Tuesday, October 5, 2010

simple tunic tutorial

now, i realize that it's october and that the majority of you are putting away your summer clothes.   i on the other hand, decided to finally cross off a long awaiting project on my list- this simple tunic.  the weather here between the months of october and december can be pretty unpredictable (read: annoyingly warm at times), so i'm confident i'll be able to get some use out of this top before the year is up. 

made with marimekko ritva fabric
v-side facing front
anyway, the tunic can be elongated for a dress or shortened for a smaller top.  as you can see from my photos, you can wear it either with the V in the front, or in the back, and change up the way you tie the sash- subtle differences, but kind of fun to change it up a bit!  it's very similar to the pillow case dress that little girls often wear.  

to make one for yourself:

measure your hips at the widest point. add 7 inches. this is the width of A.
add another inch to width A, plus 1 inch. Divide by two. this is the width of B pieces.

measure from your collarbone to where you want the tunic to end. add 3 inches to that number. this is the length of pieces A + B.

cut 1 of A, cut 2 of B.

cut two pieces (may need to join multiples if you don’t have enough fabric) for straps:
3” x 54” (or however long you want it)
5” x 108”(or however long you want it)
or… use ribbon.

fold each strap in half and sew together, with a half inch seam. trim seam. using a safety pin to help, turn both straps inside out. you should now one strap that is 1 inch wide, and one strap that is 2 inches wide. tuck the ends inward in each strap, and ladder stitch them shut. iron.

measure the length between your collarbone to the point at your chest where you want the V to stop. add 2 inches to that number. pin both B pieces together (patterns facing) and mark where your seam begins based on where the V will end. Sew the remaining portion of the B pieces together with half inch seams.
pin piece A and piece BB together, patterns facing. mark about 10 inches down from the top on each side (more or less depending on how big you want your arm holes-make sure to add 2 inches to the armhole length). mark 2 inches up from the bottom (not necessary, i just wanted mine to have little slits on the side).
using an existing top you have as a guide, draw a curved waistline between the two marks. sew along the guides. trim with 1/2 inch seams. if you’d rather not bother with this, just sew straight lines down. since my fabric is rather bulky, i wanted to thin it out a bit.

hem the raw seams of the V neck. hem the raw seams of the arm holes.

fold down the top of piece A and BB first 1/2 an inch down, then over again another 1.5 inches and sew to create a channel (basically a hem).

hem the bottoms up 1 inch. serge or zigzg remaining inside seams.

pull the 1 inch wide strap through the channels as you like– the tunic can be worn with either the v-neck in the front of the v-neck in the back.  tie wider strap around waist.
v-side in the back with bow strap facing front


  1. such a good tutorial, thanks for sharing you process. i like the grey print, and you know, throw on a sparkly necklace or bangles and i could see that being worn over the holidays or new year's.

  2. what a pretty fabric! I am used to seeing the bold Marimekko patterns but not this sort of fabric-it's gorgeous :)

  3. This is so gorgeous and pretty!! How clever. Also since I am terrible and haven't been here in forever I haven't seen the new blog design until now. I adore it :) Way to go it looks gorgeous! Oh and I don't work out. Ever. If lifting kids every day at work counts then so be it but don't feel like a slacker pretty lady! xoxox

  4. this is darling! I think if it was a bit chilly out you could put a light weight sweater over your tunic and it would still be super cute. :)

  5. thanks everyone! just as i suspected, it's still sleeveless weather here in houston!

  6. so cute! and it doesn't look too terrifying to make. i might have to give this one a try. (=

  7. faith: if you do make a tunic, i want to see!



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