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The Tango Tunic with Embroidered Neckline

embroidery icon embroidery
Skill Level: 

I wish I could say ‘Greetings from the lovely Palmetto Bluff Montage Resort in lovely Bluffton, SC!’  It was a paradise that lasted for three lovely days……

but back to the tunic……..I think I’ve got this.

I’ve just returned from Cleveland where I had the privilege to tape three episodes of the PBS show It’s Sew Easy. The third taping was a tutorial dedicated to  adapting a downloaded embroidered neckline file to a commercial tunic pattern. Don’t be fooled by the lovely courtyard beyond the French doors. It was 15° and snowing

Obviously this garment is not meant to be worn in snow so let’s go back to paradise.

I’ve learned so much since my first embroidered neckline tunic blogged on December 2,  For the holiday embroidered neckline tunic I used tricky fabric and an insufficient stabilizer.  For this tunic, linen and a heavier tear-away stabilizer did the trick.

So starting from the  beginning. I love orange and threaded my machine with Coats and Clark Trilobal Embroidery Thread in Tango.

Then, I followed the steps below:

  1. Create or Select an embroidery neckline design and download to the embroidery machine. My design is from . The website offers hundreds of options.
  2. Start with a rectangular piece of fabric a little larger than the tunic front bodice.
  3. Trace the tunic bodice front shoulders, neckline and armscyes with a heat soluble marker. Do not cut pattern piece!
  4. Thread trace the center line from the neckline to the bottom of the bodice. This serves as your placement guide and will make sure your embroidery is on the grainline. 
  5. Depending on your hoop size you may be able to embroider the entire design at once. If you work from a smaller hoop you may need to divide the design.
  6.  Once the design is completed it will look like something this. 
  7. Remove stabilizer. (note photo below has a little stabilizer left around lower inner neckline).
  8. Cut a piece of fashion fabric slightly larger than the embroidery design and interface with a lightweight knit interfacing. I like Pellon Easy Knit Fusible.
  9. Place the fabric over the front of the embroidered neckline. RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.
  10. Secure with a few pins. Flip to the back secure with a few more pins.
  11. Stitch around neckline following the embroidery design. (photo below is from another sample).

  12. Cut away excess fabric.
  13. Turn fabric to the inside of the bodice and press.
  14. You now have created a facing. Depending on the sheerness of your fabric you can finish the facing in one of two ways.
  15. Cut facing in same shape as neckline design allowing for a ½” seam finish. Turn and finish outer edge or serge. 
  16. If your fabric is sheer, Cut the facing down to 1” following the inner neckline design, turn and finish by slip stitching to the back of the garment. 
  17. Fine tune the pattern placement and pin in place. Your heat soluble markings will be gone but the centerline remains and will serve as your placement guide.
  18. I like to catch the very top of design in shoulder seam so it’s not floating on top of the tunic bodice. It might be necessary to sacrifice some  of the embroidery.
  19. Pin the bodice pattern piece to the fabric and cut.
  20. You now have a tunic bodice ready to assemble with a finished neckline!

It’s Sew Easy  

I embellished the lower edge of the sleeve with a repeated vine motif from the Pfaff Embroidery Collection for the Creative Icon.

I experimented with several decorative 9mm stitches to cover the machine hemline in the sleeve before making a selection.

The ultra casual nature of this tunic influenced me to keep a relaxed fit.

As I mentioned in December, I’ve noticed a shorter length trending on many designer tunics. Personally, I find the shorter length to be a better one for me, and this tunic is shorter than many from the The Tunic Bible.

My only challenge now is to patiently wait for warm weather or visit a tropical island. Something tells me I’ll be playing the waiting game