Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cheyenne Tunic

I am so excited to finally have finished my flannel plaid Cheyenne tunic! This is a project that I've been wanting to make for a long time now. I bought the fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics almost 2 years ago, planning for a Cheyenne tunic and I finally made it a reality!

I made a size medium but graded out to a large in the hips for the back piece. The Cheyenne is intended to be a looser fit. I think the fit is pretty spot on! The sleeves are long enough without any adjustments - usually sleeves are too short, but not this time!

I have made a button down shirt before as well as several shirt dresses, so the skills required to make this pattern were not a complete mystery to me. However, each time I make this style I find I learn something new or improve on previously learned skills.

I have been sewing a lot of knits recently and since those are usually really quick projects I had to take the time and slow down with the Cheyenne tunic. In the end, it is a very professionally finished garment with all french seams.

There is a sew along for this pattern on the Hey June Handmade blog. I referred to the sew along more often than the pattern after I made a mistake with the back yoke. I am a super visual learner, so looking at pictures is often more helpful than reading words. The pattern is well written, but as a visual learner, it was helpful for me to refer to both the pattern and the sew along. The sew along was most helpful to me for the back yoke, the collar and collar stand, and the tower plackets.

The fabric is a Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel and it is so soft and comfortable! It was 10 degrees when I took these pictures and besides my hands, I was pretty warm! I know I will be wearing it a lot since winter doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon!

The hardest part of making this pattern was cutting out the fabric. I tried to match the plaids as best I could, but some of the plaid wasn't completely straight on the fabric, which made it a difficult task. I chose to do the back yoke, front plackets, and pocket on the bias. It adds interest and eliminates the need for matching those pieces!

I learned several things while sewing the Cheyenne tunic:

1) Don't sew if you are tired. I decided to work on this one afternoon after I had worked a night shift. I was only running on about 5 hours of sleep and needless to say I made plenty of mistakes that could've been avoided had I waited to sew.

2) Mark your right side well! This is especially true if you are working with a fabric that looks identical on both sides. I did not mark the fabric well and ended up sewing one of the sleeves on backwards. I didn't realize it until I had completely sewn the french seam!

3) Relating to #2, french seams (especially on flannel) are not fun to seam rip.

I did not want to roll the sleeves up in 10 degree weather, so I attempted to take a picture in my poorly lit apartment. I will probably only wear it like this indoors for now, but I like to have the option!

This was my first time sewing a tower placket and I am really pleased with how they turned out! This is another area of the pattern where I referenced the sew along from the Hey June blog. I was also pleasantly surprised that the plaids matched up on this sleeve - totally a happy accident! I was not so lucky with the other sleeve, but that's okay. 

I am really happy with my new Cheyenne tunic! It might be the best fitting button down shirt I've ever owned!


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