New Tunic With Split Sleeves – And More Bushy Tails!

After wondering what to make with the rest of the squirrel fabric left over from making my skirt last week, and then pondering what fabric to use to make a tunic from my new sewing books the obvious answer finally came to me. Actually, it had occurred to me as soon as I received the books, but I was doubtful that I would be able to get a top out of my remaining pieces of fabric – half each of the 1.5m of Squirrel border print and the 1m of accompanying small tiled print. But, as it happens, with a little bit of imagination and a few modifications I managed to get the pieces to fit and I have made myself a top which some might think is a little silly, but I don’t care as I love it.

I managed to keep the bottom hem just about straight enough for the yellow leafy border at the bottom edge of the fabric to remain in tact and at a pretty even depth all the way around the top, which was the one thing I was worried might unbalance the tunic.

The top itself was very simple to make, and the instructions easy to follow, though I had to make a few modifications to accommodate the smaller amount of fabric that I had. I had to shorten the design somewhat, and had to make the front and back each out of two pieces – using the small tile print up to the underarms and then the border print from the underarms to the hem.

I used the plainer fabric for the sleeves, also, which I think works really well as it keeps the design only to the main body piece, and stops the one-way print design from being confused around the sleeves.

I also made one further modification to the split sleeves. The original pattern called for the sleeves to be kept tied by making small string ties from the fabric.


I might have had enough fabric to achieve this, but I didn’t actually check, partly because I was feeling too lazy and partly because I thought the ties would probably eventually annoy me, especially if they ever fell open. Instead I decided to sew a few tacking stitches across the gap at the point where the tie would have been located and instead to sew a decorative button at that point, to finish the sleeve off nicely.

Unfortunately I never actually had any suitable buttons in my collection, so I had to make a couple from polymer clay, but I think the overall effect is quite good with the new buttons in place.

I have also made a few spare buttons in case I should wish to add another further up the sleeve, but for now I think I will wear it as it is, unless my arms start to get too cold.

Overall I’m very pleased with this top. The bright bold and cartoon-like print is fun, and most people wouldn’t think twice about wearing a similar print on a T-shirt, but that’s often wear people’s comfort with wearing such graphic designs tends to finish. I’m sure this fabric was initially intended to be worn by children, but I don’t mind raising the occasional smile, or eyebrow.

10 thoughts on “New Tunic With Split Sleeves – And More Bushy Tails!

  1. It makes me think of Happy Tree Friends, but with no disasters. It definitely gets a smile from me. And the buttons are perfect!

  2. pfft, why should children get all the good stuff!?

    I can’t say I would be comfortable in those sleeves, but you did a nice job of make them. and the fabric is still awesome.

  3. I agree that people wear all sorts of goofy sayings on t-shirts and that’s considered acceptable. I think this print is more sophisticated than logo t-shirts! And definitely more likely to “raise a smile”. 🙂 (sjn821 on Rav)

  4. That is adorable! I thought the print made a cute skirt, but this is even better. I don’t think the cut of the tunic is my style, but I would definitely wear the print.

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