The James’ Tunic

19 Apr The James’ Tunic

Dear Readers,

Life happens.

(Birdie, Billy and James)

Since I last published a post nearly two months ago, we welcomed Baby James into our family on March 1. Three days later a family member was diagnosed with an illness which has taken me away from home, as well as sewing for extended periods of time.

My new embroidered tunic is in celebration of Baby James who will be here for Easter 😊

IMG_1238I purchased my fabric, a reversible rayon at the Children’s Corner store in Nashville last year. This lovely store is loaded with beautiful fabrics ideal for both children and adults.

After selecting my design from and downloading it to my machine, I chose Coats and Clark Tribal Embroidery Thread in Blue Aqua for a subtle design. I continue to be surprised by the intensity of color when embroidering, and compare it to selecting a paint color based on a small chip 😉

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I lightly traced the neckline, shoulders and armscye with a heat soluble pen then thread traced the centerline. After placing the fabric in the hoop I sat back and watched The Creative Icon do its magic.

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blue tunic 2


……and yes, as you see above it took two hours and thirteen minutes to complete the  55,000 stitches.  Fortunately I don’t need to babysit the machine thanks to  mySewnet™ app.

Last February I published a tutorial on the neckline process (HERE). I also filmed an It’s Sew Easy segment about creating a customized embroidered neckline. Once you read the tutorial it’s fairly self explanatory.


My tunics are always a work in progress!


I rarely cut the sleeves until I’ve sewn the bodice, and also scrutinize the fabric’s drape before selecting a length or adding back darts. When making the TUNIC length, we suggest making the hemline directly above or just below your body’s widest area – NEVER at the widest area! For this tunic I chose just below.

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The soft drape of this fabric did not need back darts. It’s loose, breezy and not bulky at all!

By saving the sleeves for last I easily determined what length and style would work best. I chose a 3/4 length and added cuffs in the reversible color, piped with the darker color. The contrast is subtle but effective, and is in keeping with the other details.IMG_1239 2

It’s Tunic Time!

Would you believe Julie and I have made over 80 tunics from The Tunic Bible? Amazingly enough we have yet to make two that remotely resemble each other!

If you’re in the Tampa/Largo area, I hope you’ll stop by and say Hello to us at one of the Keep Me In Stitches locations next week! We will host two Trunk Shows and Presentations, and two Tunic Bible Workshops – one in each store.


April 24th – Trunk Show
April 25th – Workshop


April 26th – Trunk Show
April 27th – Workshop


Best wishes to all who are celebrating Easter for a lovely, happy and safe holiday weekend, and many thanks to all for being a Goodbye Valentino reader!

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  • Val Downes
    Posted at 06:39h, 19 April Reply

    That is absolutely lovely! Must buy a copy of the tunic bible.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:10h, 19 April Reply

      Thank you, Val! I’m addicted – especially when warm weather arrive 😊

  • Susanne H. Keller
    Posted at 07:24h, 19 April Reply

    Dear Sarah
    So now you have three grand-children, congratulations, how wonderful! Hopefully your family member will soon get much better! I have been pretty busy with my coaching company recently, which takes a lot of my time now. Wish I could make more time for sewing, hower, you cannot have everything.
    Your latest tunic is so pretty, and I love your shoes!
    Have a wonderful Easter and a great Summer!
    Best wishes from Zurich/Switzerland, Susanne

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:31h, 19 April Reply

      Thanks so much, Susanne! I bought the shoes in Arizona and they’ve been hanging out in the closet for two years…… viola – they finally work nicely with something! Good luck with your coaching company in beautiful Switzerland

  • Rebecca Bagwell
    Posted at 07:27h, 19 April Reply

    Beautiful, just like you and all your family!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:31h, 19 April Reply

      Thank you, Becky!

