Welcome to the Handmade Style Tunic sew along! Today we’ll be getting things started and I’ll be mapping out the remainder of the days of the sew along. I hope this will help encourage those who are new to garment sewing to give it a try and for anyone else that it will hopefully bring you a little fire to get going on it. For those of you who might be new here, we’re planning on sewing along together to compete the Women’s Tunic that is one of the two garment patterns featured in my book, Handmade Style. I hope to add in a few more fun options and suggestions along the way and at the end you’ll have a fun and casual tunic that’ll suit your style.
Photo by Holly DeGroot
Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along Schedule:
Day 1 – that’s today! fabric selection and additional supplies
Day 2 – Tracing and cutting pieces
Day 3 – Neckline and Placket
Day 4 – Cuffs and Waist
Day 5 – Hemming and wrap- up
Today I’ll be talking a bit about fabric choices and supplies needed to complete the tunic. If you don’t have any of these suggested fabrics already in your stash, I hope you can find time to do a little shopping and have something washed and pressed and ready to go for next week. I suggest using lawn, voile, shot cotton, chambray, or rayon for this garment. Any of the fabrics listed would be a great choice. When I’m fabric shopping I try to ask myself if I saw a top made from that fabric in the store, would I buy it? If I answer yes, then I go for it, if I’m not sure, I keep looking! Keep in mind that rayon is a bit wiggly (which is part of what makes it so dreamy to wear), so if this is your first garment I might shy away from it for now.
The instructions for the tunic start on page 71. However, you’ll find the size chart for selecting your size on page 140 and the cutting layouts on page 143. You’ll want to take a quick peek at the size chart and compare that to the fabric requirements on the first column on page 71. You might find yourself needing less than what’s suggested, but these will give you an idea of how much you need. Generally, 3 yards of any width fabric will fit most sizes.
I quick pulled together a few ideas for fabric choices that I think would be really beautiful. Don’t feel limited to these though, there are so many great shops and designs out there!
I suggest tracing the pattern pieces onto tracing paper of some sort. I use anything from tracing paper rolls I’ve picked up on Amazon, to something more substantial like Pellon 830 tracing interfacing. The pattern pieces are essentially cut in half to fit onto the large pullout sheets at the back of the book, so by tracing the pieces you’ll be able to put them together quite easily and save the pattern sheets for future reference, different sizing options (you know, in case your friend begs you to make her one), and to keep the other pattern pieces intact.
You’ll also need (5) 1/2″ buttons for buttoning the tunic placket. You could experiment with different size and quantities of buttons as well, so feel to take creative freedom with that.
Lastly, I suggest using a lightweight interfacing such as Pellon PLF36. Something lightweight will be perfect for adding stability and durability to the placket. You’ll only need a little so maybe you have some scraps laying around? Also be sure to pick up some coordinating thread and maybe a new pack of needles if don’t have any already!
Okay, so gather your supplies and pre-wash and press your fabric, I’ll see ya next week! I’ll be spreading out the posts to be once a week, which will hopefully be a nice amount of time to get through each step as well as being easy to get caught up in case your schedule is full this summer! And of course feel free to work at your own pace, the posts will be permanent here on my blog, so reference them any time you need. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below.
If you still need a copy of my book, you can purchase a copy of Handmade Style at your local quilt shop, Joann’s, local bookstore or Amazon. Or, check with your local library, too.