Sunday, 7 December 2014

How To: Basic Grey Hight-Neck Knit Top

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Turtlenecks have for some reason always caused me anxiety, which is unfortunate considering how much I suffer from the cold and how much they could help in this department. Last weekend I decided to venture into the realm of neck-covering apparel at the risk of what I thought was almost certain suffocation, but turns out a safe middle-ground exists: the high neck. Warmth guaranteeing benefits of a turtleneck, delivered malaise-free. Here's how.

TOOLS:
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Ribbed knit fabric (jersey works well), about 1.2 m  |  Thread & Sewing machine  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Fabric marker  | Iron-on hemming tape if you're lazy

I. Fold the fabric at the desired width of your top, right sides facing. To figure out the width, just wrap the fabric around you (this is an essential step as you'll want to test how much the fabric stretches and how form-fitting you want the end product to be). Trace the shape of the top and cut out with an approx. 2 cm seam allowance.
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II. Trace the sleeves. Start by folding the fabric again right sides facing, making sure that the ribs (if any) go length-wise. Use the piece you cut out in the previous step as guidance when tracing. Cut out and repeat for the other sleeve.
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III. You should then have two identical pieces for the front and back of the top, and two identical pieces for the sleeves.
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IV. Place the front and back piece together right sides facing and pin along the shoulder lines and all the way up to the end of the neck. Sew about 1.5-2cm from the edge using a stretch stitch (important as there will be movement in this area every time you put the top on and take it off).
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V. Pull the piece you have at this point over your head to see if the neck's tightness is what you want it to be. You can see below that I started close to the edge mainly for the fear of strangulation, and was then reassured I can go a bit tighter (second stitch). The great thing about working with a stretchy fabric like this is it's very hard to totally mess it up, as long as you start big, you can always go smaller.
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VI. Once happy with the neck, pin the sleeves in place. Make sure both the right side of the sleeve piece and the right side of the front and back pieces (now attached at the shoulder) are facing down. Sew a stretch stitch about 1.5 cm from the edge.
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VII. Pull the top on again and see how tight you want the sleeves to be. Mark the spot with a pin, take off, turn inside out, and pin the under seams of the sleeves and the sides of the top together. Sew a stretch stitch all the way, try on, and cut the sleeves to the desired length if there is extra. The out-of-focus picture is a specimen of self-taken failed photos when your trusted boyfriend/photographer is out of the country.
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VIII. Final steps are to zig-zag all the raw edges if you can be bothered (not necessarily required if your fabric is like mine and hardly frays. The quickest way to finish the sleeves and the hem is using iron-on hemming tape. I left the neck raw as I will always fold it in (and most importantly be able to wear the neck lower if anxiety starts to creep in).
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xo,

Julia

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