Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions & A Make-Along with Madder

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

Now that the Uniform Knit & Sew books have been arriving into your mailboxes it’s time to talk about fabric selection for the tunics! If you’ve followed us for a while you know we typically pull swatches from around the internet for posts like this as options that we think would work well for the pattern we’re discussing. This pattern is a bit different than our normal releases in that it’s going into the hands of not just sewers, but knitters who might want to try their first sewing project as well. Because of this, I’m going to structure this post into three sections, each talking about a few different weights and types of fabric that I believe will work well for the tunic. I hope seasoned as well as new sewers will find this information useful!

If you’re looking for assistance choosing a yarn you’ll want to hop over to the Making blog when you’re done here and see what they recommend for the Cardigan!

Mid Weight Fabrics

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

Mid weight fabrics are those that you might think of as appropriate for heavier weight tops or lightweight bottoms and will often require a more structured pattern. The tunic above is made in Robert Kaufman Essex Linen and I think it’s a perfect example of a mid weight fabric that would work for this pattern. Mid weight linens, cottons, and blends work best for the sleeveless version of the Uniform Tunic as it can feel a bit restrictive when it comes to sleeves. You’ll want to avoid canvas and home dec fabrics though as they’ll likely be too stiff. I’ll be making an Essex tunic with pockets for gardening this summer and I’m so excited!

Light Weight Fabrics

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

Light weight fabrics are probably what most people will end up using for their tunics. These are easy to find; shirtings, chambray, lightweight linen, rayon twill, ikat, handkerchief linen, double gauze and most lawns all fall into this category for me. The fabric above is a seersucker cotton shirting and I really love how it turned out. Light weight fabrics are appropriate for all versions of the tunic. I would caution you to stay away from quilting cottons though. They’re much more tightly woven than garment fabrics causing them to not have the appropriate drape and movement for a comfortable garment.

Ultra Light Weight Fabrics

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

Ultra light weight fabrics are the last category we’ll talk about. These are obviously lighter weight than the previous categories. Think fabrics like voile, gauze, batiste, charmeuse, embroidered netting, and georgette. Ultra lightweight fabrics might not be an obvious choice for your tunic, but there are a lot of great layering options with them as they often come in really beautiful prints and patterns. The sample above is a cotton gauze I picked up in London around 2003 and I love how floaty the tunic is. It’s perfect for summer even with the sleeves which give just a hint of coverage. One thing to keep in mind if you decide to go this route with your tunic, you’ll most likely want to choose a version without pockets. While you can certainly sew them with no trouble, the weight and weave of the fabric will make them more decorative than utilitarian.

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

Now about that Make-Along!

I hinted in our last newsletter that there would be a Make-Along for the Uniform Cardigan and Tunic and I’m excited to announce that we’ll be hosting one along with the ladies over at Making & Madder! It will run until Tuesday, June 26th. At that point we’ll randomly draw three giveaway winners: one for a sewn project, another for a knitted project, and the last for a work-in-progress. Make sure to use the hashtag #uniformmakealong on Instagram to participate.

If you have any questions about the fabric suggestions or the make-along, just let me know below. I can’t wait to see what yarn / fabric / design combinations everyone comes up with. We hope you’ll join us & I’ll be back later this week to talk about the materials I’m using for my tunic & cardigan!

Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions | Grainline Studioz

34 replies on “Uniform Tunic Fabric Suggestions & A Make-Along with Madder

  • Kate

    I have the book and it’s brilliant, could you tell what fabrics you used in the book? They look a little like the purl soho linen or the Robert Kaufman handkerchief linen, thanks ever so, Kate

    Reply
    • Jen

      The fabrics in the book are a wholesale handkerchief linen but you’re right, it is very similar to the Purl Watercolor Linen or the RK Handkerchief or Limerick Linen (which is what I’m using for my make-along tunic!)

      Reply
  • Kristie

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great info on choosing fabrics! I had already purchased some Brussels Washer linen/rayon to make the version with sleeves. Will that be light enough to make it with the sleeves?

