Hello, Kristin from skirt as top here again! I was really excited to see that Britex is now offering knit fabric online! For this project I picked out a super cool Japanese tissue knit with scribbles all over it. I thought it’d be a great fabric to turn into a simple t-shirt using my favorite J.Crew shirt as a launch point, with plenty of my own modifications to get the perfect fit. And because I want to share the love of my new favorite shirt, I thought I’d offer a free pattern along with the tutorial today!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

I’m calling it the Scoop Top.  It’s a scoop neck tee with a french/dolman sleeve.  It’s fitted through the bust but then flares out a bit, giving it a really flattering and comfortable fit.  I’m offering this free pattern in a size small/medium (since it’s knit, it’s pretty forgiving, size-wise).

scoop top pattern & tutorial

PATTERN

Download the FREE Scoop Top Pattern 

Please note: This pattern is untested (except by me) and only offered in one size.  It’s also the first time I’ve ever digitized a pattern, so please don’t expect perfection!  I’m happy to answer questions about it if you ask nicely.  This pattern is for personal use only.  I reserve the right to grade, refine, and charge for it sometime in the future.  In the meantime, Go To Patterns’ Casual Lady Top has a similar fit in a full range of sizes and proceeds go to a great cause.


MATERIALS / SUPPLIES

  • 1.5 yards jersey knit or tissue knit fabric
  • double needle and/or walking foot
  • stay tape or .5″ strips of interfacing

INSTRUCTIONS
Print out and assemble the PDF pattern.  There are nine pages – three rows of three.  I like to trim off just one long and one short side of each page so I can overlap the pieces and tape accurately – I’ve provided thin margin lines to help you trim and align.  At each intersection point, there are circles – match the proper circle pattern up, and refer to the diagram below if you need to.  Page numbers should be right side up at the bottom.  I flipped pattern pieces to minimize printing but if you keep the numbers on the bottom of each page, it shouldn’t get TOO confusing hopefully.
Be sure to print at 100% (no scaling).
Scoop Top Pattern Layout
In addition to the pattern pieces you’ve cut out, also cut one 2″ by 25″ piece of fabric with stretch running horizontally for the neckband (most stretch along the long edge, not the short edge).  If you have a high stretch recovery fabric, you might want to cut this a little shorter but it’s better to cut it a little long and shorten it if you need to later, rather than the other way around.  If your fabric doesn’t stretch much, cut it 26″ long to be safe.  You’ll want to stretch the neckband so it lies flat on your chest, but you don’t want to stretch it so much you distort the neckline.
Seam allowance is 3/8″ throughout.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

With tissue knit and lighter weight jersey knit, you’ll need to stabilize the shoulder seams, which get the most stress.  You can use either stay tape (found at most fabric stores), or thin strips of fusible interfacing.  I used stay tape here.  Lay it across the wrong-side edge of your shoulder seam.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Then pin it as you pin the shoulder seams right sides together.  Sew/serge and carefully trim away excess stay tape.  Press.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Next prepare your pocket, if you decide to add one (I didn’t on this shirt since the print was so busy, but it looks great on a solid).

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Use a water soluble pen/tailor’s chalk, mark pocket placement from the guide on the pattern on the wearer’s right side.  Pin around the sides and bottom of the pocket, and stitch it to your shirt.  A walking foot is helpful here to make sure nothing puckers.

Now prepare your neckline.  Take your 2″ x 25″ strip of fabric, sew short ends right sides together, then press wrong sides together to form a 1″ wide neckband loop.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Find the center of the neckband opposite to the seam.  Mark it with a pin.  Also mark the center front and center back of your shirt’s neckline with a pin.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Now you can match the center of your neckband to the front pin, and the seam of your neckband to the back pin.  Pin the raw edge of the neckband to the neckline, distributing fullness and stretching the neckband evenly as you pin.  Sew/serge the neckband on.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Press seam away from neckband to finish, and topstitch along back neckband if you wish.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Next, sew/serge the side seams, right sides together.  I didn’t use stay tape here, since they are lower-stress seams.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Your shirt is almost ready!  Now to hem.  I think sometimes with knit fabrics you can get away with sewing using normal woven methods, especially with interlock or other heavier knits.  But with tissue knits and wiggly rayon jersey (which I made another version of this top in), you’ll want to pull out all the tricks so your fabric doesn’t get eaten by your machine.   I used tissue paper under the fabric in the other version, which worked well but I didn’t enjoy picking out later.  I’ve also used fusible interfacing in the past, which works too.

This time I went with stay tape AND a double needle AND a walking foot to keep the machine moving smoothly along the fabric.  Here it is in pictures:

scoop top pattern & tutorial

It resulted in a really nice finish and didn’t get wavy or “eaten.”

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Repeat this method to hem both sleeves.  Carefully trim away excess stay tape so it’s not scratchy on your skin.  And you’re done!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

It’s pretty much my perfect shirt – comfortable, flattering, great for layering, with just a slightly longer hemline in the back since I’m sitting on the floor and picking up kids a lot.

scoop top pattern & tutorial

I hope you make a Scoop Top too!  If you do, please add it to the skirt as top flickr group, I’d love to see!

scoop top pattern & tutorial

Thanks so much for providing such fun fabric to work with, Britex!!

Come visit me at skirt as top anytime.