A while back I found the best thing ever. Ikat knit! What? I know and I found it at joann fabric. Even better right? So there is sat and I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it... Then it came to me. A super comfortable knit tunic would be perfect for some great summer wear and Abbey is still needing her summer wardrobe expanded.
I love the bright colors and stretchy knit a pocket was added for treasures and some gathers on the side for shape.
I started with a tank that fits my daughter as my guide, I made mine a little wider and longer so it was more like a tunic length. Cut a front and back. Simple right?
Now for the ribbing I was using a rib knit so there was no need for a different fabric. (more on neck ribbing and other options later) You can see when this fabric is stretched that is has the ribs (lines) in the fabric. It also has a nice amount stretch to is which helps.
I cut 3 long strips. One for the neck opening and two for the arm openings. They need to be long enough to stretch over the head, or shoulder.
Now when sewing with knits you have some options. My go to option is my serger. The feed setting and stitch on the serger keeps the fabric nice and smooth and doesn't stretch as it sews. Also the stitch stretches with the fabric. However there are other ways if you don't have a serger. (another way is shown a little later on) For now sew the front and back right sides together at the shoulder and down the side. Turn the top right side out.
Now for the neck ribbing sew the ends of the strips together and you will get a nice little circle. Check it now to be sure it fits over the head nicely. The neck for this tunic is nice and wide so it fits with ease but your head opening will be the size of the stretched ribbing so check that it fits. Mark the front, back and side center point.
Then with right sides together match the center front back and shoulders with the same markings on the neck ribbing.
Now for the other stretch stitch option. With a regular sewing machine I use my stretch stitch foot. (for a bernina but other models have them as well) See the little metal hook in the middle? It stitches over that in a zig zag stitch which allows for stretch.
Then when sewing the ribbing to the neck stretch the ribbing so it is the same size as the neck opening. Stretch and sew.
See the funky stitch? It stretches with the fabric which allows it to stretch over the head without the thread breaking.
Next fold the ribbing in towards the inside and top stitch (while stretching) in place. Repeat with the arm opening the same way.
Now for the side I added some elastic gathers. Cut your piece of elastic and with it fully stretched mark the top bottom and center. Then pin in place.
Sew (regular stitch) down the middle of the elastic as you stretch it to fit.
Then you have a nice little stretchy gather on the side which offers some shape to the tunic.
I finished by adding a simple little pocket to the front since Abbey loves pockets for treasures. I just cut a square pocket turned under the edges and sewed it on.
Then it was ready for some summer loving days. Is it warm and sunny for you yet?
We have been kicking back and enjoying 80 degree weather lately and so Abbey was more than thrilled to have a cool top to throw on.