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.

29 thoughts on “Handmade Style Tunic Sew Along

  1. Amanda Shuler says:

    Yeah Anna! I am so excited about this sew along! I have been wanting to make this tunic for a while!

  2. fatfabric says:

    Great post. I appreciate tips on fabric selection – this is by far my biggest barrier as I venture into garment making. I have no stores in my area that carry fabric for garments so I can’t touch any of them. When I look at online stores – very few have easy ways to search for fabric by content (ie Hawthorne Threads) so it takes forever to find options. Any advice is welcomed!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks! I agree, not having a shop in your area can be super challenging. A couple more tips for shopping online for garment fabric would be to enter in the fabric type into the website’s search box. So for Hawthorne Threads, that’s what I typically do, type ‘voile’ or ‘rayon’ etc. into the search box. Also, when it comes to a fabric type such as chambray, which there are many types for all kinds of sewing, keep an eye on the weight of the fabric. Not all website’s might tell you the fabric weight, but for a top like this I’d suggest looking at fabrics that are 3 to 5 oz. (per sq. yard) in weight. Any heavier and it won’t be as fluid or comfy. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Kit Little says:

    I love your book, and I bought fabric for your tunic in May…so this just might be the incentive I need to Get It Done!

  4. Trish says:

    I am too excited about this sew along! Handmade Style is by far one of my absolute favorite sewing books. I came on the site looking for information about the Maker’s Tote, which I will be starting on soon. But I was very pleasantly surprised to see that I came to the website just in time for the sew along. I’m on my way to my craft room to pick out my fabric as soon as I hit “send” on this message.

  5. erin says:

    ok! i’ve got the fabric!

  6. Kim says:

    Yay, I’m excited! I have some lovely rayon that would be perfect for this project!

  7. Jeni says:

    Oooh, yay! I’ve been wanting to make this! Time to pick fabric! 🙂

  8. Nancy says:

    Ok, this is great. I was planning to make one for my sister for her birthday… on June 24! I have the fabric washed and ready to go but tracing the pattern was feeling like a barrier. Now I have no excuse!

  9. diane beavers says:

    Thank you Anna! I’m shopping…that s the best part haha.
    I’d like to place the drawstring/casing waist a little higher, like empire style just under the bust. Do you believe that’s feasible for this pattern?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      so true Diane! I think that would work. You might want to consider also shortening the length of the placket to match where you’ll place the casing. 🙂

  10. Zanymouse says:

    Thank you for your suggestion of the tracing paper! My daughter and I both love your tunic, and since I am more, ahem, “robust” than her, multi-size patterns have been an issue, unless I wanted to buy two of the same thing. The tracing paper will solve all my problems. My daughter also has put in an order for your bucket bag to use as her school backpack in the fall. My book should be arriving soon, and I can’t wait!

    1. darlene says:

      the tracing paper i use is from — 21″ wide x 77 yd. roll … it’s 8.99 + shipping 4.99 or two rolls … the price is better than … just another suggestion … plus, has free shipping sales ….

      1. Zanymouse says:

        Thank you, Darlene, I will keep that in mind for next time : )

  11. Tracy G says:

    Yay, an excuse to go fabric shopping! This top has been on my to-make list since I got the book, but the thought of buttons and button holes was holding me back. Nothing like a sew along to get over that fear!

  12. Kristie Fields says:

    Woohoo! Can’t wait to get started!

  13. Hayley says:

    I love sew alongs. This pattern is on my list to make and even though realistically I know I won’t have time to make it now it will be a great resource for when I finally get around to it!! Thanks!

  14. Cyn says:

    How to get to the sewalong? And size range of tunic please?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Cyn,
      I’m just getting started with the sew along, so watch for the next post next week. The sizes are XS-XXL, bust measurements ranging from 32-52″. 🙂

  15. sarina says:

    All the fabric choices look fantastic – waiting for the sew along 🙂

  16. desi*d says:

    Great! I have been waiting for the sew along… Hope I will be able to catch up with every day.
    Is there any registering necessary? Any rules?
    Have a greate day!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Glad you’re excited! No registering, it’s pretty casual, so just follow along whenever time allows. 🙂

  17. picperfic says:

    So happy to read about this SAL…I have to book but have yet to make anything from it! I shall search through my stash and trace off the patterns ready for the next session! Love this tunic very much 🙂

  18. Teresa says:

    I sure hope I can find the perfect fabric for this tunic! Looking at fabric requirements for the tunic, I suspect the yardage amounts are reversed in the 45″ width yardage. (I already know what fabric I’m going to use for the nifty dress in this book!)

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Good luck with your fabric search! And yes, those got flopped around in the editing process.

  19. Ashley Davis says:

    This is too funny. I went to my favorite local sewing shop just yesterday, picked up your book and fabric for this very tunic (and pattern and fabric for the makers tote). Guess I’ll be seeing along!!

  20. whitney says:

    I’ve never sewn clothing pattern but would love for you to have a sew along for one of the bag, pouch or other patterns in your book.

  21. Tammy says:

    I am optimistic going into this adventure. I enjoy your blog and have had your book since it’s release. I have not made anything from it. I am new to garment sewing. I have made a skirt or 2. I have also started your super tote. (It is not finished – I have a problem getting things finished.) I hope this project will break my problem for getting things finished. I watched your makers tote video and thought it was very informative. I believe with your guidance on the tunic, I will finally complete my first garment. I also like how you are spacing everything by the week. Sorry for the lengthy reply.

  22. Jessica says:

    Thanks for encouraging folks to shop local first! It’s so important, and not often done, even by people who would otherwise champion ‘indie’ makers. What an elegant tunic–definitely going in the queue!

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