Category Archives: 2011/5-08 Turtle neckline

For My 2013 Spring Black 6PAC

I have both bottoms completed for this 6PAC and  am beginning the tops. I’m crazy for Ottobre patterns (at least right now) and so I spent time thumbing through my Otto magazines looking at the tops I’ve made and the ones I want to make. But in the end I decided that to create a really successful 6PAC in black, I need basic garments. Garments that will work with everything else. I decided to use Otto’s basic Turtle Neck pattern from issue 5/2011 Style 8

I’ve used this pattern successfully already. This time I wanted long un-cuffed sleeves. I could have measured and  extended the sleeve side seams. Being lazy I decide to “borrow” the long sleeve pattern from Otto’s Basic T-shirt in Issue 2/2006 Style #1

Next I selected my fabric. My stock of black is small but varied. Keeping with the “basic— basic— basic” idea, I selected a rayon rib-knit.These are narrow ribs, *tres elegante. I was a bit concerned though when I laid out the fabric for a quick ironing.  The fabric is light weight, which I wanted for the warming, spring weather but I began to think it might be a bit transparent. My fail-safe proof is to lay the fabric single layer on the cutting table.  My cutting boards are dark green with fluorescent yellow-green lines. If the lines don’t show through –I’m safe. If I can see lines–back to the drawing board. I breathed a sigh of relief  when no lines were visible.

I cut all the pieces and then was called to dinner. (DH is the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer at our house. Ignoring his call means missing a good meal.)  But the interruption was a good thing.  Overnight, I realized that a turtleneck garment, even a light-weight garment probably wasn’t the best choice for a spring garment. Springs here (SD USA) are not the same as the spring weather of my youth.  Yes the temperatures are rising, but they are rising from lows of -7 F ( without wind chill factor and many winters reach much lower).  Temperatures seem to rise in a wave-like motion. I mean they rise every day by a degree or two and then the cold returns and pushes the temps back down. Like a wave of ocean water which advances upon the beach and then retreats. But in spring the cold is never pushed as far back one week as it was the previous week and the highs are higher each succeeding week.  Nonetheless, in my little corner of the world, it will be the end of May before we reach the upper 70’s.  (BTW I feel cold until the temperature reaches 70F.) My point is, a turtleneck will be comfortable now, end of winter, when the daytime temp is 17F. When the daytime temp is 65F, I’ll be sweating.  With that in mind, I made the on-the-fly decision to chuck the turtle neck and cut a deep front scoop neckline which I bound at the cover-stitch with self-fabric. Oy vey! I could have used just the basic Otto T-shirt.

But what’s done is done. I proceeded to stitch this together. My only issue was at the cover stitch machine. For the first time I had problems.  Ever since I brought it home, I’ve used this machine like a trusted pick-up truck. Every time possible, the cover-stitch was put into motion.  Never had a moment’s trouble regardless of thread or material. Suddenly with this fabric, my hems are fluting. It’s  like I’m straight-stitching knits at the sewing machine with a fabric selection of light woven. What’s up with that?  I honestly thought the issue was  too much pressure on the pressor foot. What’s more interesting is the issue didn’t seem to occur on the sleeve hems only on the longer bottom hem. I adjusted the pressor foot several times and finished the long hem. But it was yucky. Not only was it fluting but my stitching line was waving and not attractive at all. Nice thing about a cover stitch, once you get it to start unraveling, it comes undone quick. (‘Course that is a disadvantage at times.) But I was convinced that the pressure was not the problem or solution and decided to try adjusting the differential feed.  Since the issue didn’t show up on the short test piece, or the sleeve hems, I had no choice but to test on a long section, the bottom hem.  I ripped out the hem twice more. Each time about 18″ sections, but then “third times the charm” I got it perfect.

I’m wondering, for those of you who can only machine stitch hems at a sewing machine, what happens if you use your even-feed foot??? With single needle? With twin needle?   Love to have you give it a go and provide feedback.

This would have been a very quick garment and now that I know better, it will be a very quick fix in the future.  So onto the pictures, which can’t show very much

I didn’t see the point of modeling these myself. The pattern fits well. You can see that in my multiple, previous posts.  The white portion, is the cover on Mimie, my dressform.

I probably could have lightened the pictures, but again what’s the point? This is the essential long-sleeve, scoop-neck, T-shirt in basic black with one exception. Most T-shirts are slightly dropped sleeve and blocky. The Otto pattern shoulder ends right at my out-most shoulder point and is slightly shaped to flatter my figure. (OK your figure is flatter too.)  I mean, this pattern could be the basis for the $500 (or more) T-shirt. A beautifully fitting top, plus elegant fabric is worth the $$$ or in my case the time and effort.

2013 Spring BLACK 6PAC Status:

Pants #1 DONE 

Pants #2 DONE

Top1 (Matching)  DONE

Top 2 (Print or contrasting) NEEDED

Top 3 Vest NEEDED



I’m happy.


*I don’t know how to add those accent marks.


OttobreDesign’s Classic Turtle Neck 5/2011-8

Orignally published Dec 5/2012
from issue 5/2011 Style 8.  By now I simply zipped through tracing using “my” standard sizing i.e. 38 neck/shoulder; 40 armscye; 46 side seam. I did stop and ask for advice from Stitchers Guild.  I had a rash of both purchased and sewn turtle necks which choked me during wear.  Oddly, I didn’t notice it when trying on the garment or during the first hour or so of wear.  It’s as the day goes along that I find myself pulling at the neck trying to loosen it’s choke hold. The suggestion was to cut the turtle neck with 1″ seam allowances and baste it in place. Followed by adjust as needed through trimming the front neckline.  Since I have problems initially telling that the neckline is too tight, I opted to trim the front neckline 3/8″ lower and use the 1″ seam allowances.

Unfolded, the turtle neck is really high.

Once again, Otto provides a shapely top for a knit fabric.  The 3″ cuffs may be dated but I decided to use them for the first garment. The sleeves are the perfect length but I did add 1″ ease.  Once again, I prefer a little more ease in my sleeves than Otto likes to provide.

Once the collar is folded into place, it is perfect.  I would not remove the extra seam allowance or raise the neckline.  I did use the 3-step zig-zag stitch the finish the neckline. It’s an interesting finish, but I think in the future I will use my cover stitch  just as I did with the hem.  The cuffs are serged at the side seams, folded and serged to the end of the sleeve.  It’s an excellent finish on it’s own but for decorative purposes could also be top stitched with the cover stitch.

My “Missoni” fabric was purchased at  Walmart about a year ago along with a second colorway.  I felt it was an excellent choice for testing this pattern because it is very lovely but not long lasting.  It seems to catch on everything and hardly survives a season. I’ve forgotten the fiber content and didn’t make a burn test.  Something man made is my best guess as it doesn’t wrinkle or fade.

I think the wrinkle seen across the back is of the velcro-butt type.  This is the same corduroy pants made with Burda 2012=12=148.  The corduroy is grabby.

I confess to having already worn this top for an entire day.  I was very anxious to know whether I had a “good” turtle neck pattern.  I like to wear turtle neck tops especially in the dead of winter.  Honestly, I think this is a winner.  Future changes will be changing the sleeve/cuff and playing with the ease within the turtleneck.