Square Neck Jersey Top
Project by Anna at LetsGetSewing
As evidenced by the large number of plain t-shirts that I have sewn over the years, I’m a big fan of making wardrobe staples. I prefer using plain fabrics to prints because I know that these will get a lot of wear and they’re easy to pair with clothes that I already own. I recently made a couple of sleeveless turtleneck tops using Craft Cotton Co’s cotton jersey range and I’ve worn them so much (finally, a top that goes with more than one pair of trousers!) that I wanted to make another plain white t-shirt. I realise that most people probably don’t want to reuse exactly the same fabric immediately after completing a sewing project, but like I said I’m a fan of wardrobe staples and I’d rather make five tops from the same fabric that all get worn than five tops in different prints that I don’t like so much.
Obviously I didn’t want to make something too similar out of the same fabric, and the great thing about jersey t-shirts is the ability to make something that looks completely different with just a few tweaks to the base pattern. For example, this top looks completely different to my turtleneck one as the sleeves, hem length, looseness of fit and neckline have all been changed.
A design that I’ve been wanting to try for a while is a square-necked t-shirt. It’s a really lovely neckline shape, probably used more commonly in woven blouses and dresses but adding it to a jersey t-shirt makes it feel more casual. I also love how it looks in a white jersey; I think it’s a t-shirt that I’ll be able to dress up or down depending on what I pair it with.
Hacking a basic t-shirt pattern into a square neckline was pretty simple. I started by measuring how far along I wanted the square to go, and also how deep. When it comes to hacking a pattern like this I’d always recommend taking out less fabric rather than more, you can always make the square cut out larger but the reverse isn’t possible! I’m pretty pleased with the depth of the square that I ended up with and I like the slight trapezoid shape of the bodice, meaning that the angle is obtuse rather than a sharp right angle up to the shoulder. The only thing that I would change next time is that I made the neckline a bit too wide at the shoulder and the sleeve slips down slightly from time to time, although it isn’t a massive problem.
After cutting out my bodice pieces I also drafted a 1.5” deep facing which I sewed around the neckline and flipped to the inside. I then topstitched around the neckline to secure the facing, leaving a deep hem that I really like the look of and taking care to keep the stitches neat around the corners.
I initially wasn’t sure what the back of this top should look like, but decided to copy the front and make this bit square too. It actually goes down a bit deeper than the front, and I think a nice alternative could be to have a high front neckline with a square cut-out only at the back.
I tend to always finish sleeves in the same way but for this top I chose to make them a bit longer than usual, ending them just above the elbow. It’s a good way to balance out the lower neckline, and I think it also makes the top a bit smarter. I left a 1.5” hem on the sleeves and on the bottom to mimic the neckline, the kind of detail that to me really finishes a top.
To see more from Anna, visit her on Instagram @letsgetsewing1
Made by Anna for The Craft Cotton Co 2021