Cheyenne Tunic Hack: Popover Collar Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to create a Hey June Cheyenne Tunic Hack with a popover collar ever since the pattern was released three years ago!  The pattern has two views: a traditional collared button up (view A) and a curved collarless placket (view B) – but what I wanted was a beautiful mix of the two!  So, I worked up the courage to blend the two versions and plan to show you just how easy it is for you to make one too!

This Cheyenne Tunic was a labor of love for me.  I have finally gotten to a “season” of sewing where I am planning to make less and spend more time on fit, learning to finish my garments well, and to overall enjoy the process.  That’s exactly what I did here! For this one top: I made 3 muslins, I did a full bust adjustment (FBA), I merged views A and B to create a popover collar, I made a contrasting facing for the placket and collar stand, and I added a center back seam to create a swayback adjustment! So yes, I love this – and this shirt is worthy of two blog posts!  I will walk you through JUST the collar hack today and tackle fit adjustments in my next post.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Steps to create a Popover Collar on the Hey June Cheyenne Tunic

In the images above, you can see that the Hey June Cheyenne Tunic has two views.  View A (checkered shirt on left) is a standard collared button down, perfect for making a cozy flannel or trendy chambray shirt.  View B (chambray tunic on the right) has a dropped neckline with no collar and a shaped half placket. You will need to hack the two together to achieve a half placket with collar (or a collared popover as I’m calling it),

Step 1: Make a Muslin

I would HIGHLY recommend making a muslin of View B for this project.  This pattern is meant for a woven fabric and that alone should indicate the need to muslin.  You will want to check the following (top to bottom):

  • Shoulder slope and whether you need a forward shoulder adjustment
  • Back width (too wide or narrow) – also how does it feel when you reach forward?
  • Upper chest (pulling/bagginess)
  • Bust (dart placement? Need for SBA or FBA?)
  • Sleeves (check length and width)
  • Length (does the waist, bust, hips and hem hit where you would expect?)
  • Swayback (is there noticeable pooling at the waistline/upper hip area?)
  • Overall level of comfort

You can swipe to see images of my fit muslin (I tested my placket hack on this, so it has a collar, but doesn’t actually need one).  Can you see why I made some of the adjustments I made?.  I plan to spend more time on walking through those in my next post so stay tuned!

There is some ease built into the pattern for comfort – so be sure that you do not remove so much ease that you end up with a garment that is hard to get in and out of.  Additionally, the look is meant to be casual – this is NOT meant to be a fitted shirt! Admittedly, mine is a little more fitted than intended because my weight fluctuates more than I would like (thanks baby girl and boy!).  I used a Robert Kaufman Chambray that was sent to me from Maker Mountain Fabrics, and I knew I would need to get the fit correct – especially after using it to make a Hey June Largo Top (see more here).  Maybe you recognized this fabric from that post?

Step 2: Draft New Pattern Pieces: Shirt Front and Placket

(Note: Pictures Courtesy of Adrianna Appl of Hey June)

Picture 1: these are the pattern pieces you need for the hack.  For sewing, use the back yoke, collar, and collar stand from view A.  Next you will draft a new front piece.

Picture 2: Lay the view B front piece over the view A front piece, aligning them at the side seam.  Trace around the excess shoulder seam and down the neckline of view A, stopping when you reach the center front fold line of view B.  Draw a line straight down to connect the neckline to the fold line.  The second image is your new front pattern piece.  Make sure you still cut it on the fold.
Picture 3: Cut off the view B placket where it bends.  Lay the straight part of the placket next to the pattern front, aligning the notches at the lower part of the placket with the notch in the front piece.  Add to the placket length until it reaches the neckline on the front piece.  Make sure you are also transferring markings from the original pieces!

Step 3: Tweak the Collar Stand

Cut and sew the placket the same way as pattern instructions for view B, ignoring the part about pivoting at the curved point.  Use the collar and collar stand instructions from view A.

In steps 32 – 34, be cognizant that the view A collar stand may hang farther off the center front than .5″.  Sew it along the center front edge in step 34, as indicated, to eliminate any excess.  Now that you have adjusted the placket – these two pieces will no longer line up exactly at the seam allowance.  This also means you likely wouldn’t be able to button it at the neck – so keep this in mind if you wear your shirts that way!

Step 4: Follow Pattern Instructions to Finish

Last step: finish the shirt!  I told ya – super simple! I have no idea why it took me so long to actually do this!  Do you ever put off things and when you sit to tackle them realize you were worried for nothing? Well that’s me and this Cheyenne Tunic! I now have the casual popover of my dreams.  And next week, we can walk through those fit changes (I will update the link here when it’s ready!).  Do you have any questions you want me to tackle in the next post?  Leave a comment below, and I will try to include it there!

Sew Altered Style
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