Simple Tunic Top Tutorial

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today I'm sharing my Simple Tunic Top Tutorial {say that three times fast} with you. 

I have been wanting to make myself a tunic style top for a long time.  With plenty of curves, I find that tops with an empire waist are the most flattering.  But... I can never seem to find them in the stores!  This is my first, wear worthy top and I Love It!!! 

Tunic Top Tutorial
 Simple Tunic Top inspired by this pin.
 1.  First I had to figure out the measurements.  Using a measuring tape, I measured the largest part of my torso.  For me that was my bust line, which measured 50" {I usually wear size XL on top}.  Then I added 8" for seams and seam allowances.  Next I measured from the top of my shoulder to my hips {30"} and added 2" for seams and seam allowances.  My materials:
58" x 32" piece of fashion fabric.   A light cotton blend works best.
96" single fold bias tape
12-14" of 1/4" elastic
Coordinating polyester thread
I used 1/2" seams throughout.
2.  Now I cut the material into 4 rectangular panels.  Each measuring 14.5" x 32".
3.  Next I sewed two of the panels together, creating a shoulder seam and repeated with the other two panels.  I also folded over the edges, ironed  and sewed them to help prevent fraying.
4.  I cut the bias tape into 4, 24" pieces and sewed one onto each side of the two long panels.  With 12" on either side on the shoulder seam.
 5.  Here I have completed sewing on the bias tape.  
6.  Now I sewed the two long panels together, creating a front and back to the shirt.  I started sewing where the bias tape met and right down to the hem on the front and back.  
7.  Here my front and back panels are sewn together.  
8.  Now I sewed the sides of the shirt together.  Again starting from the bias tape and down to the hem.
 9 / 9.  Next I measured how much elastic I needed by stretching it tight under my bust line.  When the elastic retracted it was 13" long.  Using a zig zag stitch and keeping the elastic stretched out, I sewed it to the shirt, below my bust line.  Photographs show the front and back of this step.  10.  Finally I folded, ironed and hemmed the bottom of the shirt.
 The perfect shirt for a curvy girl!
I paired it with my DIY Tree of Life Necklace... I might just have some fashion sense after all! LOL
I plan on making many more of these ~ they're the perfect addition to my closet for spring/summer.
If you make one, would you let me know?!?!  I would love to see it!
Version Two ~ I created my own bias tape and shirred the line under the bust.
Love this print!
Tunic Top Tutorial
Version Three ~ I used a knit, stretchy fabric {super comfy} and made it longer to go with leggings.

Love 'em!
Thanks so much for visiting.
Have an awesome day!

xo Heather


  1. Love the tunic! It looks great! Personally, as one curvy girl to another, I believe you have good fashion sense, it is just hard to exercise it with the selections available in the stores! Thanks so much for this inspiration!

  2. I'm so going to save the link!! As another curvy girl sometimes it's hard to find a shirt that fits the bust and still fits everywhere else! Thanks for inspiration!!

  3. Love it! As a fellow girl who rocks her curves, I thank you for sharing this great tutorial. I can already think of fun ways to embellish this (tattered jersey petals around the neckline, matching long belt, etc!

  4. Love all three... Thanks for the tutorial I'm so going to have to make one of these tops. Really cute!


  5. Thanks so much for sharing this tute. So often, the women's clothing tutes are for such a small size. I have a hard time figuring out how to make it work for my larger body.

    Where did you get the fabrics? I love all three!

  6. They all look great on you! All the fabrics you chose are so nice. I'd really love for you to stop by Etcetorize to share your great tutorial ( Hope to see you there~

  7. Loving the top! It looks great:)

  8. Love them all! You made it look so easy to do!
    Coming from TT&J. :)

  9. Great fabrics and they look REALLY cute on you. Great project Heather!


  10. Looks great, wonder if I could modify it for a maternity top. Thanks for sharing.

  11. wow can't wait to try this out. It looks fantastic! I pinned this So I can come back to it when I pull out my sewing machine! I'll let you know how it turns out... Found you through I am Momma Hear Me Roar git er done link up

  12. Love these! I especially love the 3rd fabric.

  13. This is fantastic! I really like the third version. I bet if I made the "V" in the front a bit lower (to wear with tanks) I could make this into a breastfeeding friendly top!

    Great idea and seems so very easy and flattering.

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  14. Very nicely done. I was actually looking for a pattern that could be modified into maternity type for a friend who is expecting. She has been ripping out the side seams of her shirts to fit over her growing bump. I am having a hard time seeing if there is elastic in the back as well, or just in front. Thanks for the tute.

  15. Wonderful! I have sewn a lot of complicated things, mostly for others, and this is so refreshingly simple and logical, thanks! Since it is in strips and has a straight or horizontal shoulder seam, the strips can be whatever width you need them to accommodate those curves when they go out, but take their time about coming in again. Like at the ankles. This will be a #1 stash buster for me I think!