Embroidered Cotton Shirting Tunic

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I’ve never been able to adopt the ‘keep it simple‘ philosophy, but I do believe in the ‘one step at a time‘ approach to life. In sewing that means sticking to the familiar while learning the new.

While I try to grasp the details of machine embroidery I’m sewing with patterns and fabrics that leave no surprises. Mood Fabrics offers a fabulous collection of cotton shirtings, and what better backdrop for cherry red than a black and white check! I knew this smooth shirting fabric with a soft drape would be perfect for a tunic and kept my fingers crossed that it would be compatible for embroidery. As with most Mood fabrics, it exceeded my expectations!

My pattern is from The Tunic Bible . I selected a simple inside-facing placket so the embroidery could be the star. Finished with a simple bias strip neckband, the placket can be worn closed or open (below).

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The lines of the large checks served as ideal reference points for design placement, leading me to use a vertical black line to mark the center of the tunic  (marked with a basting thread below).


It was a great relief to finish the design completely centered 🙂 After the embroidery was completed I was ready to sew the bodice.


I added back darts for a more fitted silhouette.

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I was undecided about embroidering the lower edge and/or sleeves, and concluded the cuffs should be embroidered. IMG_0070 I selected split cuffs for a little pizzazz, and stitching the design on fabric before cutting the cuff made for easy placement.  IMG_6680-1

My only regret is not cutting the cuffs on the bias to echo the neck – like I said….. keep it simple does not sink in with me.


So what’s my takeaway, here?  Nothing happens without a good foundation 😉  Thank you, Mood for this wonderful shirting!

PS…. Check in with Goodbye Valentino tomorrow for the embroidery details.





  • Lisa
    August 26, 2017

    I like your working plan of keeping some things the same when you try new things. I do this, too, with recipes and with sewing (although, admittedly, sometimes I do change too many things at once, which usually gets me into trouble). I really like how your tunic turned out. It looks beautiful and the checks were a really smart base for pattern placement purposes.

  • Linda L
    August 26, 2017

    Lovely tunic!❤️ Great job with the embroidery,!

  • Lori
    August 27, 2017

    The embroidery is amazing and love the combination with the fabric. Great job.

  • Jenny R-L
    August 28, 2017

    Your creation is beautiful! Looks fab & is just my style — would it be possible to commission you to make me one? (I’m about a size 6-8). Thanks! Jenny

  • Michelle Tisza
    September 4, 2017

    Gorgeous job! Love the red embroidery on the check.