The Pattern and Fabrics
The Liesl + Co Gallery Tunic is one of those patterns that makes you wonder, “What took me so long to make this?!” In the span of a week, Bonnie and I made three tunics between us, and there are more on the cutting table…it’s that great.
The Gallery Tunic pattern is described as a “relaxed-fit pull-on tunic or dress. The tunic features cuffed three-quarter-length sleeves and a one-piece collar. The dress includes in-seam pockets, button-cuff full-length sleeves, and a band collar. Both versions include an inset front placket with a fun pleated detail, an inverted box pleat at back, and a curved shirttail hem that’s slightly longer in back.” I made the tunic version in a lovely Southwestern print rayon, and Bonnie made hers in a fun Aboriginal quilting cotton. The rayon is a tad slippery to sew with, but is oh so soft and drapey. The cotton, of course, is a dream to sew with, though Bonnie warns that since the print is so large you may need extra fabric to get the layout how you want it.
Fit and Alterations
The Gallery Tunic was on my Make Nine 2018, because I was looking for a relatively simple, long-sleeve woven top. This definitely fits the bill! I made a muslin in a size 6, but ended up sizing down to a size 4. Bonnie made similar adjustments: she cut out a size 8, but sized down to a 6 through the hips. I do think the pattern runs true to size, but the style is maybe a little more voluminous than either of us wanted.
We both made some minor alterations to our tunics. I had to lengthen the sleeves about 1″ (I have long-ish arms), and Bonnie did a full-bust adjustment and increased the cuff hem to shorten the sleeves. One thing I particularly like about this pattern is it’s potential for hacking. I made a flannel version and added a chest pocket, for more of a traditional look. I’d love to make one with a small back yoke, and it’d be simple to continue the front pleat all the way down to make a faux (or even real) button-up. This will make such a great spring dress in a drapey Tencel, and a great summer pullover in a lightweight linen or cotton voile. Oh, the possibilities!
The Gallery Tunic has many features of a classic collared shirt, but with shortcuts that make it easier to sew: the collar stand and collar are combined; the front placket is created by clipping and folding the front of the tunic, rather than attaching a separate piece; the cuffs don’t have a placket at all, even on the full-sleeve version; and there’s no yoke. These features (or, lack thereof) make this a quick sew, and give the finished garment a nice simplicity, especially in the rayon. I eliminated the side pockets, but Bonnie included them in hers and I have to admit I’m regretting my choice! The next version will definitely have pockets, especially when I make the dress length.
Bonnie and I agree: The instructions for this pattern are detailed, clear, and full of excellent sewing tips. Liesl shares her favorite methods for sewing a curved hem, and describes how to pencil in the seam allowance to create a neat, sharp collar. The pattern’s design, plus the excellent instructions, make this a great choice for an advanced beginner or intermediate seamstress.