Thursday, October 11, 2012

Easy Musketeer Tunic Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for a simple tunic that can be used for so many different costumes. This one is for a little boy who is going to be a Musketeer, but with some color and applique variations you could easily make this a knight, or one of the playing cards in Alice in Wonderland, or make it longer and use it as an over-dress for a girl. Huge possibilities with a very basic tunic.

Here's how to make it.

You'll need about 1/2 to 1 yard of fabric, depending on the size of your child and the length of the tunic.
About 1/2 yard of contrast fabric or felt for the shield
A fat quarter of 2nd contrast fabric for the heraldry in the center of the shield
Trim of your choice, around 3 yards, again depending on the size/length of the tunic and where it is to be used
3 yards of matching ribbon
matching thread

Start by measuring your child from where you want the bottom of the tunic to end on his front, over the shoulder to his back where you want the bottom of the tunic to end on his back.

Hopefully, this makes more sense in the photo.  This is the length of the tunic. Mine is 31 inches.

Next, measure your child across the front from the outside of one shoulder to the outside of the other shoulder. This is the width of the tunic. Mine is 14 inches.

Lay your fabric out on your cutting table folded in half with the fold at the top.

Cut the fabric using the width measurement (14 inches) adding seam allowance on either side for hemming. I added 1 inch to each side, so I cut my fabric 16 inches wide.

Next, with the fabric still folded, cut the length using half of the length measurement you took earlier. My measurement was 31 inches so I would measure down from the fold 15 1/2 inches, add my 1 inch seam allowance and cut my fabric at 16 1/2 inches long.

Now mark the center of your fabric along the folded edge. I'm sure there is a mathematical way to figure out the size circle you'd want to cut for the head, but I just use a bowl that is the right size and trace around it.

Then cut your circle. I always cut on the small side, you can always make the hole bigger if you need to, it's much harder to make it smaller. At this point, I tackle my child and force them  ask my model politely to try the tunic on, then make any adjustments to the head opening.

Now, hem the sides and bottoms using your 1 inch seam allowances.

If you want to add trim around the front edges, you can add it now.

Set the tunic aside while you work on the applique and shield. I used black felt for my shield, I just drew a shape free hand and cut it out.

After it is cut, lay it on top of the tunic to check the scale, trim down if necessary.

For the applique, print and cut out your shape, symbol, number or whatever you're using for the center of the shield. I used a griffin for mine.

Next, trace the shape onto a piece of Heat Bond, remember that you want to trace it backwards on the Heat Bond so that your applique will be facing forward on the fabric. I didn't do that in this case, because the griffin can face either direction, but with a letter or number, you want to make sure you do the reverse so that you're not kicking yourself and having to do it over. (It's happened to me more times than I even want to think about.)

Once the griffin is traced on to the Heat Bond, follow the directions on it to apply it to your contrast fabric, cut it out and use your iron to bond it to the center of the shield. I always stitch around the inside of my appliques for extra security, but it is not absolutely necessary.

Now, sew the shield onto the front of the tunic.

If you want to add some additional trim around the shield, you can sew that on now.

There are a few different ways to finish the neck. I cut some 1 1/2 inch bias in the same blue fabric and used it to bind the neck. You can just sew the bias around the neck and call it done. I was asked for a small ruffle at the neck to give the illusion of a ruffle collared shirt, so I cut a 2 inch strip of white fabric, folded it in half, serged the edges together and gathered it up.

Pin the ruffle around the neck and topstitch down. It really does make a nice little touch.

Last, cut your ribbon into 4 equal lengths, pin them to the sides of the tunic a little bit higher than halfway down the length and sew them in place.

And that's it, you're done!

A basic tunic that can be worn for Halloween, used for a school play, of just added to the dress up box.

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1 comment:

  1. Just what I was looking for!! Thank you for the step by step directions, easy to follow and will be a perfect fit.


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