a tank or slip dress or leggings, and the waist tie can be cinched in at the natural waist, or allowed to sit just above the hips, or left loose (or omitted!).
And finally, it was a fun project-- the lace pattern is easy to memorize, the neck and armhole edges are self finished, and the body seams are simply whipstitched (when sewing the lace sections, the lace pattern makes it easy to line up the pieces, but in the stockinette stitch sections, you have to be a little careful to line up the columns of stitches on each piece). And the twisted tie belt is fun to make, but if you've never done one, be prepared for LOTS of twisting! Or you can use a hand mixer... (lots of videos on Youtube!).
(All photos copyright Tom Moore Studios)