Schoolhouse Tunic


I did it!  I finally completed a sewing project I can wear!  For those that don’t have any interest in sewing, it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal.  For those who know how to sew, think back to the first real piece of clothing you made.  What a thrill to put it on after all that work!  I was so dorky when I finished that I had to text my husband at a hockey game and two friends even though it was a Friday night.  No comment on my social life, please.

I found this pattern through blog posts and when it was suggested as an easy pattern by a local sewing shop, I decided to give it a try.  I start a sewing class next week at the same shop and the pattern we are making is definitely ambitious for me.  I wanted to make sure I had at least one piece of clothing under my belt before starting.  As it is, I will probably be the most inexperienced student there. 


I’m wearing it right now and am super comfy. Still, I have mixed feelings about it.  I purposely used inexpensive quilting cotton in case it didn’t work out. Cute print but not the softest fabric and it bunches up on denim or leggings.

The whole thing is too big but the skirt portion is HUGE.  I feel like I’m wearing a muumuu.  I read reviews that mentioned the size but since this is the first thing I’ve made, I didn’t think I was in any position to alter a pattern.  I planned to wear with skinny jeans but that’s not gonna happen.  Even that looks too sloppy.  Maybe if I was stick thin.  Then again, the website says it can be a dress so I shouldn’t have been surprised.


I really like the bodice and the idea of the tunic. If I make it again, I’ll have to figure out a way to make the everything smaller.  I can’t cut a smaller size because the shoulders fit perfectly. Maybe eliminate the pleats in the front and back and cut the fabric down by that amount?  


The back pleat, especially, isn’t doing me any favors. Yikes.


As a side note, the post made it apparent that I need a tripod!  Without someone around to take pictures, I had to resort to some odd positions and hope the focus was ok.  Oops.



I was surprised at how easily it went together.  I traced the pattern since I wasn’t sure of my size and didn’t want to cut into the pattern in case I needed it bigger. Guess I didn’t need to worry about that!  This pattern was very well written with lots of hand-holding (which I needed).  I got to try out techniques I’m sure to use over and over.  I learned how to:

  • trace a pattern
  • use my 3 step zig-zag stitch to finish the edges
  • set in a sleeve (yay!)
  • pleats
  • gathers (part of the sleeve instructions)
  • facing

I can’t wait to make something else!


About girlguydogcat

Living in the midwest, wife to a fantastic husband, mom/servant to two cats and a dog.

8 responses »

  1. Cuz, I couldn’t be prouder of you!! I wish I was there, I’ll bet I could show you how to alter it for a better fit.

    Consider this one a mockup, if you need to, and try the pattern again, maaking some adjustments…

    Hey, weren’t you a fashion major?? Ah, merchandising, not design…but that doesn’t meana you can’t become

    • Yikes! hit post before done!

      Love you Janette! So glad you love to sew now too! Sewing bee @ next family gathering??


      • Thanks! sewing bee at John’s wedding?! Ha! 🙂 I wish you were closer. Part of the reason I want to learn is to be able to alter things. Clothes don’t fit the way they should anymore. clothes’ fault–not my lack of exercise!

  2. So Matt’s thrilled with the mumu, right?

    Nice job, though, the bodice pleats must have been a bit tough to get even.

    Love, Mark

    • The pleats weren’t that hard – they are marked on the pattern so as long as you transfer the marks, it’s easy. They were a little bit dicey when I sewed them because my basting came out on one of them so I had to hold with oins and my finger. That’s a good way to sew your fingertip. Thanks for letting me borrow your machine!

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I think it looks really great — even with the sizing issues. Lately I’ve been contemplating making Amy Butler’s Liverpool top, but somehow I think this tunic might be a better place for me to begin. Again, really lovely! Thanks for introducing me to this pattern.

    • Thanks for stopping by the blog! I do like it and will definitely make another version (maybe shorter and no pleats?). I’d also love to do a version in this size in super thin fabric as a bathing suit cover-up. The Liverpool is the pattern we’re doing in the class I start this week (or maybe you clicked through). Hopefully, it’s not a tent, too!

  4. Pingback: 2012–My First Year of Sewing « Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat

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