The Rise of the necklines


I find it interesting to sometimes ponder on how changing fashion trends influence sewing choices. Do you sew to escape trends, or to make your own rather than subscribe to fast fashion and all the horrors it entails? I’d say it’d be pretty hard (and unfulfilling) to sew a lot of purely trend-based pieces every season – all that time and effort to make something that you wouldn’t wear in a few months! But undeniably I’m inspired to sew certain styles due to influences I see around me. In particular I’m very drawn to the whole 70s revival happening this autumn, leading to sewing dreams tinted in tan and denim, of a-line skirts and jumpsuits, and to kick things off a couple of nice turtlenecks.

Rise turtleneck

This isn’t a style I previously thought I’d touch with a barge pole, considering myself scoop or V neck for life. But I bought a RTW burgundy turtleneck t-shirt in snugly-fitted ribbed knit and it became a wardrobe hit, teamed with my black Gingers, loafers, and a long necklace. Plus what could be cosier now it’s starting to get cold out than a built-in mini scarf? So I bought the Papercut Rise and Fall PDF pattern to whip out a couple of my own.

papercut rise

You could probably self-draft a turtleneck from any t-shirt pattern to be honest (it’s just a high crew neck with a deep neckband), but Papercut’s PDFs are fairly inexpensive so I saved the effort. Plus the pattern actually comprises two views with totally separate PDF files – the Rise is a snugger fit with a turtleneck, and the Fall is a slouchier shape with a polo neck – making it even better value.

Rise turtleneck

I used the Rise in size small here with no fit modifications but a couple of style tweaks: shortening the sleeves, reducing the turtleneck height by about 1cm, and finishing the cuffs and hem with bands instead of hemming (I just really dislike hemming knits and had no matching thread, to be honest, so this was a 100% overlocker project). The fabric is a soft jersey in nice 70s sepia brown that was knocking around in my stash. The fit came out a bit less form-fitting than I was expecting, but I think it works well with this fabric and looks nice blousily tucked in.

Rise turtleneck

I was so pleased with it I wore it all day yesterday, and while sewing up a second one – which I’m wearing today, arf. This time I slimmed the shoulders down to XS as they were a bit wide, cut the sleeves full length, and cropped down the body a few inches to sit on the waistband without needing to be tucked.

Rise turtleneck

Rise turtleneck

This is another stash fabric, a nice soft almost sweater type knit from myfabrics. My camera is really on the blink so apologies for the photo quality, but it’s sort of a sagey green-grey.

Rise turtleneck

Rise turtleneck

I’ve ordered some actual rib knit from Plush Addict to make one more version: I’ll probably size right down next time to get a closer fit like my rtw tee. Right now these are all I want to wear all the time, but I’m also aware that perhaps the fashion will pass and so will my urge to wear them. I hope not though!

16 thoughts on “The Rise of the necklines

  1. AvatarGillian

    Oooh, turtlenecks! I wore them when I lived in Japan, and a little when I moved home, but I can’t say I’ve been tempted to pull one on in a few years. Yours looks stylish and cute though!

  2. AvatarJessica

    Very nice! These colours are lovely on you, and the lower neck is very flattering. Re: trend sewing, in this instance it looks like you could pretty easily re-do the neckline and end up with new scoop-neck versions, if you do get out of your turtleneck groove whilst they’re still good. So a very wise venture into experimental territory, it looks like.

  3. AvatarMarilla

    Ooh I love a turtle neck! (That sounds a bit strange actually). I have one in my cupboard from a previous high neck phase, but can certainly do with adding some more. Love it!

  4. AvatarJennifer

    I think I took up sewing in part to have what I wanted when I wanted and not be limited to what was in the stores, still there’s no question sewing has made me more trend conscious. There are some staples I’ll make again and again but if there’s a simple variation I’ve noticed which will make the process more interesting, I’m eager to try a new silhouette. I haven’t worn turtlenecks in ages but just made the StyleArc Debra/Zebra top (really a cut on funnel neck but same idea). Just the thing for stretching a sleeveless jumpsuit into fall, I definitely see more in my future.

  5. AvatarShauni

    I wasn’t familiar with this Papercut pattern before but definitely going to give it a go now! I’d been put off making something like this for myself and bought versions from Zara and H&M, but this one is perfect – it looks great on you! X

  6. AvatarKate Carvalho

    I love the shorter sleeved version! I wasn’t sure about Turtlenecks either but I made both views of this pattern and proceeded to wear them nearly every day over our NZ winter. I definitely have more planned!

  7. AvatarCharlotte

    I never even gave this pattern a second glance before, but I love these. I actually wear whatever I buy until it is too worn out to carry on so I have a few rtw turtle necks that I’ve had for years & pull out every winter regardless of fashion!

  8. AvatarLaura Casey

    I wear what I like….and usually get compliments on what I’m wearing. So the quick answer is NO…..I sew for myself, know my body shape/style well. I think it’s more important to feel confident in what your wearing than it be trendy…..

  9. Avatarsallie

    love these! Especially that sepia toned one – such a gorgeous color! Now you have me pondering turtlenecks!! I’d love to make this pattern in some jewel-toned wool jersey… if only I could get my hands on some!

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