Nothing like the end of year for some slapdash posting about the garments I made in 2020. To be honest, I didn’t sew or knit that much: between my concussion, other family member’s debilitating health concerns, a massive relapse and living in a society with people who value their desire for a monthly holiday over Disabled people’s right to live, my brain and body were in no state for any kind of demanding motor/mental task.
Anyway, I made a few things, including these tops. Like many others, this project was born of a need for a specific garment in my wardrobe: a long sleeved turtleneck top, semi-fitted, with the collar close enough to keep me warm, but loose enough to allow room to breathe. Particular, I know! I looked and looked for patterns but didn’t find any that fit the bill, so turned to a TNT (tried ‘n’ true) t shirt pattern for a base.
That pattern was Ottobre Spring/Summer 2/2017 #1. Statement t-shirt, originally a loose-fitting, open neck tee which I had previously altered to make a crew-neck merino tee. This time, I laid the pieces against my Named Paola Turtleneck Tee pattern (previously made in cotton/elastane and merino) and brought the neck width/depth out slightly for a looser collar. To draft the collar, I cut a piece just scant of the circumference of the neckline by 40cm high, to be folded down.
The sleeve was already a good fit, so I lengthened by following the side seams to be slightly longer than the Paola sleeve at the hem, with a 2cm hem allowance for sleeves and 2.5cm for hem.
I took advantage of the Spotlight 40% off fabric sale to buy some 220gsm cotton spandex fabric (95% cotton, 5% elastane), which was warm enough for winter but had enough drape for the collar to fall into shape. Sewing it up was easy enough and took very little time. That’s one of the fantastic things about sewing knits – a few hours later and you have a new garment! (Or a few hours spread over a week or two of sewing, in my case.)
I loved the fit and feel of this top, but was ambivalent about the colour. Spotlight was out of black in this particular fabric, so I bought a dark grey marle. However, I had some leftovers of black knit from making leggings (yet to be blogged, if ever), so decided to use them to make another of these tops.
Now – this fabric was marketed as “performance knit”, 90% cotton, 10% elastane. I found it a little too thin for leggings, so assumed it would be perfect for a top. Yes and no.
The fabric is warm and stretchy, but far too thick at the collar for any kind of drape, so it just stands up there. I’m hoping it’s more 60s mod chic than direct from the Black Pepper catalogue.
So many years sewing and appropriate fabric choice still sometimes eludes me! (And don’t get me started on yarn choice.)
Pattern: Ottobre Spring/Summer 2/2017 #1. Statement t-shirt, altered
Pattern details: “Our T-shirt here has a slightly looser cut than usual, and its neckline and sleeve edges are finished with narrow ribbed binding.” Available from Ottobre Woman magazine, Spring/Summer 2/2017. Sizes 34-52.
Fabric: 1.5-2m x 148cm wide plain 220gsm cotton spandex fabric, dark marle, 95% cotton, 5% elastane; leftovers of 145cm wide Performance Cotton Lycra, black, 90% cotton, 10% elastane; both from Spotlight.
Other materials: Clear elastic to stabilise shoulders, from Aliexpress. Water soluble stabiliser for hems.
Mods: Size 42
– 6mm forward head adjustment, moved sleeve cap forward to match
– Brought neck in 3.6cm at shoulder and up 7.6cm front, 2.8cm back
– Drafted fold-over turtleneck collar, just scant of the circumference of the neckline and 40cm high
– Lengthened sleeve to full length by following existing side seams
– Added 1.5cm length to body