Wednesday, September 11, 2013

kid's garb blitz : Plaid Toddler Tunic

In this installment of my Kid's Garb Blitz, I'd like to share with you how I went about making a new tunic for my youngest child. He is 21 months old, and very much on the move. I wanted him to have a really simple, warm tunic that wasn't going to get in his way, but also that I wasn't going to get frustrated over him getting dirty. He'll no doubt be grown out of it before the weather turns really chilly, so it really is just a quick solution.

I also need to mention for the sake of this post as well as the next that, both of my younger sons have very flexible arms and shoulders, and can move around easily without underarm gussets. If I felt that they were in any way limited in mobility by the structure of the sleeves without gussets, I would add them. It must run in our family, though, since my husband's sleeves also do not require gussets. If you'd like information about adding underarm gussets, try Dagorhir Gear's Bocksten Tunic page.


Several months ago, I had picked up a lovely dark plaid from the remnant bin at Joann's with the vague idea that it could be a piece of kid's garb. I never really stopped to look at how much fabric there was before I tucked it away. When I found it again recently, I realized that there was barely enough for a tunic, so I had better make it before I'd lost the chance!

Rather than trying to wrestle him down to get his measurements, I decided to employ a modern DIY trick to patterning. I found a shirt that fits him, and used that as a basis for the tunic.


I folded the shirt in half and tucked the sleeves in to try to get the seam line as accurate as possible at the armhole. Then I traced the shirt onto the paper.


I then did the same thing with the sleeves.


I marked a line at the armpit to indicate the angle of the seam, which meets up with the top right corner of the paper.


I also measured a desired length.


After cleaning up my pattern pieces and cutting them out, I folded the fabric into quarters, and laid the two pieces out, utilizing the folds. I also made sure to measure for my desired length. You'll see that my sleeves had to be shorter, but it actually worked out correctly, since the t-shirt sleeve hangs lower on him anyway.


When everything was cut out, I had two body pieces and two sleeves.


I decided to hand-sew this one, due to the size. The first order of business was the shoulder seams. After attaching the two pieces with running stitch, I trimmed one side and did a flat-felled seam.


Then I added the sleeves.


I foldied it in half (for a front and back), and sewed it together down each side. Then I went ahead and hemmed it, since I knew I wasn't going to need it any shorter than it was. After that, I adjusted the neck hole a bit for him to be able to try it on.


Looking good!


With a better neckline established, I hemmed that, then hemmed the sleeves.


And when all was said and done, I had a finished plaid tunic!




I think he should always be dressed like this.

Next week, I'll share a different method of patterning a tunic for my middle son.

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