I started reading Pride and Prejudice when I was seventeen and finished when I was thirty-three. I know, I know. After I had (finally) finished the book, I obsessively watched as many adaptations as I could get my hands on. The best part, for me, was the costumes! In the 1995 adaptation, Lydia Bennett’s dress caught my eye. Among other lovely details, it had a contrasting band of fabric near the hem.
Lydia’s Tunic attempts to recreate that look in a practical tunic for little girls, and includes the detachable long sleeves that were sometimes used in Regency times. Linen fabrics were common then, and linen yarn is delightful—it has a paper-like quality that softens as it is worn.
The tunic is constructed from the bottom up, with decreases and a pleat creating the empire waist. Short sleeves are knitted separately and joined to the body, and raglan decreases shape the yoke. Increases, decreases, and a shoulder pleat form the puffed sleeves. A decorative eyelet round doubles as buttonholes for the separate long sleeves.