Monday, February 23, 2015

An Oldie But a Goodie

As a participant in the Stashbusting Challenge, I've been chipping away at my collection of knits. I wear a lot of tee shirts, and I have a couple of TNT patterns that I return to over and over again  (Renfrew, I'll always love you, baby) .

I was very happy to be reminded of an old favorite pattern while shuffling through my wardrobe a couple weeks ago. It was a chilly day and I was looking for a tee with some coverage when I came upon a top that I'd made years ago, back when I first started sewing again.

It was my Christine Johnson V-Neck Tee. I wore it to work that day and remembered what a really great top it is.

So I yanked a hunk of knit fabric out of the stash and made up another one in black.

I think this would be a great first knit top for a beginner.  The collar is a long band that waps around your neck and than goes down the front to make princess seams. Not a great description, huh? Maybe you can see what I mean from the drawing on the pattern envelope.

I've made a fair few tee shirts  by now and I still fret over attaching the collar bands. You want to stretch it enough so that the band will lay flat against your neck, but not so much that the seam goes all wavey. Which is a different degree of stretch with every knit, of course. I'm getting better with practice, but it's still a gamble every time.

With this pattern, I can just stitch the pieces together as they lay and everything fits perfectly. It's also super simple to adjust the depth of the V neck by lengthening or shortening that first seam line.

I really like how the collar comes up slightly to warm the back of your neck. I think it looks a little bit vintage tucked into a high-waisted skirt but it's really easy to wear casually with jeans.

I was so happy with my black top that I immediately made a purple one.

I like theis V Neck version so much I'm tempted to just keep churning them out. But then there's that Cross Your Heart view. Also cute, right? And the gathers would probably be a good strategy for someone who needs all the help she can get in the chestal area. I'm thinking it would also make a cute tunic top made up in some of the chiffon-y fabric I have backlogged on shelf two of the stash closet.

Christine Johnson says you can make these tops from knit or woven fabrics, but you'd need to size up for a woven. Does anyone have a rule of thumb for how much larger I should go?

My pattern review is on here.


  1. Two cute, quick tops, Nancy, that coordinate with a great deal of your wardrobe, no doubt. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to try it. As you say, it's good to get a break from the stress of attaching those round neck bands. And it's always good to have another, slightly fancier look to some of your wardrobe workhorses.

  2. What a great top pattern. I like both the black and purple.....great addition to any closet. Keep up the stash busting.

  3. Great top. I really like the purple one on you. To make this in a woven I would look at the finished measurement that would be similar to a woven shirt you have. I'm not sure that it'll work without adding a closure (zipper, buttons). Not sure that you can slip a woven version over your head unless it's really loose.

  4. This is a really attractive top on you. I've never used a Christine Johnson pattern, but in general it's easy to from a woven to a knit (just go down one size) but you can't always do it the other way (make a woven from a knit pattern). However, if you are in an experimenting mood, you can give it a try:)