scoop top free pattern and tutorial

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!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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).

scoop top pattern & tutorial


Download the FREE Scoop Top Pattern

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.


  • 1.5 yards jersey knit or tissue knit fabric
  • double needle and/or walking foot
  • stay tape or .5″ wide strips of interfacing
*seam allowance is 3/8″ unless otherwise indicated*
Print out and assemble the PDF pattern. There are nine pages – three rows of three. I like to trim off just one long and one short side of each page so I can overlap the pieces and tape accurately – I’ve provided thin margin lines to help you trim and align. At each intersection point, there are circles – match the proper circle pattern up, and refer to the diagram below if you need to. Page numbers should be right side up at the bottom. I flipped pattern pieces to minimize printing but if you keep the numbers on the bottom of each page, it shouldn’t get TOO confusing hopefully.
Be sure to print at 100% (no scaling).
Scoop Top Pattern Layout
In addition to the pattern pieces you’ve cut out, also cut one 2″ by 25″ piece of fabric with stretch running horizontally for the neckband (most stretch along the long edge, not the short edge). If you have a high stretch recovery fabric, you might want to cut this a little shorter but it’s better to cut it a little long and shorten it if you need to later, rather than the other way around. If your fabric doesn’t stretch much, cut it 26″ long to be safe. You’ll want to stretch the neckband so it lies flat on your chest, but you don’t want to stretch it so much you distort the neckline.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Then pin it as you pin the shoulder seams right sides together. Sew/serge and carefully trim away excess stay tape. Press.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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).

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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.

scoop top pattern & tutorialscoop top pattern & tutorial

Press seam away from neckband to finish, and topstitch along back neckband if you wish.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Next, sew/serge the side seams, right sides together. I didn’t use stay tape here, since they are lower-stress seams.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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:

scoop top pattern & tutorial

It resulted in a really nice finish and didn’t get wavy or “eaten.”

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

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!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Thanks so much for sending me such fun fabric to work with, Britex!!


65 thoughts on “scoop top free pattern and tutorial

  1. melissa q. says:

    This is so cute! And, good to know Britex carries that kind of fabric. I’ve been on a knit fabric kick lately. It seems like this top could also be easily extended to become a dress since you flared it out a little at the hem. I might have to try this since my goal for the summer is to find comfort as much as I can!

  2. gail says:

    look at you, making patterns!! i think this might be the start of something exciting! i’m loving the hem tape tips, i need to try that. your hems look super pro! great shirt 🙂

  3. Tanya says:

    Wow, what a great top and tutorial, thanks for all the tips, I’ve recently purchased a lot of modal knits which are beautifully soft and drapey but I think I’ll need to use all your tips to have them turn out well, yay you!

  4. lucinda says:

    Yay! Good for you for your first digitized pattern! And how generous you are to offer it as a free download:) Your tee looks beautiful – great job!

  5. Cherie says:

    YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!! Nice work, girl – I’m super impressed both at your designing skills (which I already knew about) and your new illustrator skills. Teach me! I love this top. I’m curious how easy/hard it would be to scale it up to my size. I might give it a try (someday) and I’ll let you know!! Congrats Kristin, this is HUGE!

  6. Nancy says:

    That does look like a comfy shirt with a great fit, I especially love the fabric you chose! Thanks for sharing your pattern with us, cheers!

  7. Delia says:

    First, you are adorable. Second, thank you for the pattern, Third, thank you for the great tips on using tissue knit! You are a rock star. 🙂

  8. girllikethesea says:

    I love it! Sadly for me it will be a while before I can fit into a normal tee again, but if I could I would totally give this a try. The fabric you used is really neat. (and your instructions were very thorough *snicker*)

    You just keep upping your coolness factor. Now making patterns? *high five*

  9. Cirque Du Bebe says:

    WOOHOO! Look at you. Cute-as top and you are totally styling Miss Kristin! See, you can work the camera! Hey, big congrats on figuring out how to computerize your own pattern, I’m sure this will open up a whole new world of fun for you. It looks completely over my head but something I’d like to try one day.

