I have been telling myself for a long time now that I need to get serious about sewing with knits—in part because those items are the only ones my daughter will wear with any enthusiasm at all—and also because every time I work at the store I see a new knit that inspires me.
The Handkerchief Tunic—part of Figgy’s Banyan pattern—is a great project for practicing with and using knit fabrics because it’s a basic enough style but the flared handkerchief hem makes it so much more interesting and fun—both to sew and to wear. It adds a touch of glamour and on-trend fashion to a kid’s wardrobe. And that tiny pocket is so sweet!
This pattern is straightforward and easy to follow. The only part I found to be a bit unclear were the instructions for creating the handkerchief hem. I e-mailed Figgy’s about it and Daniela kindly straightened me out, thank goodness. I was a dummy and cut my corner at a right angle to the side seam line, which made my hem too deep. I learned the one-inch cut on the corner needs to be 1” up the side seam and along the bottom, to create the correct angle and thus the correct hem depth. I have included an image here of the hem detail instructions with a few extra notes, so you can avoid making the same mistake I made.
I used a lovely coral and gray stripe we had in the store but I also think the shape of this garment would lend itself well to some bright abstract print, which you can also find here, as well as other super cute stripes. We also now carry Steam-A-Seam which I consider an indispensable product for sewing with knits. It helps to stabilize your stitching, reduces rippling and works much better than pins to hold things in place. It is permanent but very soft and flexible in finished garments. If you’ve never used it before, you should definitely try it.
Thanks again, Shelly and Daniela for another super cute and well-designed kids sewing pattern. Next on my list are the shorts from the Banyan pattern.