Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Sew a Tunic {Guest Post by Sarabeth}

Hello, all! It is my pleasure to guest post here at Decked out in Ruffles! Thanks, Vicki!

My name is Sarabeth and currently I am a rising 3L (Third year law student!). Before law school, I got my degree in English, concentration creative writing, concentration fiction and before that I got my high school degree at home. Yes, I was home schooled K-12. It works!! While reading cases and writing briefs, my mind is often plagued with creative thoughts and ideas for all the clothes I want to make or blog posts I want to write. I love designing. The reason that I started Delightfully Feminine was because I want to show girls that there is an alternative to what the world tells us we have to be and how we have dress. I love to find ways to dress beautifully,fashionably, modestly AND frugally and I want to share that with others!

Today, I will be sharing a post with you of how to make a cute shirt in just one sitting--without a pattern! :)


 To make shirts like these, you will need:


 A shirt that fits you well 
tailors chalk (Or a fabric marker of some kind)

First decide how you want to lay your fabric out. Because this was striped, I wanted to center the design, but with a print or solid, you wouldn't really have to worry about that, so you could cut two pieces out at once. You lay the shirt over the fabric.

Take your ruler and depending on how flowy of a fit you want, measure and mark your way around the fabric. I measured 2.5 inches away from the edge of the shirt. (In the diagonal striped shirt pictured above, I did not cut it as generously, so it has a closer fit.) You may also determine just how long you want the shirt at this time. I made mine tunic length, but it's really up to you. The reason you trace the shirt is to get the basic shape--where the sleeves are, where the waist curves in, etc. This is why it's best to use a more form fitting shirt so that the shape will be more flattering. After you do this, you should have two shirt-shaped pieces of fabric.

***I am so sorry! I got so into the project that I forgot to take process pictures... but it really is not that hard! ***

Next, take your two pieces and pin them right sides together. You may at this point alter the neckline. I wanted a boatneck so I measured in from the sleeve the same length on both sides and cut a very shallow neckline (About 1 inch) all around that area, leaving the shoulders intact for the sleeves. Aren't you excited?! You don't have to make and attach separate sleeves! Now sew the sides of the shirt (up the "armpit" area) and the shoulders of the shirt, leaving the sleeve area unsewn (for obvious reasons!) You will now have a basic shell of a shirt with unfinished hems on the bottom, sleeves, and neckline. Now would be a good time to try on the shirt to be sure that it fits you evenly and to decide how long/short you want the sleeves to be. Then, all you do is hem the raw edges and add buttons to the shoulder seams to embellish (if you so desire). This is such a versatile method. For my diagonal striped shirt in the first picture, I did all the above steps except I did not change the neckline until after I hemmed all the edges then I just made small gathers at the top for a shallow "v". I also cut the shirt out on the bias for a more interesting shape to the stripes and for a more "drap-y" fit. I used elastic thread and sewed over the shoulder seam and gathered it for interest and then added buttons on top of the seam. Just use your creativity and try the "raw" shirt on and try different neckline styles, sleeve styles, and hem lengths. Play with it! Here's a closer shot of the other shirt:


It's all in the details...


Here are my lovely vintage buttons. The fabric is also vintage. Judging by material and colors, I'd say it's probably from the 70s. I love it! I am so blessed to have been given a bunch of vintage fabrics and buttons and I love how they add a unique twist to modern styles.

It took a little bit of time to decide what buttons I wanted and since I love a little gold with the nautical theme, I stacked tiny gold buttons on top of the blue ones and I really liked the effect. Stacking buttons is becoming one of my favorite things to do when embellishing. These are for sleeve detail. Depending on how you cut your fabric, you may want a belt to give definition to the waist. I made matching belts out of the same fabric by simply cutting strips of fabric, sewing them right sides together, turning them right side out again and finishing the ends. Here is how I styled the shirt:

Tuck the tunic in and use the belt at the waist of the skirt! (My sister took these pictures, and I am so happy she did! Thank you, Chelsea!)


It's such a summery fresh look.


Side/detail shot... I just think the buttons add just the right interest for a finishing touch.


I *quickly *made a wardrobe change and put jeans on to show you how it looks as a tunic. I post this for a lesson in the versatility of tunics--tucked in or out.

While we were taking outfit shots, we met this beautiful little creature, so I thought I'd share. :) I hope this inspires you. If my directions are unclear, please feel free to ask questions. I'll answer comments and emails. Happy sewing everyone! :)

Aren't these shirts too cute?! I think I'll have to make one (or a few) for myself! I love tunics, since they can easily be worn with either jeans or a skirt.(: Thanks so much for posting, Sarabeth!! Make sure you check out her lovely blog!

1 comment:

  1. Above-lovely! Love the tutorial--many thanks and blessings your way!


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