Sew Along

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Noodlehead

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.

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - NoodleheadPhoto 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!

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Noodlehead, tunic swatches

Polka Sky // Southwest Motif Rayon // Indah Ikat // Chambray Union

Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along - Noodlehead, tunic swatches

London Calling Lawn // Yucca Voile // Diamond Lawn // X Dot Lawn

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.

sew along, Sew Along, sewing, tutorial

Simplicity Skirt Sew-along Linky Party

A few people have asked if I was ever going to do a linky party for my Simplicity Skirt Sew-along I hosted a few weeks ago, so here we are!

Hopefully I know how to do this, so if you have any questions let me know.  I can’t wait to see you made!!!  PS. If you link up I might just be able to do something special for those who enter, like a cool giveaway or something.  Thank you!

Sew Along, tutorial

simplicity skirt 2226 sew along – day 5

Welcome back for day 5 of the sew along, you can catch up on day 1day 2day 3, day 4 anytime as well. 

Today’s our last work day.  We’ll be finishing the waistband and hemming!  

Finish waistband:

Sew the remaining waistband facing pieces together just like you did the other waistband pieces. This time though you’ll want to finish the bottom curved edge of the waistband.  Use a pinking shears, zig zag stitch, overlock stitch, or I even did a tiny rolled hem on my original skirt.  There really isn’t a wrong way, do what feels right for you.  

* A reader pointed out that I was using a 3/8″ seam allowance on these pieces and she’s correct.  It’s my way of adjusting for a little bit larger fit, so it’s somewhere between a size 6 and 8.  I wasn’t going to mention it, but on this pattern at least, you can make adjustment like that to the waistband and it doesn’t affect how the skirt attaches since it’s gathered.  Hopefully that makes a little bit of sense.  Okay, moving along…

Pin the waistband facing top edge to the top edge of the waistband on the skirt, making sure to align side seam of waistband with that of the waistband facing.  The facing will extend past the back of the skirt on each side, that’s normal.  Simplicity says to move the carriers (belt loops) out of the way so you can topstitch them later, but I chose to sew them into the seam.  You don’t have to, it’s just the way I wanted to make it easier.  So if you want to sew them into the seam, just sandwich them in between the waistband and waistband facing and pin them in place.  Sew.

Next we’ll understitch the waistband facing so it doesn’t end up rolling to the outside of the skirt when you’re wearing it.  Press the seam allowance up towards the facing and sew close to the seam.  

Press the waistband facing to the inside of the skirt.  Tuck in the back edges that are along the zipper so that there are no raw edges. You can finish them in by hand sewing like step 29 in the pattern, but I’m lazy and sewed them down with my machine, I just stitched along the stitch lines that were there from sewing in the zipper.

On the outside of the skirt stitch close to the waistband seam.  That’s it for the waistband unless you chose to leave the belt loops out of the way, if so you’ll topstitch them in place now. You can also sew in the hook/eye, I skipped sewing mine in, but it’s up to you!


Okay, so if you’re ready to finish them hem, I would suggest trying the skirt on to see if you still like the length of the skirt.  You’ll press the bottom edge to the WRONG side by 1/4″ then turn and press again and stitch close to the inner fold, just like in step 34.  You can use a pretty long stitch length if you want.

I wanted to try something new for me, so I did a blind hem on both my skirts.  It’s a little different, but a nice finish. You can follow the directions in your sewing machine’s manual, or there’s a great tutorial here.  

You’re finished!  Thanks for sewing along with me.  If you want there’s already a Simplicity Patterns flickr group for you to add your photos to.  I might also do a linky party possibly this weekend, but maybe next just so everyone has time to finish up.  How does that sound? Let me know if you’d be interested in that.