Summer Tunic (Tutorial)

In addition to shorts, another clothing item high on my list for a pregnant summer was lightweight tops. As I dug through my fabric pile, I came across some leftover jersey from my trip to the LA fabric district. It was just enough to make myself a tunic that is perfect for summer, pregnant or not.

everything besides the tunic is from target

And since I just know you’ll want to make one for yourself, here’s a little tutorial:

Materials Needed:

  • 1 yard (more or less depending on your size) of lightweight jersey knit
  • matching thread

Step 1. Measure the width across your shoulders (adding an extra four-ish inches for the small sleeves), and the length from your shoulder to your mid thigh. Add a 1/2″ seam allowance in all directions, and cut two (2) identical rectangles with these dimensions. Mine was about 21″ wide and 30″ long.

just fyi, I took this photo before doing any cutting. I evened out that right side, so make sure your rectangle is nice and even (unlike this ridiculous photo)

Step 2. Cut out the neckline with your desired measurements. I wanted a boatneck, so mine was about 9″ wide and 2 1/2″ deep.  Once your neckline is cut, slightly taper the shoulders from the neckline to the end of the sleeve (as seen below).

Step 3. To make the sleeves, decide how wide you want the sleeve opening (mine was 7″) and mark it that many inches down from the shoulder — this will be your armpit. Then starting at the bottom, cut along the side of the shirt (cutting off only about 3/4″) until you reach your armpit mark and then curve out to the edge of the shirt (as seen below).

Step 4. With right sides together, sew the shoulders and the sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Zigzag or serge the raw edge (if desired — jersey will not fray), and press. 

Step 5. The last step is to hem the neckline, the sleeves, and the bottom of your tunic. These are all done the same way. As seen below, fold over the raw edge, then fold it over again, pinning the twice-folded hem in place as you go. 

Sew with a straight stitch (a slightly wider stitch is better), stretching the fabric as you go. This will keep your hem from being baggy and wavy.

The inside will look like this when your hem is sewn.

When your neckline, sleeves, and hemline are done, press them all flat with your iron. And you’re done!

I’m planning to make about ten more, and wearing them with jeans, leggings, shorts, cardigans, and a myriad of belts, all summer long.

Comment or email me with any questions! Happy Sewing!


  1. This is so cute! Hmmm…me thinks you should be on Project Runway!


  2. you are soo amazing with your tutorials! i wish i had time to make this!

  3. Ashlee :) says:

    So simple, yet so cute & stylish. πŸ™‚

  4. Ohhhhhh I love it! Another PIN for me! Can't wait to make this one! xoxo A-

  5. The tunic looks adorable on you, Merrick! Oh if only I could sew πŸ™‚

    The Tiny Heart
    Enter my giveaway!

  6. danab says:

    so, I haven't actually touched a sewing machine since the 8th grade but I think I just got inspired. This looks so easy. I may be making a trek to my mothers house this weekend and trying this out! Go you for making your own maternity clothes

  7. Leanne says:

    love! it turned out great!

  8. Kacie says:

    I wish I was as talented as you. I guess getting a sewing machine would be a good start. lol. You look great!

  9. newpetite says:

    Thats cute! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  10. JMc says:

    Thanks again! I think this is going to be the first project on my list during my staycation!

  11. so cute! now to find a good fabric. I just finished making your dolman top and posted it on my blog. πŸ™‚

  12. kaitlyn says:

    Oh my – this is so cute!! I've been searching for the perfect tunic… so why not just make it!? Thank you πŸ™‚

  13. Seriously? You always make it look so easy but I am sure I would have to stitch rip the heck out of it and it would look terrible. So tempting though …..

  14. Kelly says:

    Gosh you're so cute! I love this tunic! I may try to do this, perhaps…. one day….

  15. you seriously amaze me with all these tutorials! my sewing machine came last week, but i haven't had time to sit down and read the manual yet…it's just sitting on my desk and i'm pretty terrified of it haha πŸ™‚

  16. christine says:

    Yay!! I've been waiting for a great easy tutorial for something like this!!! Thanks for posting…might take me a while to make it, but I'll know to come back here for the tutorial!! Thanks M!

    dela chic

  17. Annie says:

    This looks perfect on you – if only I could sew! Love the color, and the leopard belt looks so cute πŸ™‚

    The Other Side of Gray

  18. perfect and afordable for pregnancy clothes! good job on your sewing!

  19. So adorable!!! Do you think you could give a tutorial on how to do this same tunic but with quarter length sleeves? I would love to make a few for Fall!

  20. Aisling says:

    Ine question: in the first pic it looks as though when you cut out your rectangle of cloth that it's folded over? Otherwise there's nothing to sew right? For us (super-duper) beginner's who are still learning to sew, that's an important step to mention πŸ™‚

  21. Aisling:

    Yes, should have clarified that. The fabric is doubled up so you'll cut two identical pieces — a front and a back.

    Good luck!

  22. Aaron37 says:

    Would this shirt work for maternity? how would you suggest doing "belly room"

  23. I am loving your blog, and getting a lot of confidence and inspiration from it… I've been sewing from patterns and books, but have started to venture into less-charted territory recently – knits being my BIG sewing "fear". A HUGE help in getting faster/better/cleaner/more accurate results has been using a twin stretch or twin sharp (depending on the type of fabric, the latter is a ballpoint for jerseyswhile the former is for rayon/lycra/spandex knit combos) to hem and coverstitch necklines, armsyches, etc. on a regular (non-overlock) sewing machine-thought I'd chime in w/all the talk about knits! Thanks and keep it up!

  24. shpeterson says:

    Do you mind sharing where you found your comfy maternity leggings? I have been unable to find any so far!

  25. Arthur the Cat says:

    You look like Helene Segara a french singer ^^

  26. Patti T. says:

    So adorable! Thanks for the quick and easy sew tutorial. You look so cute in that shirt.

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