The Little Tummy Tunic, Free pattern and tutorial

We originally shared this post as part of GYCT’s baby series. We are bringing it home and have expanded the free sizes available! The pattern below is available for download HERE. It comes in sizes 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 12 months.


Hi! My name is Rachel, I blog over at Once Upon a Sewing Machine with my mom Donna. We primarily sew for my two little ones, but today I’m sharing a little top I put together for my two new nieces! I was lucky enough to welcome in a niece on both sides of my family this Fall.

I’m in the Midwest so layering is great for a big chunk of the year. I made up a little tunic top for the girls, something fun to slide over a long sleeve onsie. Then when the inevitable happens and some one barfs or spills you can pull off and replace, hopefully with out having to get the kiddo totally naked!

tunic title


tunic hem


tunic button

These go together really quick! I did some tweaks to the pattern shape  after the first run through, don’t let that throw you the pieces are all the same.

free pattern baby shirtYou’ll need:

1/2- 3/4 yard of fabric (I used a woven, but if you want to use a knit I would recommend sizing down)

1 button

3″ of 1/8″ elastic or elastic thread

Your 3-6 month, 6-9 month, 12 month free pattern, Download it HERE

Use a 3/8″ allowance through out. 


Make sure you are printing at 100% or “no scaling”. Do NOT print from the preview mode this will screw up your scaling. Measure your 1″ squares, there is one on every page. Remember even a small discrepancy in scaling can compile to make a big difference in sizing. Cut out to the outside of the light gray line line that borders the pattern pieces. When you lay out your pages it will look like this-


Here we go!

tunicI like an elastic loop for dressing babies- easier to dress a moving baby!

tunic 3Sew both your shoulders (RST)

tunic 4Repeat with your facings. I would recommend finishing the bottom of your facing pieces. You can serge them, use pinking shears or put a tiny hem in.

tunic 5Baste your elastic loop to the back of your garment. Drop it down about an inch from the top, adjust your loop size based on the size of your button.

tunic 6b

Lay your facings RST with your garment. You are going to sew the around the armholes and up the back around the neck and back down.

tunic 7Clip your corners and your curves and turn! Then press, press, press.

tunic 8Match your back seam right sides together. Sew from the bottom all the way up to meet your previous sewing line. You may have to lift your facings to make sure you don’t catch them.

tunic 9Pin your side seams. Make sure to match your facings right sides together also underneath the arm. You will sew the entire side seam continuously and then fold your facing back down. Repeat for the other side seam.

tunic 10Top stitch the neck line and armholes.

Sew on a button.

And finish your hem using your desired method. If you are going to turn under I would do a 1/4″, press, roll another 1/4″, hem. (I added binding to dress mine up!)

Share your Little Tummy Tunic on the Facebook or Flickr. We love visiting new blogs, let us know if you share your project with a link!

Happy Sewing,

Rachel and Donna

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Pam February 20, 2014, 6:01 pm

    Such a practical little garment and so cute, too!!!

  • Cristin February 21, 2014, 3:41 pm

    Any suggestions for which size to try for my twin baby girls? They are 10mo old, 15 lbs, and 3rd percentile. Maybe the 6-9mo size? Thanks for such an adorable pattern! Cannot wait to try it out! I think some Voile is in my online purchasing list! 😉

  • Olu June 17, 2014, 11:16 am

    Ohhhh!!! I love a free pattern. And this is particularly cute. Thanks!

  • shannon February 4, 2015, 8:52 am

    Have you made this tunic fully lined? Would love directions…

  • Silvia Stillens June 20, 2015, 2:47 pm

    We have two new granddaughters and I am going to try this. I will send pics if I can.

  • Marianne Zimmerman July 23, 2017, 1:15 am

    I tryed several times to print the pattern, but can never get it to print the whole pattern. My squares measure one inch, but it won’t complete the edges for the next pattern piece it is suppose to attach to. Any other advise?

  • Beth Bennett September 6, 2020, 12:45 pm

    I just want to thank you for making your patterns free. I love sewing, and I love making things for my nieces and nephews, friends babies, etc. I see people using your patterns on FB all the time. I just never realized that they were free. I have so many patterns collected through the years. I probably have one similar to these somewhere in the pile of boxes. Any way, I really just wanted to say that you are a very talented person. Thanks for helping us out!!!!!

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