  • Melissa LaPointe
    Posted at 07:35h, 19 April Reply

    I am looking forward to seeing you next weekend in Largo Sarah. Hoping to get my homework done for your class amidst the busyness of life. It’s all good 😊

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:39h, 20 April Reply

      Can’t wait to meet you in Largo, Melissa! Many thanks for coming 😊

  • Christine Dommerich
    Posted at 07:59h, 19 April Reply

    Congratulations! I absolutely love this tunic and choice of fabric is fabulous. It is so good to see you posting again. Wishing you a joyous and blessed Easter.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:41h, 20 April Reply

      Happy Easter to you Christine and many thanks for the nice comment 😊

  • Patricia Flournoy
    Posted at 08:10h, 19 April Reply

    I have missed you! Life has a habit of taking over and leaving no time for one’s self.
    I am getting ready to try a tunic and perhaps embroider it. Bought your book when it first came out but haven’t had the opportunity to make a tunic.. Definitely on my bucket list!
    Congratulations! Your grandchildren are beautiful
    !Thanks your never ending inspiration!
    Patty Flournoy

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:42h, 20 April Reply

      Many thanks, Patty! Please send me a photo of your embroidered tunic once it’s made 😊

  • Karen Hinson
    Posted at 08:38h, 19 April Reply

    My favorite of all your tunics. It is absolutely lovely!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:43h, 20 April Reply

      Wow! I’ve made a lot of tunics…….Many thanks, Karen!

  • Margene Yeaton
    Posted at 09:05h, 19 April Reply


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      Posted at 07:45h, 20 April Reply


  • Rosalind Clayton
    Posted at 09:21h, 19 April Reply

    SO beautiful! Your work is always impeccable! I sincerely hope the family member who is ill is feeling a little better. I wish you a very blessed Easter, Christ has risen!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:45h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you so much, Rosalind. Happy Easter to you too!

  • Irene Mischkinis
    Posted at 10:07h, 19 April Reply

    The tunic is gorgeous! .. and the perfect Easter-egg colour.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:47h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you Irene! It may become my ‘Easter Tunic’ as well as the James tunic 😉

  • Susi McCarthy
    Posted at 10:16h, 19 April Reply

    I had just bought a tunic pattern and the “stumbled” across your name. So glad I did. Then I watched the sew easy episode and really got excited. We are moving in just a few weeks, but the first chance I get . . . I’m sewing a tunic!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:47h, 20 April Reply

      Many thanks, Susi and good luck with the move!

  • Carol Rushing-Carr
    Posted at 10:20h, 19 April Reply

    Oh,Sarah! That is so clean, crisp and elegantly casual! I’m inspired! I have a few questions about the embroidery design/site. I haven’t actually put anything in the shopping cart. But how do you determine the US dollar amount for a design? Also, I don’t wear a low neckline… so. Have you ever done the design and not cut it down the vertical portion… and just had a rounded neckline? Would that look awkward? And finally, have you tried any of the just rounded embroidery necklines on that embroidery website?
    Enjoy hugging James! Congrats!
    I’m praying for your family member!
    Thank you for your blog!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:51h, 20 April Reply

      Thanks so much, Carol! I used a currency converter before placing my order. (Indian Rupees to US dollar). If you look closely, you’ll notice I did not cut the neckline all the was down so the neckline would not be too low. If you are able to modify the embroidery, you could lift a small motif from the design to fill in the middle and avoid the emptiness. Would love to see what you decide to do!

  • Janet Steinhagen
    Posted at 13:30h, 19 April Reply

    So pretty! I purchased your book and I am working on getting the muslin to fit, always a challenge!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:52h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you for purchasing The Tunic Bible, Janet! Please send a pic of your tunic once completed 😉

    • Janet Steinhagen
      Posted at 16:57h, 21 April Reply

      One more question/comment: What neckline pattern did you use.? I didn’t see one like it in the book.

  • Donna Trask
    Posted at 13:59h, 19 April Reply

    So good to hear from you again and just wanted to chime in with all the others who posted similar thoughts. Can you tell you were missed?! Have a blessed and joyful Easter with your family and thank you so much for taking the time to post.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:54h, 20 April Reply

      Many thanks, Donna! I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed Goodbye Valentino readers and the online sewing community. 😉 My posting may be touch and go for a while.
      Happy Easter to you too!