  10. danawillard says:

    So cool Kristin! Congrats on making a pattern! It looks awesome and so fun to see Anna and Jill’s versions too

  11. sewingrabbit says:

    loved you knit fabric tips! The shirt looks fantastic on you – and wow, a free pattern! YOu are so cool 🙂

  12. missamyjane says:

    oh wow! I really want to try this pattern! It’s so cute! YIkes though…double needle and serging…this intimidates me. But my want of the t-shirt might overpower my fear of the serger and double needle. I don’t even know if my machine does double needle! hmm…

    • kristin says:

      I sized it more like ready to wear – I don’t have finished measurements (and those are tough anyway on knit since it stretches) but I wear a size small or medium store bought, depending on the brand and the fit of the shirt. In Rae’s Washi Dress, I’m a medium. But I think it will fit true “smalls” just fine, it’ll just be drapier on them. If you’re unsure, maybe try a muslin in a men’s thrifted t-shirt just to see whether it will work on you?

      As for length, I’m 5’4″ and it fits me perfectly, but Anna of Noodlehead is 5’8″ and it looks like it fit her fine in length too. So again…pretty forgiving. 😉

  13. Spacey Casey says:

    This top is so wonderful. It has the best mix of fit and drapey and it is just the thing I’ve been searching for to hide my post-baby belly. I made one tonight and I love it so much that I’m planning on making several more right away. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Dee says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing and clear tutorial. I have to get some fabric! (never sewn with jersey before)

  15. Loretta Swan says:

    I could not download the pattern. I would click on it and nothing would happen, if there is a tip please let me know. I would love to make the cute top you have designed. Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. Natalie Ferguson says:

    I love this shirt and really want to make one but I am more like a size L/XL. I checked out the link to Casual Lady but I don’t care for the sleeves on that shirt. Do you have any recommendations on how to resize this to fit me? Perhaps a good resizing tutorial or something? Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Dawn (Honeybee Cloths) says:

    Hi Kristin,

    Love your top and pattern – thanks so much for sharing and for the super tutorial. Will definitely be making one 🙂

  18. Liz says:

    I’m very late to the Scoop Tee party, but oh so happy I finally arrived!
    Thanks for providing such a wonderful pattern. It was the perfect project to start me in knits. I blogged my top here:

  19. Bonnie says:

    So pretty! Do you think this could be made in a woven, as well? I could add buttons…. how do you think the fit would be?

  20. Rosanna says:

    yaaay – my first successful make with knit fabric! So perfect, thank you for so generously sharing it for free too.

  21. Alicia says:

    I can’t get the pdf pattern….The link is broken… Is it possible to send it to me please ?
    Thank you very much

  22. Christenna Carr says:

    Working on my 4th top. Do just a little bit different on each one. Thanks for such a great pattern and one that can be customized.

  23. Sue says:

    I’m going to try to use this pattern, but I’ll need to adjust it to have a v-neck since I have to wear v-necks. I wear a stoma bib & they’re not big enough for scoop necks. But thanks!

  24. Ninitte64 says:

    thank you very much for sharing this pattern, I made it without te pocket for a size taller and I am very happy with. My picture is on Pinterest. merci encore pour ce partage – Véronique

  25. Shira says:

    Thanks! Made this today with some tissue knit I had in my stash. Despite the annoyance of working with the tissue knit, it came out nicely- beautiful pattern and you can’t beat the price!

  26. Dianne says:

    Hi Kristin I just dropped by to say THANK YOU for the scoop top – I have just sewn up my 10th version today! I was looking through my wardrobe the other day and it got me thinking – I I love this pattern, it was one if the first stretch knits I made and it really got me into sewing more knits (and finally being brave and using my overlocker). I really should find the original blog and say “thank you”. So here I am, saying THANK YOU! I will post a photo of my latest top on my blog –

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