Sew Along

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 4

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

We’re almost there! Welcome back to the Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along. I’m hoping this sew along will be helpful to anyone who’s excited about sewing this tunic, I know it’s been fun for me to sew it again. So it may just have given me the itch to sew yet another with a few more modifications yet!

Today we’ll be sewing the side seams, cuffs, and waist casing/drawstring. Listing it out like that makes it sound like more than it actually is, I promise it’s not too bad! I would guess that it might take you a little over two hours time if you go along at a casual pace. Along the way I’ll mention a few more modifications and those will cut down on time as well. So it’s really up to you! Make it yours, add your own twist, infuse your style.

Start by sewing the side seams just like we did on Day 3 for the shoulder seams. Again, I’ll be using a french seam for this, so you can follow these next few steps or sew it the traditional way by sewing the seams with right sides together and finish your seams with a serger or zig zag stitch – your choice.

Place the tunic front and back pieces WRONG sides together and sew along the both side seams (which is actually the sleeve and side seam all in one) using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then trim the seam allowance to an 1/8″. Press the seams, turn the tunic wrong side out and sew the side seams using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press your seam towards the tunic back.Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

The cuffs are optional, so you may choose to leave them off. If you’re not using the cuffs you’ll need to hem the sleeve opening by pressing it to the wrong side by 1/4″ and then again by 1/4″. Sew close to the inner fold to hold the hem in place.

If you’re ready for cuffs, follow along! First match the short ends of the cuffs right sides together and sew. Press seam open.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Next, fold the cuff in half with the wrong sides facing and press. Baste the raw edges of the cuff together.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Next, with the tunic wrong side out, align the raw basted edge of the cuff with the raw edge of the sleeve opening. The seam of the cuff should align to the side seam of the tunic. Pin in place and sew. Next you can finish the seam with a serger or zig zag stitch.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Turn the tunic right side out and press the seam allowance toward the cuff. Fold the cuff in half toward the tunic, the finished fold of the cuff will be past the seam you just finished by about 1/2″.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Tack in place along the shoulder seam and underarm seam by stitching a few times back and forth with your machine, or using a tack stitch or by hand. This will help prevent the cuff from coming unfolded and hold it nicely in place. Repeat to make and attach the remaining cuff.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

You could skip the waist casing and go for a simpler approach by making the drawstring and tying it around your waist when worn. You could also experiment with adding belt loops at the side seam. Another fun variation to try!

To make the waist casing start by folding the long sides of the casing to the wrong side by 1/2″, then fold both short ends to the wrong side by 1/2″. Topstitch along each short end.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Lay the casing wrong side down on top of the tunic aligned to the transferred placement markings from the pattern. I start by pinning at the one end of the casing and working my way around the tunic. It’s easiest to reach inside the tunic with one hand while doing this. If your casing needs any adjustment by the time you reach the other side of the placket, it’s easy to do. Just shorten it and redo the topstitching. The casing will be ending about 1/2″ to 1/4″ on each side of the placket. If you wanted to make the casing higher or lower on the tunic, it’s pretty easy to move it up or down to your liking. You’ll want to adjust the length of the casing accordingly.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Sew the casing in place by sewing along each folded edge all the way around the tunic being sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

The drawstring is pretty much like making double fold bias tape, but with finished ends. Join the short end together to make one long piece then press the two short ends to the wrong side by 1/2″. Then proceed as you would for double fold bias tape and stitch the open edge closed.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

Once the drawstring is complete you can feed it through the waistband casing using a safety pin. Again, it’s easier here to have one hand inside the tunic while feeding the drawstring through.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 4

We’re down to the hem which we will finish next time! Congratulations, you’re almost done! If you’re anything like me I bet you’ve tried it on a time or two already. See you next week!

Sew along notes: 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.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 1
Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 2
Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 3

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.

Sew Along

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 3

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Hello! Hello! Thanks for joining along for Day 3 for the Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along. It’s been fun for me to take time to process each bit and take things slowly. Plus I hope that if you’re joining along, that taking a project and breaking it up into smaller doable sizes enables you to enjoy it more along the way.

Today we’ll be sewing the neckline binding and the placket! I’m hoping the placket doesn’t scare anyone off. But if you don’t want to try it, that’s okay, too! The placket can be skipped and the tunic should fit over your head just fine. It’s a great option and of course saves even more time and steps. I like the placket detail and think it adds nice interest, especially if you’re using a solid or more subtle print.

Start by sewing the shoulder seams, I’ll be using a french seam for this, so you can follow these next few steps or sew it the traditional way and finish your seams with a serger or zig zag stitch – your choice.

