Hello again!  I’ve been looking forward to sharing this project with you.  I use to have commercial turtleneck tops in my wardrobe but I don’t anymore.  I loved the idea of coming back to this style with a handmade garment. The pattern that I picked for this project is the Rise & Fall Turtlenecks pattern by Papercut Patterns.

For the fabric, I selected a grey and black striped viscose/elastane knit.  The commercial turtleneck (that I mentioned above) was made with this same printed fabric.  I thought this detail would be fun to literally recreate the commercial top. I find I’m constantly drawn to stripes, however, the pattern matching (matching up the stripes during the cutting and sewing) takes extra time vs using a plain fabric.

For reference, I used the following machines for this project.  The serger was used for most of the sewing and the standard sewing machine was used to for the hems.  The serger made this a very quick sew (the sewing portion only took half an hour)! 

Supplies

  • Rise/Fall Turtleneck pattern by Papercut Patterns

  • 1.5m, Viscose Jersey Knit Fabric Grey

  • 0.5m ¼” wide clear elastic

  • 80/12 Ball Point sewing needles

  • Matching thread

  • Pattern tracing paper

  • Iron / Glass head sewing pins

Muslin/toile:

Fall Turtleneck - Size - XS 

I normally grade across sizes for the bust/waist/hips but the Fall turtleneck has 5” ease built into the XS (comparing the body measurements and final garment measurements).  As I noted the ease built into the bust, I assumed there would be enough ease in the waist/hips without grading the pattern to the next size. This assumption was correct.

I had a rayon knit in my stash that I thought would make a good fit muslin (being a similar base to the fabric I’m using for the final top).  I had some forethought with sizing to consider with the viscose fabric that I picked from Minerva. The fabric from Minerva is a fun fabric at a great price but it’s very lightweight.  I knew that selecting the fitted/Rise pattern with this lightweight fabric would not be flattering on me.

I haven’t sewn a pattern yet from Papercut Patterns so I was excited to jump in!  I love the format of their patterns. They use a sturdy, thicker paper for the pattern.  I love this as I think it helps the pattern lasts a long time. They have a little tutorial included in the pattern sheet so (if you want to) you can cut out the instructions separately.  You can then glue two of the sections together to make a handy little booklet to reference for the instructions.

I decided to modify the turtleneck feature for the muslin.  I wanted to try the mock-neck height (from the Rise pattern) with the Fall pattern neckline.  I layed the rise turtleneck pattern over the fall turtleneck pattern to come up with this new combination.

I took this quick photo to share the muslin that I made.  The unhemmed length of the top is shorter on me (which is nice for high waisted pants).  I love the overall fit but I have a few mods I want to make for the final.  

Final:

Size - XS  

Mods:  

  • Go back to the fall turtleneck pattern as is (dropping the mock-neck change that I tried with the muslin). 

  • Add 1.5” to the length of the top on the front and back pattern pieces.

  • Add ¼” clear elastic to the shoulder seams to reinforce these seams.

Flat seams:

One detail that I wasn’t careful in the muslin is making sure the shoulder seams and back turtleneck seams are flat.  I found I had this shoulder seam twisted between the neck and arm and that detail felt uncomfortable. Even with this being a looser fitting top, I knew that for the final I wanted to be more meticulous to pin the shoulder seams flat before sewing the turtleneck and sleeves in place.

I also checked this detail on the turtleneck before I sewed it together (ensuring the seam was flat and wasn’t twisted).

I followed the suggestion in the instructions and serged the turtleneck band together (at a ¼” seam allowance) before applying it to the top.  With the Fall turtleneck being taller, it definitely made applying it much easier.

Ironing:

I always remind myself when sewing knits to remember to iron the seams. It makes a huge difference with knits just like it does with ironing woven fabrics.  I did not iron the shoulder seams as clear elastic melts when ironing.

Final thoughts:

I really love this top! I can definitely see this pattern as a wardrobe staple for me.  I love the layering aspect that turtlenecks offer. I especially enjoy this aspect with layering them under handknit sweaters, cardigans, or vests.  I find the turtleneck detail faster to apply to a knit top then a traditional thin neckband. That said, it would also be fun to omit the turtleneck detail in the future and draft a quick thinner neckband to apply.

The serger that I used for this project worked great with the lightweight fabric.  One tip that I found as I serged was to gently place my hand on the top fabric to prevent it from bubbling as I sew.  It helped to keep the upper and lower fabrics moving at the same speed.

I would really enjoy making this pattern again with a thicker jersey/ponte, with the fitted Rise pattern.  I’d also love making the Rise version in a merino wool jersey. Let me know if you’ve made this pattern and which fabric you used!

Rachel (@oakbluedesigns)  

www.oakbluedesigns.com