2 Seam Tunic Tutorial (or the easy tunic for noobs)
All pictures are after the direction.
Start by picking a fabric that will breathe like cotton or linen (synthetic fabrics are not your friend).
I used an old bedsheet for this tutorial, so I started by cutting off the top and bottom hems so that everything would be even.
Take your fabric and fold it top to bottom, this fold will end up being the top of your arms. The second fold is from side to side. When you make your cuts they will be through 4 pieces of fabric.
Measurements differ a little between men and women. Men need less measurements.
Measure the widest part of your bust, divide that number by 4 and add 1. This is your bust measurement “B.”
Measure your waist, divide by 4 and add 1. This is “W.” (Men don’t really need this one.)
Measure your hip/butt at its widest, divide by 4 and add 1. This is “H.”
Measure your arm at its widest, divide by 2 THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT! And add 1.
Measure from your spine to where you want the end of your sleeve to be (you may need a friend to help for this).
The +1 for each of the measurements is for your seam allowance.
Measure from the top of your shoulder to the spot where you took each of your measurements and mark those locations on your fabric starting from the corner where all of the folds meet. Mark all of your measurements out from the corresponding side marks.
Connect all of your measurements so that it looks like a t-shirt that is folded shoulder to shoulder.
Make sure you have a curved line at the armpit or you will have to add gores for movement. I messed up this part when I made my tester tunic so I had to add gores to it.
Measure from the side H mark to how long you wish it to be. Depending on the fullness you want measure that same distance out from the outside of H. Connect the bottom of these marks with a curved line so that your tunic hem lays evenly all around.
Once you are satisfied with your measurements you can cut out. These measurements will make a well fitted tunic. If you want it to hang looser just add a few inches to your final measurements before marking the fabric.
I pin my fabric together for cutting so that all my pieces are the same length because I use scissors instead of a rotary cutter.
Hem the bottom and the cuffs or the arms. Make sure all of your hems end up on the same side of the fabric. I like to fold the hems over twice so that all of the ragged edges end up inside of the hems. If you want contrasting fabric at the cuffs and hem now is the time to do it.
Once you finish your hems mark a cross across the middle folds going in both directions. This will be your neck indicator.
Follow the neckline tutorial.
Once your neckline is done pin your fabric together and sew your seams from the wrist to the armpit and down to the bottom hem.
For the tester I used basic sew and press, for my actual piece I used French seams.
You can either pin the tunic and sew it the wrong side and then press your seams, or you can use French seams. For a French seam you sew the fabric from the right side first. Then turn the fabric and sew it again along the hem from the wrong side. This will trap all of your raw edges inside your fabric. This is very useful for linen and other fabrics that are likely to unravel or that have very rough raw edges.
Now your tunic is done!
Making a Flat Neckline
The secret to always having a neck hole that is big enough is to measure the circumference of your head and save that number. As long as the perimeter of your neckline is higher than that number, it doesn’t matter what shape it is, it will always fit over your head.
I chose to make a square neckline but you can make whatever shape you want.
Start by making a plus in the middle of the fabric you are using for the neckline, you can use a contrasting fabric if you wish.
Because most of your head is in front of your midline the majority of the neckline will be on one side of the cross.
Draw the pattern you want to use on a piece of fabric. Cut 2 matching pieces along the outside of your pattern leaving about ¼ inch for seam allowance. Make sure the drawing is on the right side of the fabric. Pin the pieces together with the right sides and drawing INSIDE.
Sew the outside of your pattern most of the way around leaving enough space at the back to turn it. Your pattern will now be on the outside of your sewn pieces. Press and topstitch around.
Match up your crosses on the tunic and neckline pieces and pin the neck in place.
Sew around the inside of the neck. Cut out the inside (this is through 3 pieces of fabric) leaving ¼ inch.
Pull the whole neckline through the neck hole to the outside and press. Topstitch the inside and the outside down all the way around.
Now your neck is done.