How to add a turtleneck to any t-shirt pattern
Today I’m going to show you how to add a turtleneck to a t-shirt pattern. This is great for when you have a favorite t-shirt pattern and you want to adapt it for winter.
First a few general tips:
Use good quality fabric with good stretch and recovery. The better fabric you use, the more you will love your finished shirt!
Use a ballpoint or stretch needle when you are working with knit fabric.
Set your machine to use a zig zag stitch, or a stretch stick (might look like a lightning bolt) or use a serger.
Turtleneck tutorial step 1:
First you have to draft the turtleneck pattern piece. There are just a couple of measurements you need. The t-shirt pattern probably already has a neckband pattern piece, and that will be very helpful. Measure the length of the neckband pattern piece. (Very probably it is cut on the fold, and that’s fine, we’ll be cutting the turtleneck pattern piece on the fold too.)
For the height of the turtleneck, measure your own neck from the base of your neck to as high as you want the turtleneck to go.
Now you should have a rectangle. The final drafting step is to draw a gentle curve along the bottom of the rectangle. This will make the turtleneck fit better around the shoulders. Mark fold lines on one side and at the top of the pattern piece.
Turtleneck tutorial step 2:
It’s time to cut the turtleneck pattern piece out of fabric! First fold your fabric so there are two folds, one on the side and one at the top. Cut out the turtleneck pattern piece.
Turtleneck tutorial step 3:
Begin to assemble the t-shirt. Sew the front and back pieces with the right sides together at the shoulder seams using a zig zag stitch, stretch stitch or serger.
Turtleneck tutorial step 4:
Fold the turtleneck pattern piece, pin the long straight sides are lined up and the curved edges are at top and bottom. Sew this along the long straight side using a zig zag stitch, stretch stitch or serger.
Turtleneck tutorial step 5:
Fold the turtleneck over on itself in half so that the curved sides line up and the seam you just sewed is inside the turtleneck. Use pins to divide the turtleneck into quarters. One pin will be holding the beginning and end of the seam together, a second pin will be directly across from it, and the 3rd and 4th pins will be equally spaced between pins 1 and 2.
Divide the neck opening of the t-shirt quarters with pin #1 at the center back, pin #2 at the center front and the 3rd and 4th pins equally spaced between pins 1 and 2. (Pins 1 & 2 will be close to the t-shirt shoulder seams, but probably slightly forward from them because a neckline usually scoops lower in the front than the back.)
Turtleneck tutorial step 6:
Now pin the turtleneck to the t-shirt with the right sides touching and matching up pins 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Turtleneck tutorial step 7:
Sew around the neckline using a zig zag stitch, stretch stitch or serger. Keep all 3 raw edges lined up as you sew.
That’s it for the turtleneck part! Now follow the rest of the instructions for the t-shirt pattern to complete your new turtleneck shirt.
Our favorite t-shirt pattern is the Union Street Tee by Hey June Patterns. (affiliate link)