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
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
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
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.
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!