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Sew a Boho Tunic Top

Updated: May 29, 2021

I had been wanting to show off the lovely Double Gauze and Cotton Knits designed and sold by OTY Fabrics NZ and just couldn't find the vintage look I was after to make the style of tops I had in mind. I did however find two blog tutorials that gave me an idea to design my own. So I thought I would as always share the steps of how I did it with you all. My inspiration for doing this was this original Blog tutorial on the Bernina Blog, unfortunately it was in Dutch, but these days we can use Google Translate to help us with understanding most of it. I also used the information from the free Peasant Top design from Jamie at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom to help me come up with some of my methods and the elastic sizing. In my tutorial I have used Jamies free Raglan Tunic Top in size 3 years to adapt and use to make my Boho Top.

Please follow along and make your very own Tunic Top. It works equally well in lightweight cotton knit (2 way or 4 way stretch) as it does in Double Gauze, Voile or Cotton Woven. I think it leans best towards lightweight structured fabrics rather than Linens or heavier quilting cottons. So use your judgement on which fabric you choose for creating these pretties. In my example I've used a lightweight 2-way stretch cotton knit I had in stash, just to test the design in before going ahead and making them in the gorgeous OTY Fabrics knits and Double Gauze I had on order. So without any more chatter onto the tutorial.

NB: this method works with any suitable raglan top or dress pattern, and you should be able to grade it to work for adults as well if needed. I have provided some tips on sizing for older kids but my instructions are based on a kids size 3 years as that is what I tested.

What you will need:

  • A suitable raglan sewing pattern to adapt I used the FREE Raglan Tunic Top pattern in girls 2-14Y from Jamie at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom Blog.

  • approximately 1m x 150cm of Fabric (Double Gauze, Lightweight Cotton Poplin, Voile or Cotton Knit)

  • Overlocker and Standard Sewing Machine (optional Coverstitch)

  • Thread

  • Scissors

  • Pattern weights or Pins

  • Felt Pen or Pen for tracing pattern

  • Tracing Paper

  • Sellotape if needed

  • 12mm wide or less braided elastic approximately 1m long depending on size sewn

  • Bodkin or Safety Pin to thread elastic

  • Label or piece of ribbon to mark back of neck (optional)

Drafting the Pattern:

  • Grab your printout of your Raglan pattern pieces, you'll need the back, front and sleeves only for this tutorial.

  • Trace size needed (I use a size 3 years from the FREE Raglan tutorial as mentioned above) leave space to trace extra lines or have some scraps of paper to trace onto and sellotape as I have used in my example

Trace the pattern piece to the size needed
  • With the two body pieces together (my example has same pattern for back and front pieces) add an extra long strip down the centre front and measure out 7-12cm depending on the fullness you would like or the size you are sewing your top for. In my example I did 7cm, dot lines at varying spots 7cm out from the original centre front of the top pattern piece. Join the lines to make a new centre front line. Measure out the necklines flat to the new centre line.

Add extra width to the centre front fold
  • Add another strip of paper to the base of the pattern piece and measure 4.5cm to 8cm extra length to the bottom of your pattern piece depending on what size you are sewing up (or more for adult sizing). Again join up all the lines to create a larger pattern piece as shown in my picture.

Measure down from the hemline to add length
  • Measure up 2.5cm from the neckline following the curve to create a turn over for the elastic casing at the neckline. Square it off at the shoulder edge so its not too diagonal.