Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Schoolhouse Tunic–Final part

Hello everybody! Are you ready to finish your tunic today? We’re going to cover steps 8, 9,  and 11 of the pattern instructions. I am actually going to skip step 10, because I have decided not to make sleeve casings or add elastic to the sleeves, just hem them. Let’s go!


First of all we need to make the pleats, both on the skirt front and back. Grab the skirt back and determine the middle by folding it in half lengthwise. Place the skirt back on a flat surface, right side up. Mark the middle with a pin. Now pin the notches you transferred from the pattern on either side.


Fold one of the side notches…


…and bring it over to meet the middle of the skirt. (Note to self: Get a manicure!)


Repeat on the other side.


Now baste this pleat in place, 1/4” from the edge. Press this pleat for a nice, crisp look. It will also prevent it from shifting when you attach the skirt to the bodice.


Now grab the skirt front, lay it flat right side up, and repeat this same process. The only difference is that the skirt front has two smaller pleats to the sides. Mark the pleats...


… and baste. Then press.


Place the skirt front and back, right sides together. Pin in place along the sides.


Stitch! It is time to serge/zig-zag your side seams. Do this and then press them towards the back of the skirt. In this case, and because I am short on time today and it’s just a muslin, I skipped this. But you definitely shouldn’t!


Now we’re going to attach the skirt to the bodice. First lay the bodice on the table, turned inside out and upside down. Open it. Then place the skirt, right side out, inside the bodice. Make the side seams match and pin in place.


Then pin the bodice and skirt front together. Make the plackets meet and make sure that there is no space between them.


This is what the side seams look like when they come together. Both of them should be oriented towards the back.


Now you’re going to stitch all around. You’re going to start to the left of the left placket and, because this is a stress point, go back and forth on this area 3 or 4 times to reinforce this stitch, then continue sewing all around. Please disregard my horrible stitches. This is just for illustration purposes. Of course you’ll do much better when you work with the final fabric! :-) Now serge or zig-zag this seam to finish it. Press the seam allowance towards the skirt.


It is a good time now to try on your tunic and make sure it fits well. Also, determine how long you want it and make the necessary hem adjustments. If you’re happy with the length, hem the tunic as instructed in step 11. It is super straightforward so I won’t show you how to do it here.

You are done!! Can you believe it? Here is my muslin. The front…


…and the back.


You can see more pictures of some schoolhouse tunics I have made in my flickr pool.
Thank you for sewing along with me! I would love to see your creations. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them! Happy sewing!

Quick links:
Schoolhouse Tunic Tutorial
Schoolhouse Tunic – Part 2
Schoolhouse Tunic – Part 3


  1. Thank you so much for this super-detailed tutorial! I'm a beginning sewer and I was making this pattern for my wife... your tips really helped!

    Also, I've tagged you.

    1. I am so happy you're finding it useful. Please let me know if you have any questions and happy sewing!!

      Also, thank you for mentioning my tutorial! :)

  2. Thank you so much for your tutorial. I just finished, and although my tunic is too small, I learned a lot. Just not sure if I want to start over :-( That darn collar was a PITA!!

    1. So sorry to hear it gave you grief! But I know the feeling of being so frustrated with a pattern that you just don't want to touch it anymore. Oh well, I'm glad you feel that at least you learned something! :D

  3. Thanks so much for this!!! I know it's an easy pattern, but I have been putting it off since I usually sort of just start cutting and stitching without a pattern until things look good. You have inspired me to be a big girl and just do this the "normal" way!!! Grazie;)

  4. You are a life saver, this is an *excellent* walkthrough. I have a question, I don't want to have to make bias tape for the back of the neck, would you risk just strengthening the hem with some fusible interfacing?

    1. Hmmm... I am not sure about that but I can see how fusible interfacing might give it some stability. That said, I think that the bias strip is so small that it's worth following the pattern instructions.

  5. I am finishing up my second Schoolhouse Tunic and once again couldn't have done it without your fabulous tutorial. It is a great addition to the directions that came with the patterns.

    1. So happy to hear that, Karina! I've made a few myself as well. :-)

  6. Hi from Italy :-)
    thank you very very very much for you great walkthrough !
    Have a nice day,

    1. Ciao Paola, sorry for the late reply! So glad you found the tutorial helpful.

  7. Hi! Since you have a lot of experience with the pattern could you add some thoughts on sizing? What if i fall right between indicated sizes? How generous is the pattern - both in terms of sizing and indicated amount of fabric necessary? Lastly, can a busty person pull it off? Should i adjust the length of the bodice so the bust seem falls maybe 1-2" lower?

    1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply. I'm afraid I can't help you with your questions as I am TERRIBLE at pattern modifications. My suggestion is you contact Meg at Sew Liberated. She's very nice and I'm sure she could guide you!!

  8. Thanks so much for this! It has been a perfect supplement to the pattern instructions. Almost done with mine and can't wait wear it!

  9. Hello Ana! Whew! As a returning sewist (like 4-H ago-20+years!), I really appreciated your tutorial. The neck binding was a breeze and the set in sleeves, well, they were set in sleeves, weren't they?!! Must need to practice those before I let loose on my 'real' fabric. Thank you so much! I really like the one you made with the William Morris-type fabric; just beautiful!
    Amber Layton

    1. That's great to hear, Amber. I am sure your tunic will turn out great! :)


Thank you so much for visiting my little space in Blogland. I would love to hear from you, so thank you for leaving a comment.

Gracias por visitar mi pequeño espacio en la blogosfera. Me encantaría saber de ti. Gracias por dejar un comentario.