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.

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!