Finished projects · Vacation

Grainline Hemlock Tunic Hacks

Vacations are a great source of inspiration for getting the ball rolling on new sewing projects. DD and I recently returned from another trip overseas and I wanted to be as comfortable as possible while traveling.

On our trip to Japan in March, I wore a comfortable pair of skinny jeans on the flight. After 11 hours on the plane, I realized no matter how comfortable jeans are, they are not too comfortable after sitting for that long. Plus, with skinny jeans, your circulation is affected which is never good on long flights.

With this in mind, I decided to wear leggings on the plane for this trip, but didn’t have a comfortable top to cover the booty/crotch area. Most of my tops were too short. I realized long tunics were something I needed desperately in my wardrobe, so I decided to make my own.

I used the Grainline Hemlock Tee pattern (free!), with a few changes:

  • Lengthened the front piece by 2 inches and the back piece by 5 inches for maximum coverage
  • Omitted the sleeves
  • Raised the armhole notch by 1 1/2 inches
  • Made a side-split seam


I am so happy with how this turned out! It’s a super-fast sew AND it goes great with my stretch faux-leather handmade leggings (fabric from 🙂


AND look at that booty coverage! No indecency here… unless I jump for joy…


At least you can get a good look at my leggings here! (And my quads…)


I was so happy with how this tunic turned out that I immediately made another one. The fabric I used for both came from SAS Fabrics in Tucson and were purchased a few years ago, so these were great stash-busting makes!


For the hem and armholes, I serged the raw edges, turned them under twice, pressed, and sewed them down with a lightning stitch (straight stitch for the bottom hem since it doesn’t need to stretch much).


I wore these outfits (different shoes and accessories) for 2 days of flying and 4 days of train/bus rides. I was so comfortable that I think this will be my go-to traveling outfit.


So where did we go on our vacation? We spent two weeks in Europe traveling through Germany, Switzerland, and France! I wanted to get some good blog photos on our trip, but between jet-lag and catching a cold halfway through the trip (I KNOW, RIGHT?!), that was kind of the last thing on my mind.


But all in all, it was a great trip and I was able to bust out a lot of me-made garments throughout. I’ll post again with another travel-friendly make, what I packed for this trip, and some awesome pictures from my vacation (can you say OKTOBERFEST??)!

In the meantime, I’ll be getting in some good quality time with the animals. I missed them so much!


What’s your go-to outfit when you travel? Jeans and a tee? A comfy maxi dress? I want to know!



19 thoughts on “Grainline Hemlock Tunic Hacks

  1. my worst ever flight was back from Sri Lanka (11 hour flight)when I was 6 months pregnant and the woman behind me wouldn’t let me recline my seat. I was in amazingly comfy leggings and jersey dress but I still ended up in hospital with a suspected blood clot. Since then I’ve said to hell with good looking clothes and gone for comfort all the way. Least you’ve managed comfort and style in this outfit. One day I might do both again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, that’s terrible! I can’t imagine not being able to recline or change my seating position for that long. I’m glad you’re OK, though! On the way to Frankfurt, my back was killing me (I have issues and was just adjusted the day before, so my bones/muscles were still settling) so I ended up in a fetal position for a while, which really took the stress off my sacrum. Not comfortable for sleeping on the plane, though! The people behind me probably thought I was a weirdo, LOL.

      But yes, leggings and stretchy fabric tops all the way, every way now!


  2. Pretty much the coolest travel outfit ever, especially with those badass boots!! It doesn’t even look like “Travel Clothes,” you know? It just looks like a cool outfit you’d wear anytime, but SURPRISE it’s totally comfy enough for long-haul flights. The tops especially look like they’d be really comfortable AND easy to layer over for the chill of air travel. Hooray for stash busting AND using a free pattern to make something that you’ll get a lot of use out of!

    Meanwhile, I’m that skinny jeans person when I fly, LOL. #comeatmebloodclots I would love to be a Sweatpants Travel Person, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I had a tough time last Christmas traveling from OH (a mild winter for us last year, but still–OH in December) to south TX, where it was 90F when I landed: I could not dress for both climates at once!! For the flight home, I swiped a bulky sweater of my mother’s (she hated it anyway) and wore it home because I couldn’t stomach wearing a t-shirt and tissue knit cardigan on the plane again, let alone when I landed at home (because of course, I didn’t bring or wear a winter coat). Traveling is hard, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I certainly felt a little more “badass” when traveling. I’m happy I’ll get a lot more wear out of these leggings now as I LOVE them. I noticed in Munich, a few women were wearing basically the same leggings so I was all like “Aw yeah, I’m in with the Munich fashion scene!” Outside of dirndls and lederhosen, of course…

      Ugh figuring out a travel wardrobe is so stressful! I usually start writing a list of what I want to bring over a week before (usually at work when I need a mental break).

      I think you’d feel better about traveling in sweatpants if you made yourself a chic pair of Hudsons! I’ve seen people travel in much worse than sweatpants, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and my vacation was pretty great! Leggings are the best, aren’t they? I initially stayed away from them because I was part of the “leggings aren’t pants” thought group, but now I understand the reason people do it and now I’m one of them, LOL! They especially come in handy during the feasts of the holidays. 🙂


  3. The split at the hem looks great, and your kimono-like treatment of the sleeve turned out well! We don’t fly much since it’s so pricey with all our kids, so we’re road warriors. I’m a fan of knit pants and tees. Hudson pants have served me well as have some Jalie yoga pants. It’s funny, you think of that bygone era where ladies wore gloves and full dresses to go flying. I can’t even imagine how restricting that must have been! Knits forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I wish I could live in Hudsons! They’re slowly taking over my pajama stash. I am so happy we have moved to a much more casual society… I can’t imagine wearing all of that restrictive clothing for travel, either!


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