How to Make a Simple Tunic Dress: Free Elizabeth Suzann Tunic Pattern

Sara SJ Kim
by Sara SJ Kim
8 Materials
30 Minutes

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a simple tunic dress using a free pattern.

Back in April 2020, one of slow fashion’s leading companies, Elizabeth Suzann, announced that they were closing their doors permanently.

Since then, the owner and founder has generously made her patterns available for free. Unfortunately, there are no instructions included with the patterns yet, so in this sewing tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make the Elizabeth Suzann Harper tunic dress.

Tools and materials:

Elizabeth Suzann Harper tunic pattern

1. Cut the pattern

Start by using the pattern to cut the pieces for the tunic out of the fabric. You will end up with a front bodice, a back bodice, a pocket, and a neck binding.

Tip: To cut the neck binding to make a nice curvy neckline, you will need to cut the fabric at a 45-degree angle for stretch.

Sewing pockets for the tunic dress

2. Sew the pocket

Take your pocket piece, serge the top edge. Then, fold the top edge so that the wrong sides are facing and press down with an iron. Proceed to sew it down. 

Folding the corners and edges of the pockets

Fold the other edges and press them down. For a sharp corner, fold the corner in before folding over. Set it aside.

Attaching the pocket to the top

3. Attach the pocket to the top

Place the pocket at the marks and pin. Alternatively, you can use wonder tape when you don’t want to make holes in the fabric. Sew the sides and the bottom of the pocket.

Pinning the shoulder seams ready to sew

4. Sew the shoulder seams

Pin and sew the shoulder seams with the right sides together. Once done, serge the seams.

Pinning the side seams ready to sew

5. Sew the side seams

Pin and sew the side seams with the right sides together. Again, once done, serge the seams.

Sewing the neck binding

6. Sew the neck binding

Sew the short edges of the neck binding with the right sides together. When done, open the seams. Fold the neck binding in half and mark the middle (the opposite side to the sewn edge).

How to sew a simple tunic

7. Mark the top

Fold the bodice in half and mark the front and back centers of the neckline.

How to sew a tunic neckline

8. Attach the neck binding to the top

Match the centers of the neck binding to the centers of the neckline, right sides together, and clip the two centers in place. It’s normal that the neck binding is a little smaller than the neckline.

Proceed to sew the binding onto the neckline, stretching it to fit.

Easy sew tunic tutorial

9. Fold the neck binding and sew again

Once sewn, trim half of the seam. Then, clip the seam all around the neckline. Send the seam toward the neck binding and press with an iron.

Double-fold the binding that wraps the seam and pin. When folded, the folded edge overlaps the stitch. Proceed to edge stitch or stitch in the ditch.

Tip: As you sew, feel with your finger to ensure that the inside folded edge is being sewn.

Hemming the sleeves

10. Hem the arms 

Double-fold the arm hems and press. 

11. Create a high-low bottom to the tunic

The Harper tunic already has a slight high-low bottom. You can use this technique when making a dramatic/deep high-low bottom.

How to make a high-low bottom

How to make a high-low bottom to the tunic dress

Match side seams and place the bodice flat. Just remember, the starting marks have to be 90-degrees to the edge on the front and the back. This technique will ensure smooth front and back hems with a great transition for the high-low.

How to sew a simple tunic dress

Double-fold the bottom hem and press. Finish by edge stitching the folded edge on the bottom and the armholes.

Elizabeth Suzann Harper tunic

This is a cute day dress that can easily be dressed up or down. You could even wear it as a piece of nightwear.

How to make a simple tunic dress

How to make a simple tunic dress

I love the simplicity of this tunic dress, and the straightforward pattern means that you can easily alter the dress and make it shorter or longer if you desire.

I hope that you’ll go ahead and make the dress. If you do, please take a picture of it and share.

Suggested materials:
  • Harper Tunic pattern by Elizabeth Suzann
  • 2-2.5 yards of fabric
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Leslie Leslie on Mar 08, 2022

    Hi Sara, Love this type of fashion, thank you for sharing. FYI the instructions are in PDF format now when you download the pattern :)

  • Judi Judi on Mar 11, 2022

    Love this designer! Simplicity at its finest. Checked out the site. I'm impressed! Tutorial was super simple to follow! Ty!!