Easy Summer Tunic Free Pattern Plus Tutorial

Boho Chic Tunic

The first time I made this Easy Summer Boho Chic Tunic pattern, I had just turned 15 years old.  Originally a dress, I decided to remake and share it with you.  For me, it represents freedom which is why I wanted you to have it.

Long ago, at a  time when my parents were not getting along, my father worked far from home and would only come every three months.  My mother was in charge of a household and five kids and a very small business, so you can imagine her day.  I wanted to go to a school party and my sister wanted to come with me.  Needless to say, money for new outfits to go to school parties was not in the budget.  My mother always happy to help said: “I can only give you five dollars, see what you can do for you and your sister with that.”  I ran to the closest shop on our side of our small town and I purchased four meters of fabric.  I already had little thread, elastic, and lace at home.

Boho Chic Tunic

I made a tunic for my sister and a dress for myself with the same pattern, two different fabrics, 2 different outfits no one ever noticed.  By the time I finished the outfits my father had come home.  He was not supposed to be back that weekend and he was none too pleased to learn about the school dance and he said we couldn't go. Instead, he said please make a big pot of coffee as someone is coming to see about buying a horse.  If by any chance you grew up in a small farming town, you would know that it is not a thing that happens fast –it takes a few hours of coffee, conversation and much observation of the horse before the transaction is concluded.

So my sister and I decided to escape through the window.  We jumped on our bicycles and went to the dance.  When I close my eyes, I can still remember the cool air through my hair and the excitement of showing up with a new outfit and potentially getting caught.  We had a great time at the dance.  On our return home,  Alas! the window was locked, so we had no choice but to use the front door.  Needless to say, we were grounded for a month. But it was so worth it.

Boho Chic Tunic

I have made the tunic a few times here and there, but I still remember the first time I wore it. I felt free!  This is a super easy boho chic tunic, I recommend this project for a first-time sewer, young or mature, it doesn't really matter.

So what is Boho Chic anyway?  Please check out our background article from earlier this week.

Materials

Pattern layout

Boho Chic Tunic

I have tried to save you paper, hence the weird layout that might cause some confusion.

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Cutting the Pattern

  • Prepare the fabric by washing it and drying it before you cut it.  For more tips on mistakes to avoid when cutting fabric, please check out our tutorial on the topic.
  • There are 21 pages to the pattern.
  • Please cut the back on a fold.  Cut 2 fronts.  There will be a seam on the front.
  • Cut 2 sleeves

Finished Garment Measurements

Boho Chic Tunic measurements

Making your Boho Chic Tunic

This a very easy tunic to make, the pattern has only three pieces and we will start by sewing the sides.

Boho Chic Tunic

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Boho Chic Tunic

Boho Chic Tunic

Boho Chic Tunic

Boho Chic Tunic

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Take the back piece, print side up.Place the 2 front parts and sew the sides, use the serger or zig-zag to clean the seams and iron the sides. Before we can continue, we have to work on the sleeves.  The short side is the front and the high side is back. Sew the sides of the sleeves and use the serger or zigzag.  Iron the seams. Lay the back and front of the blouse and observe the shape of the armhole one side is higher than the other. Place the sleeve print side together and pin the sleeves.

Use the serger or zigzag and iron the seams.  Next, we will work on the neck.

Making the neck of your Boho Chic Tunic

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Fold the edge of the neckline to 1/4″ and iron, fold again 1/2″ and iron.

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Fold again 1/2″ and iron. Cut a piece of elastic the size of your shoulders tight enough to hold the tunic up but not so tight that when you lift your arms that the tunic rides up.  Pin the elastic to the neckline.  This is the quickest way to attach the elastic. Fold the edge over the elastic and topstitch the edge. Pull the elastic as you sew.  For a better understanding of this technique watch our video on sewing pajama shorts for men where I explain and demonstrate how to do this. Sew the fronts together and iron the seams open.  Leave a small opening to attach a string or ribbon as a closer.

Making the waist

Boho Chic Tunic

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The next step is making a casing for the belt or cord for the tunic and it is optional.  However, I would suggest doing it to stop the belt or cord of the tunic from riding up.  Cut a strip that will become the casing of 2″x 18″, fold the edges 1/4″ and iron.  Pin the casing to the back where the waist is and sew at 1/8″ seam from the edge.

Finishing the sleeves

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Lastly, attach the elastic to the sleeves in the same manner you did the neck.  Fold the edge of the sleeve at 3/8″ and iron.

Boho Chic Tunic

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Boho Chic Tunic

Pin the elastic and fold another 1/2″, and sew very close to the edge.

Finishing the hem and lace of your boho chic tunic

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All that remains is to fold 1/4″ and iron.  Pin and sew the lace to the hem and ready to iron the entire tunic.

So do you think Boho Chic is a good style for you?  If you're not sure, give it a try and let us know how you go in the comments below.

A reader's take on this pattern…doesn't she looks awesome!


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Angela Eilenstine
Angela Eilenstine

What incredible writing! You had character development and feelings that reached out to us, in just a few paragraphs. Bravo! I will definitely be looking forward to your next email. Yes

karene1948
karene1948

I can appreciate rebelling when so much work had gone into making a new outfit! I have a question. I’m an “older” woman and nice shoulders are long gone! I’m wondering if this could be changed a bit to have it cover the shoulders — would I have to add length to the top part of the pattern? Any other changes that you think I would have to make? Less elastic for sure …… I love the “Boho” style and have no issues wearing such clothing even though I am 72!

Pami Stump
Pami Stump

Is this pattern designed to only be worn off-the-shoulder or can the top of the sleeves be worn on top of the shoulders so a bra can be worn?

