Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toddler Girls A-line Peasant Tunic Tutorial

I promised some friends a while back that I would post a tutorial for this little top. Yesterday, I took advantage of an early nap time for my one year old while my two year old was glued to Dora, and took the pics for this tutorial. I am sadly in need of a new camera, so bear with me if the pictures are not the best.

First, measure your little girl for neck elastic length

And, for sleeve length
Take a men's button up shirt, remove the pocket with your seam ripper and cut off the sleeves.

Cut the top of the shirt off just under the arm holes.

Fold in half

Take your favourite a-line jumper pattern and lay on top of your folded shirt. Give yourself a few more inches for the arm hole. As you can see, I used the A-line Dresses and Tops pattern from Carla C Dolly Designs and added about 3 inches to the arm hole.

Take your ruler or tape measure and find the straight line from the outside of the strap on the original pattern and mark it with a washable marker.

Starting at your marking, cut the armhole and neckline out as shown above.

Then cut out the a-line

Take the sleeves that you cut off. Remove the cuffs and cut into a rectangle.

Fold your rectangle out long-ways and measure for your sleeve. You will need to subtract the length of you armhole and then measure for sleeve length. My arm hole was about 7 inches long and I wanted a little bit shorter sleeve, so I went with a 5 inch sleeve length. I ended up cutting my sleeve pieces to measure 12 inches total.

Fold your sleeve pieces in half and line the open side up with the cut armhole on the shirt piece and cut out the armhole on the sleeve to match the one on the shirt. Do this for both sleeves.

With right sides facing, line up your armholes and pin as shown. Sew together and repeat with the other armhole.

This is what you should have.

Take your other shirt piece and pin and sew the armholes in the same way. With the shirt inside out, pin the front to the back along the sides of the shirt pieces and the sleeve pieces. Sew together all the way up the sides and the sleeves.

 This is what it should look like.
At this point, if I have extra fabric on the arm pieces, I like to trim them down to even everything out. After trimming, overcast the neck line by going all the way around the edge with a zig zag stitch or serger if you are lucky enough to have one. It keeps the fabric from unravelling in the washing machine.
Hem the sleeves by folding the edge up about 1/2 inch and pressing. Then fold again to hide the cut edge inside of the seam and keep the sleeve from unravelling.
Sew around where you just pressed. According to the Sewing With Nancy lady, it's a lot easier to sew around a tube from the inside as shown above.
This is the hardest part so eat some chocolate and take a deep breath. Press about 1/2 to 1 inch all the way around the edge of the neckline. Don't worry if it is not perfect. This will be on the inside where no one will see it. Just make sure you will have enough folded down to make a big enough casing for the elastic.
Carefully, sew about 1/2 inch below the fold all the way around the edge leaving a 1 inch opening. Make sure you do not leave any other openings. If you have a couple of puckers, it will not matter because you will be gathering the neckline with the elastic. No one will notice ;)
Cut your elastic to desired measurement plus 1 inch. I measured about 15 inches for Katie's neck line and then added another inch so 16 inches. Pin a safety pin to the elastic and thread through the casing.
Once the elastic is pulled all the way through, I like to tie it off with a tight knot if I am using 1/4 inch elastic or anything smaller because it is very difficult to try to sew together. This is why I added an extra inch to the original measurement.
Pull your knotted elastic back into the casing and sew shut.
Trim off all of the little hanging threads and you have an a-line peasant tunic.
Very comfy for lounging around and for play time.


  1. Awwww! So sweet. The dress is too. What an easy to understand tutorial. I'd love for you to hook up to Wickedly Crafty Saturdays with this.