I never thought of myself as a particularly trend-oriented person until recently– I’m not a fast fashion Zara-F21-Urban Outfitters disposable clothing monster, but I definitely see celebrities/coworkers/friends/people on the street wearing things and suddenly I MUST. HAVE. IT.
Hence, turtlenecks, something I told myself I would never wear again as soon as my mother stopped dressing me. So, like, middle school. But a girl at work wore one under a wool sheath and every freaking Youtube girl wore them all winter so I was like, fine, Turtleneck Makers Union. You win. I will succumb to this trend.
I opted to make one for myself out of cotton-lycra knit, for a smooth beatnicky/Audrey Hepburn vibe. (I have a checkered past with Girl Charlee’s offerings– specifically their jerseys and their ponte, but when I need a solid my go to is anything in this category. They hold up well and have never steered me wrong. That’s what this is– just plain black. Most of my basics are black Girl Charlee cotton-lycra. If. It. Ain’t. Broke.)
There are some cute patterns out there for turtlenecks right now– I almost bought this one by Named. It looks good! But it was bugging me– how was this any different than the several go-to long-sleeved knit tee blocks I already have and use frequently? Could it be that hard to draft a turtleneck?
I texted my friend Jen, who has gone to like, school and stuff to learn how to draft patterns. “Just like…make the neck binding thicker. That’s really it,” she said. And she was right!
(lol selfie but it’s the best t-neck closeup i have)
Here’s how I did it:
I have and use the Plantain, Renfrew, and Nettie frequently for knit bodices, but as you can see they all have very different looks and feels. For what I wanted (very close to the body, negative ease, slim sleeves), I chose the Nettie again and chopped the bottom off at hip level. I traced out the high neck/high back option. Then, I measured my neck from the hollow of my throat (roughly where I know the high neck of the Nettie hits on me) up to the base of my chin. I wanted a properly high neck- NOT a mock, and I did NOT want a roll-over neck (anyone else have terrifying memories of those double-fold over t-necks from the 90’s that your head would get totally lost in on the way out?), so I took that measurement, doubled it, and then added seam allowance. Then I sewed it closed in a loop and pressed it in half and sewed it on exactly the way I would a regular neck band! The only difference is that I did not top-stitch this down. Voila! Perfect!
My only complaint is that this comes up a tiny bit short on me– so no low-rise jeans, but it should layer well under my dresses and skirts that hit at my natural waist, as well as my high-waisted skinnies and my 501s. Really, it’s just two of my four pairs of jeans this won’t pair with, out of everything in my closet, plus my friend Jack told me it made me look like Lara Croft, so overall I call that a win.