How to make your own tunic top

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Long, fluid tunics are comfortable and fashionable for everyday wear. The same basic tunic pattern can be embellished or altered in a number of ways; for example, you can make a tunic that is slimmer or in an a-line style. Whether you need a dressy tunic top to wear with slim black trousers and strappy heels or a casual one to throw on with jeans and flip flops, the same construction and tips apply.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Woven fabric of your choice with a good drape
  • Printed pattern
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Needle and thread
  • Trim or ribbons as desired

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose a tunic top pattern. You can purchase one at your local fabric store or download one and print it free (see Resources). If you are quite curvy, consider choosing a tunic with some fitting below the bust or an empire waist for a more flattering look. If you have less natural waist definition, choose a tunic with a fuller a-line shape.

  2. 2

    Take your measurements. Accurate bust, waist and hip measurements are necessary to choose the right size for your tunic top. If you are making a very loose tunic top or using a tunic pattern that you are familiar with, this may be less critical. You may decide at this time to add length or combine two sizes for a perfect fit from your tunic pattern.

  3. 3

    Download and print your tunic pattern if needed. Cut all pieces from printer paper or pattern tissue, lining up and taping together as necessary. If you are using a downloaded pattern, you can also choose to have your pattern printed at a local print shop in a larger format to avoid taping pieces together. This service is typically quite inexpensive.

  4. 4

    Cut each pattern piece from fabric, being careful to lay the pieces out according to the diagram provided in the pattern. Follow the sewing instructions included, finishing seams with a zigzag stitch, serger or pinking shears. Be sure to press carefully to create the most professional finish for your tunic top.

  5. 5

    Make your tunic your own with trims, ribbons and detailing. Consider adding a band of ribbon near the hem or near an empire bust seam. Hand embroider along the neckline or sleeve hems for a personal touch.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose soft fabrics for a flattering tunic top.
  • Consider shapes and necklines you prefer when choosing a tunic pattern.
  • Keep your tunic modern by choosing crisp and simple patterns or solids.

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