Welcome to the fourth and final day of our Gallery Tunic Sew-Along! Last week we discussed fabric options, then created a back pleat, inserted a placket, and stitched the shoulder seams. On Monday, we made and inserted the collar. Today we’ll set in the sleeves, sew up the side seams and finish up with the hem. Let’s sew!
Attach the Sleeves
Sew a row of gathering stitches 3/8” from the raw edge of the cap of one sleeve, starting and stopping at the sleeve cap’s side notches and leaving thread tails several inches long on both ends of the gathering stitches. Then sew a second row of gathering stitches 1/4” below the first row (5/8” from the raw edge).
To prepare the sleeve for hemming, sew a line of basting stitches 1/2” from the sleeve’s bottom edge. Using the basting stitches as a guide, fold and press the sleeve seam allowances to the wrong side by 1/2”.
Fold and press the bottom edge to the wrong side again, this time by 2 1/2”. (Use the notches at the sides of the sleeve as a folding guide.) Unfold the sleeve for the next steps without losing the creases, which you’ll use later for finishing the hem. Repeat to prepare the second sleeve.
3. Align and pin the raw edge of the sleeve cap to the raw edge of the tunic’s armhole with right sides together and aligning the center notches on the sleeve and the armhole. Pull on the tails of the gathering threads to cinch up the extra fabric and make the sleeve fit the armhole, adjusting the ease evenly across the top of the sleeve so there are no puckers or pleats. Then finish pinning the eased top edge of the sleeve to the armhole.
Stitch the sleeve to the armhole with a 1/2” seam. Press the seam allowances toward the sleeve and finish them together using your preferred method. Attach and finish the second sleeve the same way.
Sew the Side Seams
With right sides facing and the raw edges aligned, pin the front and back of the tunic and sleeves together, matching the underarm seam and the notches. Unfold the sleeve hem (View A) and join the side seam and sleeve with one continuous 1/2” seam, starting at the dot near the bottom of the tunic and ending at the sleeve, backstitching or lockstitching at both ends. Press the seam allowances open and finish them using your preferred method. Repeat to sew up the other side of the tunic.
Finish the Sleeves
To hem each sleeve, turn the tunic right-side out and refold each sleeve along the previously folded creases before stitching along the innermost fold.
HINT: It’s generally easiest to hem the sleeves with the garment turned right-side out, stitching from the inside of the sleeve and pushing the rest of the sleeve out of the way.
Fold the sleeve hem back by 1 1/4” to make the cuff. Tack the folded edge of the cuff to the sleeve at the underarm seam by hand or machine to hold it in place. (If desired, you can also tack the sleeve by hand in a few other spots to help keep the cuff in place when the tunic is worn. Try to take the stitches just inside the fold, so they aren’t visible when the tunic is worn.)
Repeat to finish the second cuff and sleeve.
Hem the Tunic
For the front hem, sew a line of basting stitches 5/8” from the garment’s raw bottom edge, beginning and ending at the dots at the side seams. Repeat this process for the back hem. These basting rows will become the fold lines for the hem.
Fold and press the fabric’s raw edge to the basting line on the wrong side. Then fold and press again along the basting line to enclose the raw edge and create a narrow hem. It can be a little tricky to get the fabric all folded and pressed nicely, so take your time. The pliability of the bias in the curved edges will work to your advantage.
Edgestitch the innermost fold to finish the hem, pivoting to stitch across the side seam at the level of each dot and pivoting again to continue stitching the curved hem at the other side. Remove any visible basting stitches from the fold line.
And we’re done! What do you think? Did you like the pattern? Are you happy with your tunic? Let us know in comments! We’d also love to see images of your completed project on Facebook or Instagram.
Thanks for joining us! We’ll see you next time for the Ginger Skinny Jeans Sew-Along, starting Oct. 17, 2016.