As the weather changes, many of us are yearning to spend more time outdoors. While the urge to stay in and nest may be waning, the urge to create is still strong. Shorter projects are the answer for a lot of us, and apparel projects have the added bonus of enhancing our warm weather wardrobe.
If you're already a dedicated handmade wardrobe proponent, you recognize the benefits of having clothes made to your exact size and style. If you haven't tried making clothes for yourself recently, give it a try. There are so many beautiful, flattering, and well written indie patterns available these days that there is something suitable for everyone.
The Schoolhouse Tunic from Sew Liberated is a great example of current apparel patterns, and one of our favorites. It's such a versatile and flattering pattern. The pattern is well written, easy to follow, and quick to make up.
Our first sample shirt is made from lightweight cotton and uses the shorter length. The white with black pin dots is so classy--perfect for work with a skirt, or style it more casually with a pair of jeans.
The fabric shown is out of stock, but any lightweight cotton will work. The fabrics from the Warp & Weft collection are lighter weight and have a nice drape, they would be great options.
Next, we made the tunic length in double gauze. This shirt screams spring! The double gauze is a wonderful fabric to wear, so soft and great drape without being clingy.
Be sure to wash & dry this fabric before you cut it! Double gauze can shrink quite a bit. It also helps to press and starch your fabric before cutting. The extra stability will make it much easier to work with and minimize stretching while you sew.
Our last top is a fun one. It's made from three coordinating fabrics and has three quarter sleeves. The fabric is heavier weight than the previous fabrics that gives the tunic more of a dress feel.
Schoolhouse Tunic is a real wardrobe staple. The style is flattering for just about everyone and can be easily altered. The pattern comes with two lengths, but it would look wonderful as a below the knee dress as well. Besides altering the length, try different sleeve lengths, or no sleeves at all. You could also add button and loop closures, or make a tie at the neck.
Try mixing up your fabric too. The pattern is suitable for lightweight linens, lawn, double gauze, cotton and more. It would be easy to add a contrasting band at the bottom or where the bodice meets the skirt. Another option would be to add contrasting trim to neck and sleeve edges. You could even use multiple fabrics for a patchwork look or stripes like our last version. There are so many options, you could make a dozen of these and no one would realize it was from the same pattern.
If you're interested in creating your own version we've selected some suitable fabrics to inspire you...
Organic Yarn Dyed Linen from Birch Fabrics
Harriot Wovens by Carolyn Friedlander
Double Gauze from Kokka
Mariner Cloth from Alison Glass