Have you ever accidentally dressed like your living room? Because I just did! I was intending to take outdoor photos of my new Cheyenne Tunic and in the span of time that I showered and got ready a blizzard decided to come through. I didn’t want to waste a good hair day so I asked my husband to take photos inside. When I was editing them I realized I am the same color scheme as the setting behind me! Dark blue jeans, pink shirt, and leopard print shoes! Maybe I can camouflage myself in here when my sons get home from school and start demanding snacks…
I am so thrilled with my new shirt and I can’t wait to tell you about it! When I was setting sewing goals for myself this year I decided this was going to be my year of the shirt/shirtdress. I’ve made a bunch of Archers over the last few years but I wanted to try some new patterns this year. I put together a 2018 Make Nine grid and the Archer is on it along with the Liesl + Co Classic shirt pattern.
I am not sure why, but when I think of the Cheyenne Tunic pattern I mostly think of the popover version that doesn’t have a collar. Probably because I was a tester for this pattern and that is the view I made. I wear that shirt a lot in the Winter and I really like it. I hadn’t ever revisited the pattern because I have no idea what I did with the printed copy that I used during testing. I have a fair amount of adjustments that I end up doing to get patterns to fit me so it’s been easier for me to just turn to the Archer pattern when I want to make a new shirt. I’ve gotten that fit pretty perfect on that pattern after making 6 or 7 versions.
BUT! I have been on a big Hey June Patterns kick this year and I’ve loved everything I’ve made. AND THEN! My friend Grace, from Maker Mountain Fabrics decided to do a Cheyenne Tunic sewalong and I figured this was my big chance to revisit the Cheyenne pattern. I stalked the hashtag on Instagram and came across this beauty from Alina of Alina Design Co. I remembered this pink and white gingham that had been sitting in my stash for close to two years– fabric that was bought with the intention of making a collared button up shirt.
Do any of you follow Emily Ley on Instagram or her blog? She is an author and the owner of a company that makes the cutest planners and she herself is so adorable. I love reading her tips to simplify life but I also really love seeing what she is wearing in her posts. She is a mom of 3 little kids like me and her style is what I aspire to on a daily basis. She always looks really cute and put together wearing really simple styles. She’s almost always in white or blue denim on the bottom and some sort of bright, saturated color on the top. I love wearing lots of colors and I love seeing how Emily Ley does it, too.
Quite a while back I saw a photo of her wearing a bright pink gingham shirt with some white jeans. I wanted to duplicate that outfit but I decided on a lighter pink gingham fabric. (Now I sort of wish I’d gotten the brighter pink, too!) This fabric is part of the Cotton + Steel Checkers fabric line. I have used other colors of it a few different times and I really, really love this fabric.
One semi-dumb reason I’d held out so long on making this fabric into a shirt was that I was feeling a little scared about cutting the front pieces and plackets. I wanted some bias accents on the shirt but I wanted the front plackets to match the front bodice pieces and I wanted the gingham to flow pink, white, pink, white across the front without a weird color repeat. It took some mental gymnastics but I did it! I had to sew some of the buttons on 4 times each to keep everything lined up perfectly but it was totally worth the effort.
Here’s what I did to the pattern to get my perfect fit: I made a size Medium graded to between the Medium and Large about 4 or 5 inches up from the bottom of the shirt. (My measurements put me at the XL range in the hips. I initially graded out to XL but there was enough ease that I was able to narrow it back down during construction.) I shortened the sleeves 1/2″ and tapered them down 3/8″ from the elbow to where the cuffs attach. I also narrowed the cuffs 3/8″. I did a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment, widened the pockets by 1/2″ and made them slightly less pointy at the bottom. I also lengthened the sleeve placket by 1″ and narrowed the collar by 1/4″. (I know it sounds like a lot but now I’ve got a shirt that fits exactly how I want! And because I’d made the other view of this shirt before I knew what I wanted to adjust.)
I really took my time sewing this shirt and enjoying the precision sewing that comes along with shirt making. I copied Alina’s great idea and used a floral fabric for my inner yoke and my under collar. I probably won’t be wearing this shirt with the collar up but I love knowing that fun print is hidden there. As usual for me now, I used this thread pull method to get nice sharp collar points.
The fit of the Cheyenne is less boxy than the Archer, which is a fun change. I think this pattern might be a better choice if I’m making a shirt that I would want to tuck in. I have worn it twice since I finished it last week and I’ve already got another one cut out of some Liberty lawn that I’ve been hoarding for a few years. I’m so glad the Maker Mountain Fabrics sewalong gave me the push I needed to revisit this pattern!
Have you sewn the Cheyenne tunic? What is your favorite button up shirt pattern?