Place the tunic front and back pieces WRONG sides together, matching the notches and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then trim the seam allowance to an 1/8″.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Press the seam and position the tunic front and back RIGHT sides together. Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance and then press your seam towards the tunic back.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

After the shoulder seams are sewn we can attach the binding to the neckline. Because the placket will be installed (and we’ll be clipping through the neckline anyway), you can start and stop the binding at the center front of the tunic. Turn the tunic so that the pieces are wrong side out. Beginning at the center front, open the double fold bias tape and align the long edge right sides together with the raw edge of the neckline.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

You can then pin the bias tape all in place along the neckline, or adjust as you go without using pins. We’ll be sewing on the first crease of the binding closest to the neckline. After the bias tape is attached and you’ve reached the center front again, trim any excess tape and press the binding up away from the tunic.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Next, turn the tunic right side out and wrap the bias tape to the right side of the tunic and pin in place so that it’s just covering the previous stitching.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Once you’ve pinned carefully, sew the binding in place (starting and stopping at the center front).

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

That’s it for the neckline!

Now on to the placket, don’t be scared, if you take your time and press well after each step this will go really slick. A little bit of spray starch is also helpful for getting thing nice and crisp. If you’ve never tried a placket, I’d suggest grabbing a couple of scraps and practicing using this same technique. It’s better to mess up a few times with scraps than it would be with your actual garment!

Start by finger pressing the placket lengthwise to find the center at the top of the placket. With the tunic wrong side out, place the placket piece right sides down centered on the wrong side of the tunic front. Important: the placket needs to be placed 1/2″ above the finished neckline on the center front. This is also where I’d lay the garment flat on a large surface and make sure everything is aligned properly. You’ll want to be sure the placket is centered and straight on the tunic front. Pin the placket in place.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Sew on the marked stitching lines of the placket through both the placket and tunic front. This is also a good point to quickly fuse 1″ strips of the lightweight interfacing in place. Don’t skip the interfacing if you’re working with an especially lightweight fabric. Your buttons and buttonholes will thank you later. The strips will be fused in place like this:Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

This part might be the scariest, but with a scarp scissors cut down the center of the placket between the stitching lines of the placket. Angle out to each corner and clip to the stitching but not through it. Trim the seam allowance within the box to a 1/4″.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Turn the tunic right side out and bring the placket piece towards the center. Press each long side of the placket to the wrong side by 1/4″. Press the seam allowance towards the placket and then press the top placket edges down by 1/2″.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Press each placket in half lengthwise, so that it just covers the stitching from attaching the placket. The finished placket pieces will measure 1″ wide. Now to stitch it in place!

First, topstitch along the inner edge of the left placket along the long edge, fold the garment out of the way as you reach the bottom.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Topstitch along the right placket, sewing both long edges and across the top of the placket. You’ll be topstitching as far as you can sew just past the rectangular placket stitching box if you can. Just bend the garment out of the way to do so. Take your time, on the placket, the topstitching is what you’ll see most when you’re finished.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

So now there’s a right and left side of the placket all set to go. Place the left placket on top of the right. You can put a few pins in place to keep the placket aligned temporarily. Now carefully trim the underside of the placket piece at the bottom edge. Don’t trim any off the what was the left placket, just what’s under it. This will reduce bulk for sewing the next step. One you’re done trimming, turn the bottom of the placket under by 1″. This will enclose all the raw edges. Press well and neatly pin in place. The bottom edge of the placket should meet the bottom marking of your waistband casing.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

From the top edge of the left placket, topstitch along the top edge of the placket, pivoting down the furthest left side of the placket, pivoting at the bottom and finish by making a small rectangle at the base of the placket. As you reach the bottom, make sure the top placket is completely on top and centered on the bottom placket. You can also add an ‘x’ within the sew rectangle if you feel like it!  Press again so that everything is nice and smooth.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

Now onto the buttons! If you need to take a break or walk away for a bit before starting the buttons, go for it. I like taking small breaks before starting on a totally different type of step like buttonholes.

