The history of the tunic is almost as old as the concept of wearing clothing. For the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, the Vikings, and many people living during the Middle Ages, the tunic was their garment of choice! And why? Because the design is simple, functional, highly customizable, and comfortable as heck!
So versatile and timeless is this garment that even now – 2,720 YEARS after Socrates philosophized to his students while sporting a hand sewn tunic – new variations continue to be designed and worn!
Elizabeth, our wonderful shop assistant and fabric matching connoisseur, is a big fan of the tunic, and, after seeing her in the Angela Wolf Linda Tunic, it’s obvious why!
This pattern’s pullover design with a back pleat, and open front placket make this tunic ‘easy’ to wear like ye olde tunics of yore. No muss, no fuss. At the same time, details like the curved hem, hi-low design, band collar and rolled sleeves with tabs add a certain joie de vivre. The Linda is flattering without being form-fitting. Comfortable yet complimentary.
Very little occurred in the way of alterations as Elizabeth fit the drafted Size 8 almost perfectly. Except for lengthening the sleeves by 1″, the few adjustments Bonnie did make had to do with Elizabeth’s personal taste rather than fit. The tunic was lengthened by 2″, and the front ‘V’ was raised by 3/4″ of an inch. Lastly, pockets were added!
My Kingdom for a Pocket
If you’ve read our post on the Closet Case Jenny Overalls, you’ll know that I am strongly in favor of pockets. The bigger the better. This may be the one shortcoming of the Linda Tunic Pattern.
Not having pockets makes the initial construction a little easier perhaps. But, I can’t think of a single person (especially those of the female persuasion) who wouldn’t exert a little more effort if it meant they got a decent sized pocket out of the deal. Luckily, Bonnie is an absolute genius in the sewing room, and she took Elizabeth’s request that pockets be added in stride.
To make the pockets, Bonnie cut out two pairs of pocket bag pieces that essentially look like a wonky half circle with one straight edge. (The size of these half circles just depends on the size of the pocket you’re after. Make sure that the straight edge is wide enough to accommodate your hand, and that you include a seam allowance when drafting these pocket pieces.)
She then snipped a notch into the side seam of the main fabric – on each side of the front and back pieces – to mark where the top of the pockets would sit. Next, making sure that the pocket pieces and main tunic pieces were right sides together, she stitched each piece in place, flipped them and pressed. Then, when it came time to close the side seams, she pivoted at the top of the pocket, stitched the pocket pieces together, and continued sewing the rest of the side seam. Lastly to make sure the pocket bags didn’t peek out the bottom, she topstiched them to the tunic’s front using matching thread.
And just like that, a thoroughly fashionable garment became equally functional!
Upon finishing, Bonnie highlighted three things to watch out for, and to possibly consider adjusting, when attempting this pattern yourself.
1.Sleeve Width – These sleeves are designed to be rolled and held in place with a tab and button. However, Bonnie found them to be a tad narrow for rolling. They fit Elizabeth’s dainty forearms, but it wouldn’t hurt to take some extra measurements before settling on a pattern size.
2. Tab Length – The aforementioned tabs which attach to a button on the outside of the sleeve are very long. So, depending on how high you’d like the rolled sleeve to sit, the tab’s length, as well as button and tab placement can (and should) be adjusted to suit the wearer.
3. Collar Application – Angela Wolf’s method for applying a band collar is very different from those Bonnie had previously encountered. However, it was equally effective.
For this tunic, Elizabeth selected two Moda rayons with the same design but in different, complimentary colorways: the Zen Chic Rayons in Navy and in Teal. With tons of great drape, these soft rayons are PERFECT for this pattern.
Bonnie used the Teal to make a contrasting yoke, collar, placket, tabs, and pockets. This pattern does not include a yardage breakdown for color blocking. So, prior to cutting, Bonnie measured the pattern pieces she wished to cut in the contrasting fabric. Then she estimated how much fabric she’d need and subtracted that amount (1/2 yard of 56″ fabric) from the total yardage needed (2 yards of 56″ fabric).
With summer coming, our rayon assortment has practically tripled over the last few weeks. Each one would make a fabulous summertime tunic! *wink wink*
A Tunic as Old as Time
Out of all the patterns we carry, Angela Wolf’s tend to be the clearest and most detailed. Drawings, in addition to pictures, are included in the instruction booklet. Right and wrong sides are color-coded, and the pattern pieces pictured in the instructions are numbered for clarity’s sake. What’s more, Angela usually drafts for a wide array of sizes. The Linda Tunic comes in two varieties: ‘regular’ for sizes 0-18, and ‘plus’ for sizes 16W – 36W.
In short, the Linda carries on the ancient tunic tradition of versatility, comfort and inclusivity. No matter your height, size, or gender, a tunic is just what you need!