This project is EASY!
Find a large or extra large men’s shirt you really like and turn it into a tunic, or use it, also, as a dress!
I found this cool tribal-print men’s pullover shirt and couldn’t pass it up!!
You normally would think of a pullover as being a knit. This is 100% rayon, but it’s still a pullover—no button-down front. I like that! But, button-downs can also be converted into women’s tunics. Read on! 🙂
Wanting to make it a little less full, I simply made a few dart tucks in the waist area: two in the front and four in the back.
Just pinch, pin and sew! 😀
This project utilizes dart tucks because they give a softer appearance than the regular tapered-ended darts. But, the main reason is: They’re much easier to sew!!
(Note: Dart tucks are a variation of darts that are constructed much like a standard version but the points are left open. The open ends give a pleated appearance, which adds a softer look to billowy pants and blouses.)
Turn the garment inside out.
In the front, make two dart tucks, one on each side, about a 1/4th of the way in from the sides. Do that by pinching the fabric between your finger and thumb, vertically, in the waist area. I measured one inch, which would take in two inches of looseness. (The tip of my thumb, shown on the right, is at the one-inch mark, which will be the dart-tuck seam.)
Pin this and continue the tuck for about a 4-inch length. The 4-inch length should be pretty equal in proportion to the waist (mid point): in others words, about 2 inches below your waist, 2 inches above your waist.
With your finger, follow across to the other side to find the same area opposite the first dart tuck—just eye-ball it. Do the same inch-wide tuck about 4 inches long.
You can go ahead and sew those two tucks so it doesn’t get so confusing. Be sure to choose a color of thread that blends well and won’t be easily seen.
Now, for the back:
With the garment inside out, you’ll make two tucks on each side on the back, for a total of four tucks: I made mine close together. (Actually, it all depends on how loose the shirt is on you, and how much you want to take it in!)
Lay down the shirt with the back facing up. Smooth it out: The front and back are not the same width, so, make sure the back is centered on the front by feeling the edges to be sure the side seams are the same distance from the edges of the shirt folds.
To make the tucks: Feeling the front tucks on the front of the shirt with your fingers through the fabric of the shirt back, duplicate the inch-wide, 4-inch-long tucks to match those on the front. My second tuck on each side was between the first tuck and the side seam. (On the right, you can see the two different tucks between my fingers.)
Sew those four dart tucks, each 4 inches long, in the waist area—and…
Voila! You’re finished!
The sleeves, which were meant to fall to the man’s elbows, will be long, full, drapy, flowy sleeves for you…or, at least, mine are. I love that!
Now, for a different kind of tunic.
You can turn a men’s button-down shirt into a slim, sleeveless tunic (shown right) by simply trimming off the sides to fit you. And, in the process of trimming the sides, cut the armholes. When you’re about to cut, make allowance for about 1/2-inch seams. I didn’t make any bust darts—just left it flat.
Oh, and remove the collar. But, that’s very easy: Just rip out the stitches holding the collar on—and that makes a Mandarin collar. 😀
Make sure you follow some sort of pattern for the arm holes. This tutorial is intended to give you ideas, not necessarily to instruct you in sewing. I’m no expert! Lol! That’s why I like to use already-made clothes and repurpose them—’cause I’m a beginner seamstress! 😀 Lol. So, on this sleeveless tunic, I just cut away the unwanted part and hemmed the sides. It’s probably not the proper way. If you want proper, consult a seamstress! Or, get a pattern.
I just had all these ideas! —and simply had to share them with you—to rev up your imagination! 😀
I do hope y’all will try my ideas and send me pix!! I wanna see your end results!!!
Send me pix of your garments on you! ❤
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