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Flannel Tunic for Cold Days

With the weather turning colder here in Baltimore, my thoughts turned to a Carpe Diem Tunic for winter wear.  I feel warmer with my neck surrounded, so I started imagining ways to add a collar to the Carpe Diem Dress & Tunic pattern.  Here is how I did it…

Back view of Flannel Tunic with cozy collar.
Free download from Sew News

My inspiration was the Butterfly Tunic, a boat neck tee that I added a collar to a few years ago.  Because I was working with cotton flannel this time rather than a knit, I knew I would have to make some accommodations for the non-stretch fabric.  I remembered seeing an article in the most recent issue of Sew News about adding a faux fur collar to a top, and found the instructions in winter issue # 384, pp.53-54, with a free downloadable collar pattern online. 

Assemble the Carpe Diem Top

Ready for collar insertion

I began by sewing the Carpe Diem tunic, using the pattern I had created with a front and back yoke for my Plum Dobby Tunic.  I cut the front and back yokes and the side panels on the bias and everything else was cut on the grain.  Because of my plans for the collar, I didn’t need to cut front and back facings to finish the neckline.  I did, however, add a facing to the back yoke for support using the same process I described for last year’s Cozy Flannel Shirt. (In fact, I cut this back yoke facing out of my left over black and white check flannel because I didn’t have enough of the red and black plaid to get both the collar and a second back yoke!)

Prepare the Collar

After the tunic was assembled, I turned to the Sew News collar pattern and instructions as a guide.  From the flannel that was left, I cut a strip about 6” longer than my measured neckline opening and as wide as I could manage, so it ended up being 9” deep.  Folding wrong sides together the long way, I sewed the rounded ends closed and turned the collar right side out.

Insert the Collar

After pinning the center of the collar to the center back of the neckline, I pinned one side of the collar around to the front and then the other, ending up with a 4” overlap.  Finally, I finished the neckline just as one would with a knit:

  • Baste the collar into the neckline with a 5/8” seam.
  • Check and adjust the seam to ensure the collar is laying smoothly in the neckline.
  • Serge the neckline seam, leaving a 3/8” seam allowance.
  • Topstitch the seam allowances to the top 1/8” from the collar seam.

Easy, soft and cozy!  I am very happy with my new flannel tunic and the colors are perfect for the holidays.  Give this a try for a winter Carpe Diem Dress or Tunic and let us know how it goes.  We’d love to see your photos on social media with our hashtag #carpediemdress or #carpediemtunic and of course #fitforartpatterns.

Happy Sewing, Carrie

2 thoughts on “Flannel Tunic for Cold Days

  1. I want to make this just as you did, but I am confused. How do I get the correct neckline cut out to match the collar from the Sew News pattern? I do have the Carpe Diem pattern and I looked at the Butterfly collar. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. I measured the neckline opening once I had assembled the tunic from center back to center front, then added a few inches to create overlap. Once you have that measurement, you can adapt the Sew News pattern to cut your collar on the fold. It would be a good idea to do a trial collar in muslin or other scrap fabric and test pin it to your Carpe Diem to make sure you are happy with the length/amount of overlap before cutting it out of your garment fabric. Good luck!

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