How to Make Turtlenecks

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Turtlenecks are handsome shirts with a round, soft-fitting high collar. They can be a dressy addition to a long skirt or a pair of slacks, or they can be exceedingly comfortable casual wear with the right pair of jeans. With a simple design and endless versatility, turtlenecks are wonderful additions to any wardrobe.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Matching thread
  • Pattern
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Choose your fabric. Most turtlenecks are made out of jersey knit fabrics that have a great deal of stretch in them. Two-way stretch fabric can be a good choice for this project, ensuring a good fit. Either thick or thin jersey knits can be used in making your turtleneck.

Wash your fabric in the roughest cycle that you intend to use for the finished garment. Most stretch fabrics are synthetic and fairly tough, but put your fabric through a more gentle cycle if it has delicate natural fibers in it.

Dry your fabric on "High." Even if you do not intend to dry it on high in the future, drying the fabric on high now will allow you to shrink it as much as it's going to shrink. This will prevent your finished garment from shrinking in the future.

Choose your pattern. There are many patterns for turtlenecks to be found at sewingpatterns.com. Kwik Sew 3093 and Burda 7732 are two turtleneck patterns that might suit your needs.

Cut out your pattern. Remember that each pattern will contain a variety of sizes, so make sure that you cut out the pattern that fits you. Most turtleneck patterns only involve five pieces: a front, a back, two sleeves and the collar itself. Depending on the design, there may be a yoke that fits over the shoulders as well.

Lay out your fabric on a flat surface.

Pin your pattern pieces to your fabric. Pin carefully, and do not stretch the fabric at all when you do so. The patterns should be pinned so that both patten paper and fabric lie flat. This may take a few tries, as stretch fabric can be slippery and difficult to work with. One way to proceed is to put one pin into each side and to make sure that both fabric and paper are flat before pinning down all the edges.

Cut out your fabric.

Sew your turtleneck together. A basic turtleneck pattern will fit together very intuitively; it has the same basic design as a T-shirt. You may choose to follow the directions on the pattern, or you may simply decide to sew up the shoulder seams, insert the sleeves and then sew up the sides. Inserting the tall collar is usually accomplished simply by stitching it to the neck hole, though some turtlenecks, like ones with a slouched neck or a turn in the collar, may be more complex. If it is a complex turtleneck, follow the instructions in your pattern.

Hem your turtleneck.

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