Our Tabula Rasa Knit Tee and Tunic (TRK) pattern and its Wide Neckline and Clever Crossing Variations offer an endless set of knit top possibilities, and here are a couple more. I crafted this top with one of our knit bundles in holiday colors and designed the new U-neck “collar” and a unique Tee hemline to show off 3 lovely green buttons, from my stash, that matched the fabric perfectly.
Changes like these to a treasured pattern are often referred to in contemporary sewing lingo as pattern hacks. Perhaps you have noticed that we do not use that term. I find it a bit hostile and rough. These little pattern enhancements give you two extra styles to choose from as you design knit tops.
The collar is an easy add-on to either a tee or tunic with a U neckline. The basic TRK instructions direct you to measure the neck opening to begin creating a basic band. It is the same for this collar:
- Measure the circumference of the neck opening and add 1 ¼” for seam allowances.
- Cut one strip of knit 5 1/2” deep by the calculated length in each of the two coordinating fabrics you have chosen.
- Stitch each strip into a tube with a 5/8” seam allowance and press open.
- Stitch the two tubes, right sides together, along one long side matching the seam lines.
- Grade the seams, turn the collar right side out and press it flat.
- Topstitch 1/8” away from the seam line to anchor the two collar layers.
- Insert the collar as you would a band finish, placing the seam in the center back. This is easier than putting in a band because you do not have to stretch the collar as you stitch it into place.
- Trim the seam allowance down to ¼” and clean finish the raw edges. Topstitch the seam allowance to the top as you would your neck band seam.
- Fold down the collar in the center front and anchor it with a button, pin or some beads. Let the rest of the collar fall in toward the neck so you see both fabrics of this clever collar.
To create the faced scalloped hem in front, use the front Curved Hem Template found in the Wide Neckline Variations pattern:
- Before you cut out your top, adjust the pattern by placing the curved hem template on the front pattern as directed in the Wide Neckline Pattern. Use the same template to shape the front (single notch) of the side pattern.
- When constructing the top, leave the front seams open 3 1/4 inches above the hemline.
- Cut 4” deep hem facings from the contrasting fabric for the curved front, the 2 sides with curved fronts, and the back.
- Interface each facing with one of our light weight fusible knit interfacings.
- Stitch together the sides and back to form a continuous facing.
- Clean finish the top edge of all facings.
- Stitch the facings to the top, wrong sides together along the hem line and around each scallop.
- Grade the seam allowances and turn each facing to the underside of the top.
- If you want a little of the contrasting facing fabric to show, press the facings so a scant 1/8” of the facing drops below the hemline.
- Pin the top edge of the facing to the tee so it lays smoothly.
- Topstitch the facings to the tee.
- Stitch a button or beads at the top of each scallop.
Perhaps you have this knit bundle or another of our 3 fabric bundles to use for this top. It is so easy to slip into a stylish tee for casual holiday celebrations.
In addition to these two new details, add little fold back cuffs, made with the two fabrics that contrast with the sleeve. Follow the directions in Sleeve and Cuff Variations for the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern for the perfect fold back cuff. You can see a few more photos, including one of me wearing the top, on Instagram in last week’s project of the week.
Happy Holiday Sewing! RAE