Welcome to Day 2 of the Gallery Tunic Sew-Along! On Monday we talked about fabrics and what works well with this pattern—the answer is that it’s so versatile that almost any top-weight fabric will do.
By this point, you should have cut out your pieces and completed the “before you start” steps. Now we’re ready to sew!
Prepare the Tunic Back
Fold the tunic in half with right sides together, aligning the notches and raw edges. Stitch along the center-back pleat line you transferred from the pattern piece, backstitching or lockstitching at the neckline edge and at the dot.
Press the fold; then open the tunic-back piece wrong-side up. Open the stitched center-back pleat and align and pin its center fold to the seam line. (Use the center-back fold to help you center the pleat perfectly.)
Press the pleat to form a box pleat on the fabric’s right side and baste the pleat to the tunic-back’s top edge with a 3/8” seam.
Assemble the Placket
Finish the curved outside edges of the placket and the lower outside edge of the short side of the placket using your preferred method. (You prepared the placket and set it aside in Step 1 of the “Before You Start” section.)
HINT: For a clean finish, and to give the edges of the placket a neat appearance on the inside of the finished garment, sew the edges of the placket with a zigzag stitch or with a serger (taking care not to trim the edge as you finish it). Fold and press the finished curved outer edges to the wrong side by about 1/4”, then edgestitch close to the fold to finish it. Leave the lower edge unfolded and simply zigzag-stitch or serge the corner edge to finish it.
Fold and press the cut tunic-front fabric in half lengthwise to find the center-front fold line. Use tailor’s chalk or a water-soluble fabric-marking pen, mark that line on the fabric’s right side. Next, pin the placket to the tunic front, with right sides together, matching the top raw edges and the center-front lines.
Stitch along the two parallel vertical lines on either side of the center-front line, stitching from the neckline to the bottom of the placket on the left side and stitching from the neckline to the dot on the right side of the placket, backstitching or lockstitching at the beginning and end of both stitch lines. The two rows of stitching will be the same length; the placket itself is longer on one side than the other.
Cut through both the placket and tunic fabric along the center-front line to about 1/4” from the placket’s bottom edge, and then cut at an angle through both layers to the dot on the right side of the placket, being careful not to cut through the stitches themselves. (The angled line you transferred from the placket template will serve as the cutting line for this step.) Finally cut through only the placket layer along the remaining center front line to completely separate the right and left placket. Trim off the little flap. Be careful not to cut the tunic fabric in this part of the step!
Fold up and press the longer placket side’s raw bottom edge to the wrong side by 1/2” so both sides of the placket are now the same length.
Fold and press the placket side with the folded bottom edge toward the center-front cut, along the seam line. Then wrap this placket side around the center-front cut line, and fold and press it to the wrong side of the tunic front, rolling the seam slightly toward the wrong side of the tunic so the placket doesn’t show on the right side. Align and pin the placket in place, matching the neckline and shoulder of the placket to the neckline and shoulder of the tunic front.
Turn the tunic front to the right side and, using tailor’s chalk or water-soluble fabric-marking pen, draw a line 1” from the folded edge of the placket starting at the neckline and ending at the bottom edge of the placket (the drawn line will be parallel to the fold line of the placket). Topstitch along this line to finish the wearer’s left side of the placket, lockstitching or backstitching just a few stitches at both ends.
Repeat with the opposite side of the placket, pressing it toward the center and then around to the back. As you wrap this side of the placket around to the wrong side, fold the tunic below the placket. If you fold the opposite side of the tunic out of the way, the placket will wrap around to the back. Roll the sewn edge of the placket seam slightly toward the inside so the seam won’t show on the right side of the finished garment. Mark a line 1” in from the folded edge of the placket as you did with the opposite placket and topstitch along this line, lockstitching or backstitching a few stitches at both ends.
8. Working from the right side of the tunic, finish the placket by pinning the wearer’s right-side placket so it overlaps the wearer’s left-side placket. A pleat will form below the placket. Pin the two placket halves together and topstitch across the bottom of the placket, beginning the topstitching where your previous lockstitching or backstitching ended. Then stitch to the edge of the placket. Stitch a second row of topstitching 1/4” above the previous one in the same way to secure the placket.
Sew the Shoulder Seams
Pin the front and back tunic pieces together at the shoulders, with right sides facing and the raw edges aligned. Stitch the shoulders with a 1/2” seam, backstitching or lockstitching at both ends. Press the seam allowances open and finish them using your preferred method.
That placket was easy, wasn’t it? Plackets can be a little nerve-wracking, since they’re fairly advanced, but this one is designed to go together simply and logically.
Our tunic is starting to take shape! Join us back here on Monday, when we’ll be making and attaching the collar.