Judy
Judy
Reply to  Pami Stump

Simply add an inch or so at the top of the pattern pieces and you should be able to wear it on shoulder with no problems.

Debra
Debra

I made a top at the same age, it was a favourite. Some years later my mum wore it as part of her costume in her show group.

Molla K
Molla K

You say its free but i can never get the pattern download why?

So Sew Easy
Admin
Active Member
Reply to  Molla K

Hi Molla, I don’t really know what problem you may be having. Many, many readers have downloaded this pattern. Perhaps you have some sort of blocker running. Are you getting to our Payhip page here? https://payhip.com/b/n8Q7

Monique Lagacé
Monique Lagacé

merci pour le patron et j’ai aussi sortie par la fenetre pour aller danser et je me suis faites prendre par mon pere lolllll

jemaco5

Such a touching story! I was right there with you riding along to the dance. I love the pink paisley fabric, is it available online? I hope you have your original dress still, it is a time treasured piece. Thank you for your generosity. Love your website!

Maria
Maria

Lovely outfit! I will have to put this on my to-do list. But mostly I wanted to tell you that I love reading about your loving family and your youthful escapades! Keep them coming!

Sarah
Sarah
Reply to  Maria

Thanks for sharing…..pattern and story. I was reminded of my younger years also 🙂
I’ll be making this for my niece.

janemarie54
janemarie54

Can this be worn on the shoulder? I didn’t see any pictures or suggestions…

Kate
Kate

OMG, ???????????????????????????????? that story!!!!

Steadman's Girl
Steadman's Girl

I love the story even more than the pattern!!!!!!!!!! It reminds me of my own girlhood.

Jennifer Ang
Jennifer Ang

Hi Mayra,

I’m new to sewing clothes, trying out this pattern for my teenage girl. I have transfer the pattern to fabric, and leave 5/8 inch seam allowance all around the pattern as its not mention on pattern or any where in your notes. Before I move on to next step, could you advise should it be just cut along the pattern provided or seam allowance have to consider?

Thank you.

Jennifer
Jennifer
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Thanks Mayra for speed response. I mean to ask should it be leaving 5/8 inch allowance around outside of cut out pattern then cut fabric?or cut fabric right on pattern boundary?

Jennifer
Jennifer
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi Mayra, I think I cut the front wrongly..instead of 2 fronts I have cut it like the back piece..so now I have one front instead. I have sew the sleeves on, if I proceed further to add elastic to shoulder, will it affect the overall design?

Jennifer Ang
Jennifer Ang
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi Mayra,
I think I have cut the front wrongly, instead of 2 pieces of front I have did a fold and cut front in 1 piece. I have sew sleeves on already. Will the error of 1 piece front affect the final outlook on the pattern? Should i do a cut in the middle of front piece and make front to 2 pieces?

jenn
jenn

How would you make this smaller? I am a size 0 and it is super hard to find clothes in stores or patterns…… Please any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Cathy
Cathy

I’ve tried to make this out of muslin with no luck. What is the shoulder measurement? I made the size to match my bust but it will not go around my shoulders. I really want to make this!

Cathy
Cathy
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I’m an avid sewer but usually don’t make clothes for myself because I can’t get them to turn out. I’m 5’7” and wear a size 4 in pants. Usually in shirts I go to a M because of the shoulders. I’m small busted so girth otherwise is not a problem.

I started with a size 8. I tried it in a larger size but then the arm holes are too low and I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms at all. I did try cutting off the top (neckline) a couple of inches on the size 8 and think that may work. I would love the hear your suggestions.
.

Cathy
Cathy
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I thought I responded to this but don’t see the post. I’m a size 4 except when it comes to shirts. Then I usually go for an 8 but only for the shoulder width. I’m tall and thin and small busted.

Deborah
Deborah
Reply to  Cathy

Hi Cathy, I have the same issue as you! I went with my measurements and there is absolutely no way I can wear it off the shoulder. If I do, it’s waaaaay too small in the bust.

Barbara Loecker
Barbara Loecker

Thanks for sharing the story behind this great pattern. This is a style I remember well from the 60’s and 70’s. I always swore I would never wear a style I wore in an earlier decade but this may change my mind:)

Question: Can this be made so it is not off the shoulder? Would I need to hack the pattern or simply pull it closer on the shoulders? Thanks!

Annieofbluegables
Annieofbluegables
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I’m interested in the same thing. I don’t want it off the shoulders. You are so generous to share. Thank you!

Sonya
Sonya
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi Mayra did you ever do an “on the shoulder” version?

Habebah Taqwa
Habebah Taqwa

Oh the good ole days… Amazing dresses, shirts! Thanks for sharing!!!

Gail Nelson
Gail Nelson

Hi there,
I really like the tunic.
Can it be worn with on the shoulders, not just off the shoulders?
How should I determine where to place the waist, I am sewing it for my daughter and she is very tall.
Do you have any length measurements for back to waist and top to bottom hem?
thanks, I am ordering fabric and am excited to sew it.

Jerry Coats
Jerry Coats

Mother made my first as a blouse with long sleeves and a ribbon through the neckline. It was made of white dotted swiss, cotton, and I loved that garment! I am now 87 and still remember wearing it.

lisa lee
lisa lee

Thank you so much for this. It is so similar to my favorite pattern for a peasant blouse and dress my early adulthood.

Lisa Gorski Trier
Lisa Gorski Trier

Hi! Have you made this as a shirt ever?!
Thank you for sharing!
Lisa

barbara
barbara

how can the back be cut on the fold? if the fabric is being laid out in two layers right sides together there has to be a seam down the center back.

Nancy Nys
Nancy Nys

bedankt voor het mooie patroon

Tracy King
Tracy King

What a great story! Thank you for sharing it and the pattern with us. Have a great weekend.