As an Ambassador for SewingPortfolios.com I received some amazing fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics for review and the colors/prints that were sent couldn’t have been more perfect. The fabric line is Tamara Kate’s Frolic and I was sent three of the designs to make something fun for my girl. Of course, my first thought was another A-line Paneled Sunsuit dress, but Bean has grown so tall all of a sudden that I didn’t have quite enough yardage for a dress. So instead I opted for this fun reversible A-line tunic Paneled Sunsuit hack and I’m happy to show you how I did it. this post contains a fabric review, but all opinions are mine
First let’s talk about the fabric! Can those little hedgehogs in this Summer Portrait print be any cuter? I love the brightly colored flowers against the white background and Bean thinks it’s pretty much the most fun fabric ever.
The reverse side of the tunic is the Frolicking print in blue which is so stunning in person. From afar the print looks very sophisticated, yet the animals leaping around the print give it a playful feeling, which is perfect for my girl.
For both of the reversible sides, I used the Big Love print in this beautiful pink for the faux piping to give the tunic a pop of color. I look forward to using the rest of this print for something else soon.
So for this Paneled Sunsuit Hack, there’s not a whole lot that needs to be done to the original Paneled Sunsuit pattern pieces. I used the long sleeve ad-on since it’s cooler weather here now, but this same hack would work for a summery tunic or dress.
Begin by tracing the Paneled Sunsuit Bottom Front Bodice piece in the correct size for your girl. If you need to make any adjustments to the size to fit chest/waist properly do so at this point, using the Blending Sizes instructions in the original pattern file.
Trace the pattern piece, starting at the side notch which indicates the start of the large seam allowance and ending at the seam allowance on the center front edge. The seam allowance is 1 3/8″ (3.5cm) on this piece, which we’ll conveniently use for the hem allowance of the dress/tunic.
Decide how long you would like the dress or tunic to be at the center front and slide the pattern piece vertically down from the tracing until the center front reaches the correct length. For Bean’s tunic I wanted it to be 17″ so I moved the pattern piece until the entire center front length was 18 3/4″. This measurement is the 17″ length I needed, plus the seam and hem allowances (3/8″ and 1 3/8″).
Since most hip measurements are larger than the waist measurement and a nice A-line shape factors in the hip width, determine how much extra width the piece will need at the hip. Using the Finished Measurements chart in the pattern file, keep in mind that the waist of the Paneled Sunsuit is meant to be pulled in with elastic (and to fit over the hips when pulled on or off) so there is plenty of extra room already included in the waist measurement for the hips. That being said, there should still be an extra inch or so added to the width to create a nice A-line shape for a tunic, depending on the size. For Bean’s tunic I decided an inch would be enough and it’s a great, comfortable fit.
Draw a new side seam from the curve in the traced portion down to the notch in the pattern piece. To keep the slightly fitted look of the top, but still have a general A-line look, we keep the upper portion of the side seam intact and only fan out to an A shape where it begins to curve out. The longer the dress or tunic, the more A-line the shape will look.
Trace up and over the original tracing marks, extending the new center front line down to the new hem allowance length.
Draw in the new 1 3/8″ hem allowance using the gentle curve of the original pattern piece.
In order to recreate a similar side seam for the lower back pattern piece, first line up the center front to the new lower front pattern piece, and then match the under arm heights by shifting the pattern pieces vertically.
Trace the new side seam and hem allowance, curving the lower back pattern piece at the upper side seam. Keep in mind that the back has an elastic feature across the back at the underarm so this piece will look different at the underarm from the new lower front piece. Using the same steps as for this new lower back pattern piece, create the new lining back and lining front pieces.
Since the upper edges of these tunic pieces didn’t change, you will use the same size upper front and upper back pieces (as well as the faux piping pieces, straps, or sleeves) without any adjustments. Construction of the dress/tunic is the same as view F of the main Paneled Sunsuit pattern with long sleeves, so this pattern hack is complete!
You’ll have to ignore the ridiculous “model face” (as she calls it) in the above pic, but I wanted to squeeze in one more picture of the gorgeous Frolicking fabric side of the tunic. A huge thanks to both Michael Miller and of course the fabulous Sewing Portfolios for sending the fabric for this review. I know you’ll enjoy both the Frolic fabric line and this fun Paneled Sunsuit hack, so I’ve decided to offer the Paneled Sunsuit pattern for just $5 this week, with no discount code needed. Enjoy!!