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 15:13h, 19 April Reply

    Lovely. As usual.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:54h, 20 April Reply

      Thanks so much, Bernadette!

  • Lavina Brennecke
    Posted at 15:47h, 19 April Reply

    I just love your tunic. I made the same one last year after I discovered your tunic Bible. Mine is not embroidered but eerily similar. I’ll send you a pic on Facebook so you can see.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:55h, 20 April Reply

      Lavina ~ What a delightful surprise to receive a photo of your cute tunic! Thank you so much!

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 16:14h, 19 April Reply

    This may be my favorite one of the shorter tunics you have made. I just love this! You look wonderful in that color! Family illness is never easy, and I hope things are getting better… Enjoy Easter with your little James. How could you not?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:35h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you, Karen! Some garments come together better than anticipated! I believe the drape of the fabric was the greatest surprise of all which made all of the details fall into place so nicely 😉
      Love the two precious dresses you just made – Happy Easter!

  • Gerhild Turner
    Posted at 17:42h, 19 April Reply

    I love everything about this tunic. Happy Easter!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:35h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you, Gerhild! Happy Easter to you too 😉

  • Toni Morse
    Posted at 18:09h, 19 April Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:36h, 20 April Reply


  • Maryellensews
    Posted at 19:42h, 19 April Reply

    Happy Easter Sarah – sure hope your family member is doing better .
    This is a wonderful tunic – love the color . Hope it’s part of the trunk show next week .im getting very excited to finally meet you in person & see & touch all the amazing tunics you & Julie have made !

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:37h, 20 April Reply

      Hi Mary Ellen! It will be there unless I do something like forget it…………
      Many thanks for the comment and I too look so forward to meeting you in FL 😊

  • Kathleen Eisenmann
    Posted at 21:18h, 19 April Reply

    Good to see you’re back! You’ve been missed. Congrats on baby James! My thoughts go out to you and yours for your family member who is not well. Hopefully, things go better. You continue to inspire me! All my very best to you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:37h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you so much, Kathleen 😉

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 11:14h, 20 April Reply

    Oh Sarah…..,! Good to see YOU and your new tunic….I’ve missed you and your inspiration……such a good example of embroidery on a print! Love your newest make. Enjoy yourself in FL…..and look forward to seeing you again…..I’m sewing up a storm myself….
    Happy Spring!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:38h, 20 April Reply

      Hi Laura! I hope all is good in Asheville 😊 What are you sewing these days?

      • Laura Casey
        Posted at 20:03h, 21 April Reply

        Sarah….I lost 30 lbs this last year…so little fits. I’m currently making a pair of natural tan linen slacks for summer, using TTP, which is shaped like a Japanese field pant-new ankle length for summer. A very cute cotton print, black ground with animal and critters all over it….a summer shirt, another TTP with cap sleeves and just below your waist. And then a linen summer print dress, using Style Arc pattern,, V-neck, Ragland sleeves, 2 patch pockets on front….all my fabs came from Marcy Tilton…..I’ve altered a few favorite things….but more fun to make new!
        Enjoy your growing family…….LAURA

  • Julie Tebay
    Posted at 13:05h, 22 April Reply

    How clever to determine the sleeve length after the tunic is finished. Thanks for all your tips and techniques.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:59h, 23 April Reply

      My pleasure, Julie! Many thanks for the comment 😉

  • Melissa Archer
    Posted at 21:03h, 23 April Reply

    What a delightful project to break your sewing drought. I just adore this colour blue and your choice of thread. You’ve achieved such a pleasing amount of contrast and that takes real skill. Thank goodness there’s no computer tallying the amount of time spent choosing thread – I know I’d never admit to it! Congratulations, Sarah, on your growing family and best wishes for good health all around.

  • Victoria Mirgel
    Posted at 15:24h, 01 June Reply

    Love your embroidery posts. They convinced me. I needed to buy the Creative Icon. I did and I love it.

    Question: Did you resize and/or split your neckline designs to fit your hoop? Most of Embdesigntube neckline designs are larger than the Icon’s 360mm hoops.

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