Merino Paola Turtleneck Tee

It started with a top. This top, to be precise:

Model wears Country Road pink merino tee and black pants.
Oh Country Road, you can do no wrong.

Suddenly I had visions of a wardrobe filled with long sleeve merino tops – warm, moisture-wicking and odour-repelling.* A few online orders later, and I had enough merino jersey meterage to begin my wardrobe plan (more on the other garments later).

Woman stands in front of weatherboard house. She wears pink merino long sleeve tee, black pants and ankle boots.

To recreate the Country Road top, I chose a 180gsm merino jersey in ballet pink from The Fabric Store – the perfect match for the Named Paola Turtleneck Tee. I have already made this pattern in a cotton/spandex blend, and am pleased to report it performs just as well in a merino knit. The only real difference in construction was using a water-soluble stabiliser when twin needling to prevent tunnelling due to the lightweight nature of the fabric.

Woman stands in front of weatherboard house. She wears pink merino long sleeve tee, black pants and ankle boots.

I certainly achieved the top of my dreams in style, but not performance. This is totally a rookie error – being new to sewing with merino jersey, I ordered some in 180gsm and some 200gsm weights, assuming they were adequate weights for tees. The 200gsm fabric was a dream, but 180gsm was just a bit too thin for my taste.

Woman stands in front of weatherboard house. She wears pink merino long sleeve tee, black pants and ankle boots.
That’s pretty damn see-through.

I am really, really cold in this top! This could be down to my temperature regulation issues, but it is also pretty transparent. I rarely wear any clothing that isn’t opaque – choosing undergarments that won’t show through is such a pain. All this means that as beautiful as this top is, it just won’t get worn.

This pretty much follows the usual pattern when I try to copy RTW: I think I’m saving money by going DIY, somehow cock it up, and get annoyed and buy the RTW version anyway. As disappointed as I am by this top, at least I know to look out for merino jersey only in weights of 200gsm+. And if you think this top would fit in your wardrobe, wear a size 42/44 in Named and feel the cold less than me, give me a hoy – I’d rather it go to someone who will use it than sit in my drawers unworn (I only wore it once and obvs will wash it!). EDIT: has been claimed

Woman stands in front of weatherboard house. She wears pink merino long sleeve tee, black pants and ankle boots.


The deets:
Pattern: Named Paola Turtleneck Tee
Pattern details: Classic, semi-fitted turtleneck tee with full-length sleeves and a turtleneck collar. Available as a PDF download (A4 or copyshop) or a printed pattern, sizes 32-50.
Fabric: 1.5m x 150cm premium merino single jersey 180gsm – Ballet Pink from The Fabric Store. 100% merino, 180gsm, 19.3 micron
Other materials: Clear elastic to stabilise shoulders, from Aliexpress. Wash-N-Gone soluble stabiliser for hems.
Mods: Size 42 bust and shoulders, 44 hip
– Added 2cm length to the hem and sewed shorter hem allowance for more length
– Pressed shoulder seam allowances back (personal preference, pattern says towards front)
– Only hemmed sleeves to 1.5cm, not 2cm



*This is really a thing. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture before it starts to feel wet against your skin (technical term: hygroscopic). Its natural breathability means it can whisk moisture away to regulate temperature and reduce body odour, hence its ideal use in hiking and mountaineering clothing.

Author: Siobhan S

30 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

13 thoughts on “Merino Paola Turtleneck Tee”

  1. I love it. Too bad it is too light to keep you warm. I also have trouble regulating my body temperature. I actually sit around 96 (35.5) when I have a normal to me body temp. Makes getting cold really bad for me. I hear you on needing something warmer. Hopefully Spring is on its way to you and you will be in much better temperature soon!


    1. Gee, you’d want to rug up where you live then! To be honest I’m dreading the warmer weather. At least if it’s cold I can rug up, but where there are days and weeks of temps around 40C with high humidity I can’t bear it.


  2. I love how you have basically made a wearable muslin for me. One I wear. Currently referring to this post as am sewing some up this weekend! #winningallaround


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