    Reply
  • Micki

    I was so thrilled to receive the book in the mail. So glad that I pre-ordered. I absolutely love the entire book. So beautiful! I am looking forward to seeing and knitting from the book!!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Oh that’s so great to hear! Carrie really knocked it out of the park on this one, she did all the design and photography as well as the knitting pattern. <3

      Reply
  • Patricia Matheus Ribeiro

    Hi Jen, I’ve just received the book and it’s stunning! I can’t wait to start. I’m a real beginner at sewing, and I’ll probably need help from a teacher to finish the tunic, but I still wanna try. Ive knitted a couple of cardigans, but those in the book are more complex. I could not understand the instructions. Will you be doing a knit along as well? Tks a lot, I love your work

    Reply
    • Jen

      We’ll be doing a full sew-along over here on the blog for the tunic so you might be able to follow that and be alright! I’ll be knitting the cardigan along with the make-along but I won’t be hosting a knit along. If you have specific q’s about the pattern you can definitely email Making (I believe their contact info for pattern support is in the book) or I can try to help though I’ll be knitting it for the first time. I also think a lot of top down sweaters are the type of thing where if you just go along things kind of become clear where if you read ahead it’s like OMG WHAT IS ALL THIS INFO, if you know what I mean. At least that’s how I always feel being a knitter who prefers knitting flat and seaming.

      Reply
  • Lili Christensen

    I really wish the patterns went up to larger sizes than a 44 inch bust. There are many of us who would love to make these in 2x and 3x size range. We need nice clothes also. Please?

    Reply
    • Jen

      We would love to expand our size range eventually but at this time it’s just not financially possible for us. And when I say that, I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be financially worthwhile, but that we need more resources so that we can do it right and create a good block, then draft based on that. We have started researching but things take time when you’re a very small business with no outside income and its important for us to really do it right if we’re going to do it.

      Reply
    • Jen

      There isn’t at the moment since it was designed as a set. The plan is to release stand alone PDF versions of the garments a year out from publication.

      Reply
  • Nancy Kaye

    Have already made one tunic, need more! I haven’t seen any photos of the split hem version with pocket. I think it would work though. Have you made a version with both pockets and split hem?

    Reply
      • Winnie

        This is good news, I was wondering the same thing. I made my first version with the pockets, but wanted to combine the convenience of having pockets with the ease and detail of the split hem!

        Reply
  • Jeanne Bernardin

    Baby sewer here asking a question ! Did basic sewing in past and used to cut ou pattern directly. However…

    The tunic pattern is printed on 2 sides and they are different…
    Does this mean I have to trace one side of the pattern on tracing paper?
    Does extra -mega-large tracing paper exist ? Or you just work at it sheet by sheet and tape them together ?

    I went to Staples ( a print shop) and their copy machine feeder does not copy that size paper (only up to 24×36 inches) and automatically cuts 2 large bands… The gentleman was really helpful and tried hard but… no success.

    How did you all ladies make it work in the most efficient way?
    By a second copy of Making (ha!ha!) vs tracing vs other method?

    Thanks fo your help,
    Jeanne

    Reply
    • Jen

      Yep, you’ll need to trace the pattern or print out the PDF that should have been emailed to you when you bought the pattern. We’ve since updated to include a copy shop file which you can take to staples. For books though it’s pretty standard to have the pattern printed on both sides of the sheet.

      Reply
      • Jeanne Bernardin

        Thanks for your help Jen!
        One more question: the only link I received for the Uniform book has a multi-paper pattern to print-tape-cut, and I don’t see a copy shop file. You mentioned an updated file for the pattern. How do I find it ? (I checked all my inbox and junkmail and do not see it. All I find is the link with Uniform_Madder_1(1) PDF.
        Thanks again and sorry for my confusion (I feel like the slowest of all to get started on this project when everyone as already done a muslin or a tunic or two!)

        Reply
  • Cindy L

    Hi Jenn, I have made a muslin for a tunic with sleeves. The fit is great everywhere except at the upper arm and armpit area of the sleeve. The fabric I used for the muslin is from an old sheet. I intend to use a light-med. weight linen for the real top. the weave of the muslin is quite tight. Do you think the linen will offer enough give or should I adjust the pattern. Thanks, Cindy

    Reply
    • Jen

      It’s really hard for me to say over the internet and I’d hate to lead you in the wrong direction. You might want to adjust slightly or try a muslin in a fabric that more closely mimics the actual fabric you plan to use.

      Reply

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