I honestly always mark my buttons by eyeballing it. I don’t really have the patience to measure and mark. However, I’d recommend making the first buttonhole 1/2″ from the finished neckline on the placket and the bottom button 2 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the placket. You can change this to suit your particular buttons or your preference. If you want to do more than 5 buttons that’s totally okay, too. Even grouping buttons in sets of two might be a fun twist. It’s really up to you.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

After marking get ready to sew the buttonholes. My machine comes with a buttonhole foot. It’s really quite easy. I always sew a test buttonhole with the thread and a scrap of the fabric I’m using so I can make sure everything is going to go smoothly. I also make note of how the machine creates the hole and measure the length of the sewn hole and compare it to what I’ve got on my markings making any adjustments using the test sewn buttonhole as a guide.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

There is a bit of info on page 69 on an alternate way of sewing a buttonhole if your particular machine doesn’t have the automatic function. If you’ve never sewn a buttonhole, check out your machine’s manual and give it a try. I find that by doing the test run, it really takes the pressure off of trying something new.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

After that you’ll sew all the buttonholes,  open the buttonholes and then sew on the buttons. Here’s a couple great little videos by Liesl Gibson you can watch, too: sewing buttonholes, opening buttonholes.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Day 3, Noodlehead

The hard part is done! Yay! The side seams, cuffs, and waist are next week. See you then!

Sew along notes: 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.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 1
Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 2

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.

Sew Along

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 2

sewalongtunic

Welcome to Day 2 of the Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along. If you missed the first day, check it out here. Now that you’ve got your fabric picked and supplies gathered, we can start tracing and cutting the pattern pieces.

I think the most important measurement for the tunic would be the bust measurement (find the size chart on page 140). You’ll want to pick your size according to that measurement as well as make note of where you fall for the waist and hip measurements. This is a loose-fitting casual top so I think even if you’re off a little bit, you’ll still be okay. Fabric selection also makes a big difference as well. A nice rayon like I used for the coral sample photographed in the book has a lot of give, so it moves and stretches along with any movement. A voile or lawn might not be quite as forgiving. I’m a size Medium for the size chart provided, so that’s the size I’ll be sewing. If you’re different sizes from bust to hips you can blend the lines accordingly to suit your size.

To get a general idea of how the length of the tunic is on your body, I’d suggest simply holding the paper pattern piece up to your body (or you can measure with a flexible tape measure too). It might seem a little silly I’ll admit, but just this quick step can help you get a better understanding of the overall length.

Trace your pattern pieces using tracing paper, being sure to write the pattern information and markings on the tracing as well. If you’d like to adjust the length, I’d suggest cutting your tracing at the line where the top and bottom parts of the tunic were divided on the pull out sheet and either slide them together for a shorter tunic or pull them further apart for a longer tunic or short dress. For lengthening, once you pull the pieces apart where you’d like them to be, tape a new pieces of paper behind the pattern pieces and draw new side seams by blending the lines together. For shortening, slide them together and tape, then draw new side seams by blending the lines together. I decided to shorten mine by just a bit. Remember to adjust both the front and back pieces by equal amounts. Trace your size according to what you selected being sure to transfer any markings.

tunic1

tunic2

I should mention that you might want to cut into muslin or a cheap fabric before diving into the good stuff. You’ll be able to get a good feel for the sizing and shape by simply cutting out the front and back pieces and basting them together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  It wouldn’t take too long to do, so I’d definitely recommend it. After making any adjustments or alterations you can go confidently and cut into your chosen final fabric.

Now that the pattern pieces are all set, you can cut out the pieces. Find the cutting layouts on page 143 of the book, depending on what size and fabric width you have selected will determine which is the best way to place the pieces. I prefer to lay the pieces out on my large self-healing cutting mat and cut with a 28mm rotary cutter using some large washers I picked up at the hardware store for weights. Back when I sewed with my mom, we would lay out the pieces and pin them to the fabric, then cut with a dressmaking shears (or pinking shears). Either way works, so do what’s comfortable for you. You’ll want to make sure you mark any markings with tailor’s chalk or a water-soluble pen. For the notches, use a sharp scissors snip at a 90-degree angle into the seam allowance by 1/4-3/8″ or so. Be sure to mark the placket rectangle, I would suggest cutting out the rectangle from the pattern piece you traced and marking those lines on the wrong side of the placket piece. Also mark the casing placement line on the right side of the fabric by folding the pattern piece up and out of the way.

tunic3

[Transferring the waist casing marking]

tunic4

[Transferring the placket marking]

Don’t forget to cut the 2″-wide bias strips and the drawstring pieces before you put anything away! I somehow always forget to do that no matter what garment I’m making. Follow the instructions on page 62 on how to make 1/2″ wide double fold bias tape for the neckline and 1″ wide single fold bias tape for the hem. Here’s a few pictures to show you my process:

tunic5

tunic6

tunic join

tunic7

biastape

Okay, so that wraps up the pattern tracing and cutting! I usually fold each pattern piece in half with the paper pattern still on top so as not to get confused which piece is what when it comes time to start sewing. So tuck them together and set them aside. You’ll be all set for next week!

Sew along notes: 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.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along – Day 1

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.