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Learn how to make a dress-length Trendy Tunic from Ilse! She shows how to lengthen, sew, and style this fun, versatile pattern.

trendy tunic dress

How to make a Dress Length Trendy Tunic for Fall

Hello everybody, here Ilse from @sewsewilse. I’m glad to be here again on the Love Notions’ blog to show you the start of a little fall capsule with the Featured Friday Pattern – The Trendy Tunic – as a base. The month of August has been going on for a while now and the weather was nice, but we also had a heavy heat wave here in Belgium. Luckily I had some summer outfits from Love Notions that were great to wear during this warm period. You can’t believe how much I enjoyed wearing my Summer Basics dresses! I would love to make so many more summery items, but the new school year and fall are coming up. So it’s about time to start that fall collection. 

trendy tunic dress

When do you actually start sewing your first fall outfit? Actually, it’s kind of hard sewing for the next season while it’s still summer. Switching to wearing fall clothes I have never felt difficult or bothered. The other way around: from long pants to bare legs I do find it a bit more difficult.

I didn’t see the Trendy Tunic passing by so often and was curious about this design so I decided I really wanted to try it out in a few ways. Before we go any further you need to know for sure that only today the Trendy Tunic is available for $5. And besides the ladies version, so is the kids’ version.

Ladies Trendy Tunic

Trendy Tunic: a pattern all about pockets

The Trendy Tunic is a tunic length top with inset pockets and short, 3/4 or long sleeves. The construction of the pockets is really genius! Tami has a video with the construction of the pockets where you can see very clearly how it is made up. You can view the video here. You really have to try it out!

Perfect Pattern for Color-blocking

The design of the dress is excellent for color blocking. You can make the side panels in a different color or you can just make it in a single color. When using two colors I prefer a plain or more dark color in this case for the side panels because it has a more slimming effect. 

And that’s what I did. Maybe you can even use a panel for the main part or some piping in the chest seams. I was considering the last one, but I was afraid the whole thing would stick out more. What do you think? Or do you have a suggestion?

Trendy Tunic Dress Hack

I didn’t want to stick to the tunic length, as I prefer to wear dresses, so I wanted to try a dress at knee length and about half the length of my leg (calf length). For the dress in knee length I used an organic cotton jersey from Lillestof called ‘Citronella.’ I combined it with a dark blue cotton knit for the side panels.

trendy tunic dress

Here’s how to do the dress hack:

If you want to make a dress out of the tunic, you just have to do a few things. You cut the pattern at the lengthen/shorten line and extend the pattern part as much as you want to lengthen the tunic. To get up to the knee length, I extended it by 6.3”. At the bottom of the photograph you can see that I took the width from the side. 

At the bottom I marked 0.8″ and gradually extended it upwards. I didn’t want the dress sticking out too hard. With this quality I used (bio-jersey) that could be the case. For the back I did the same thing.

trendy tunic dress

Then, assemble the rest of the dress per the pattern instructions

Assembling the dress went smoothly. Only the construction of the pockets needed more precision. I sewed each seam with a small zigzag stitch and I did the same with the side panels. The top stitching can be done with a straight stitch, twin needle or with your coverstitch. Here I used a zigzag stitch as well. On the picture below you see the two zigzag stitches running nicely next to each other.

trendy tunic dress

Styling the Dress Length Trendy Tunic

The Canyon Cardigan was a perfect match for this. I chose view C, the long-sleeved waterfall option. The dark blue rib jersey matches so nicely. When I work with knit fabrics I have this awesome trick! I sew EVERY seam with clear elastic. I think this is necessary in order not to stretch your fabric and to give it a lasting and firm fit. 

I have to admit, when we took these shots it was cloudy but it was still during the heatwave. So hot! I also wanted to show you a picture with dark blue tights, but you’ll have to imagine these. 

trendy tunic dress

On up to my ankle-length viscose jersey dress. To find similar fabric qualities here in Europe as in America is not that simple and probably the opposite is true. But our viscose jersey most closely looks like rayon spandex. 

The fabric contains natural fibers, is soft, colour fast and has a nice drape. At the moment it is the type of fabric I prefer to work with.

I’ve never had to puzzle so hard with fabric while cutting it out, unbelievable. With a width of 59 inches and a length of 67 inches, I had just enough. I had only a few small pieces left!

trendy tunic dress

Actually the length is a bit shorter than calf length as you can see in the picture. I lengthened in the same way as my knee-length dress, but this time I extended by 12.5″. A longer version really wasn’t possible due to my lack of fabric. (oops)

The two options are quite different because of the length, the type of fabric and the way I used the fabrics. I will wear the knee-length dress rather for going to work and the long version is very nice to go out. So I have a day and night version. Lovely anyway!

And finally, I want to show you the combination with my Canyon Cardigan.  Honestly, it fits nicely over both dresses, doesn’t it? 

Don’t forget to pick up your Trendy Tunic today for only $ 5 – ladies and girls.

To the ladies Trendy Tunic: here

To the girls Trendy Tunic: here

See you soon, Ilse from @sewsewilse

trendy tunic dress

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Author Tessa

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Annette Kiefer says:

    hi Ilse,

    I wasn’t sure about the trendy tunic (I don’t wear leggings) but I love your dresses. I guess I want the pattern after all ;o)


  • karena says:

    Wow – thank you for this, I am also a dress-person. They look terrific. Love Notions patterns are so good as they come, but her amazing testers and hackers really take them to another level.

    • Ilse says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Karena. Yes Love Notions’ dresses and designs are totally my style too. I’m planning to make much more!

  • Cynthia Willis says:

    I was looking at this pattern yesterday, thinking of making a dress with it, so I’m glad you gave us some tips. Your cardigan looks great with both. The color blocked version almost looks like a jumper and top (pinafore). Thanks for your tips.

  • Ellen says:

    Thank you so much for the directions on how to change to a dress, even two dresses! Off to buy my $5 friday pattern!

  • Gertruida A Hudson says:

    I avoided this pattern as I do not wear tunics and I just did not like the examples of it made up. You certainly have changed my mind and I am off to buy the pattern.

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