As a part of my guest blogging gig for Britex Fabrics, they recently sent some of their new knit fabric to try out! I was really excited to see that Britex is now offering knit fabric online, and for this project I picked out a super cool Japanese tissue knit with scribbles all over it. I thought it’d be a great fabric to turn into a simple tee using my favorite J.Crew shirt as a launch point, with plenty of my own modifications to get the perfect fit.
And because I want to share the love of my new favorite shirt all over blogland, I thought I’d offer a FREE PATTERN along with my tutorial today!
I’m calling it the Scoop Top. It’s a scoop neck women’s t-shirt with a french/dolman sleeve. It’s fitted through the bust but then flares out a bit, giving it a really flattering and comfortable fit. I’m offering this free pattern in a size small/medium (since it’s knit, it’s pretty forgiving, size-wise).
Please note: This pattern is untested (except by me) and it is offered in only one size. It’s also the first time I’ve ever digitized a pattern, so please don’t expect perfection! I’m happy to answer questions about it if you ask nicely. This pattern is for personal use only. I reserve the right to refine, grade it to different sizes, and charge for it it sometime in the future. In the meantime, Go To Patterns’ Casual Lady (affiliate link) has a similar fit in a full range of sizes and proceeds go to a great cause.
MATERIALS / SUPPLIES
- 1.5 yards jersey knit or tissue knit fabric
- double needle and/or walking foot
- stay tape or .5″ wide strips of interfacing
With tissue knit and lighter weight jersey knit, you’ll need to stabilize the shoulder seams, which get the most stress. You can use either stay tape (found at most fabric stores), or thin strips of fusible interfacing (softer). I used stay tape here. Lay it across the wrong-side edge of your shoulder seam.
Then pin it as you pin the shoulder seams right sides together. Sew/serge and carefully trim away excess stay tape. Press.
Next prepare your pocket, if you decide to add one (I didn’t on this shirt since the print was so busy, but it looks great on a solid).
Use a water soluble pen/tailor’s chalk, mark pocket placement from the guide on the pattern on the wearer’s right side. Pin around the sides and bottom of the pocket, and stitch it to your shirt. A walking foot is helpful here to make sure nothing puckers.
Now prepare your neckline. Take your 2″ x 25″ strip of fabric, sew short ends right sides together, then press wrong sides together to form a 1″ wide neckband loop.
Find the center of the neckband opposite to the seam. Mark it with a pin. Also mark the center front and center back of your shirt’s neckline with a pin.
Now you can match the center of your neckband to the front pin, and the seam of your neckband to the back pin. Pin the raw edge of the neckband to the neckline, distributing fullness and stretching the neckband evenly as you pin. Sew/serge the neckband on.
Press seam away from neckband to finish, and topstitch along back neckband if you wish.
Next, sew/serge the side seams, right sides together. I didn’t use stay tape here, since they are lower-stress seams.
Your shirt is almost ready! Now to hem. I think sometimes with knit fabrics you can get away with sewing using normal woven methods, especially with interlock or other heavier knits. But with tissue knits and wiggly rayon jersey (which I made another version of this top in), you’ll want to pull out all the tricks so your fabric doesn’t get eaten by your machine. I used tissue paper under the fabric in the other version (see how in this tutorial), which worked well but I didn’t enjoy picking it out later. I’ve also used fusible interfacing in the past, which works too.
This time I went with stay tape AND a double needle AND a walking foot to keep the machine moving smoothly along the fabric. Here it is in pictures:
It resulted in a really nice finish and didn’t get wavy or “eaten.”
Repeat this method to hem both sleeves. Carefully trim away excess stay tape so it’s not scratchy on your skin. And you’re done!
It’s pretty much my perfect shirt – comfortable, flattering, great for layering, with just a slightly longer hemline in the back since I’m sitting on the floor and picking up kids a lot.
I hope you make a Scoop Top too! If you do, please add it to the skirt as top flickr group, I’d love to see!
Thanks so much for sending me such fun fabric to work with, Britex!!