Thursday, October 18, 2012

Woven neck shirt

I am working on Littleheart's fall/winter wardrobe at the moment. It is hard to know what to make - in Israel the weather is hot and then suddenly gets cold, with very little time being cool. So I decided to make some layered outfits she can wear for the cool and the cold days.
I made this outfit a while back, but I didn't have time to write up the tutorial before all of the sewing challenges, so now finally, I am posting about it. This is basically an outfit made of leggings, a long sleeve shirt and a shrug. 

You might remember the little shrug from KCWC. The leggings are very basic, and not worth talking about. But this shirt is special, because the neckline is woven into it.

Want to make one? Here is how...

What you will need

  • Long sleeve shirt pattern with a round neckline. If you do not have a pattern you can draft your own by tracing a shirt that fits well.
  • 1/2 yard plain knit fabric
  • Scraps of printed knit fabric (something that matches your main fabric)
  • Matching embroidery thread
Cut out your front and back bodice as well as your sleeves from a plain, knit fabric.
Cut two strips of print knit fabric, 15" by 2.25 inches (this is for a shirt 3-4T. If you are making a smaller or bigger shirt, adjust the size of the strips. They should be a bit longer than the front and back neckline combined).

Trace the top of your front and back neckline. Then measure 1.5" along the entire neckline, so that you have two pieces looking like this:

Cut these two pieces out of your main fabric (on the fold).

Cut two Wrist bands out of your printed knit fabric, 5.5"/4" for size 3-4 T or adjust to the size you are making (approx the length of the sleeve piece).

Fold the long strips on the long (right sides together) and sew along the long side.

Turn right side out and press, so that the seam is in the middle of the back.

Mark the middle of your front neckline with chalk. Start at 0.25" from the edge of the neckline and make your mark 1.5".
From that mark measure half an inch to each side and mark. Then measure another half inch to each side and mark. Then measure an inch to each side and mark. Then half an inch, an inch, and half an inch until you get to the shoulder. 

Your lines should be 1.75" from the edge of your neckline. If you want you can draw a supporting line along your neckline in a 1.75" distance.

Now cut your lines, starting at 0.25" away from your neckline and down to your supporting line (1.75" away from your neckline). I would use small, pointy scissors for the cutting, so you don't cut too far. Important! Do not cut the center line!!!!!!!!!!! That was just to help you measure out your cutting lines!

Now take your colored strip and weave it through your cuts, having the strip on top of the 1" parts and under the half inch parts.

Straighten out your strip so it lays as flat as possible. Pin the ends to the shoulders (if the strip is too long you can cut it off now, so that the ends are in line with the shoulders.
Now place your facing piece right sides together to your front bodice, sandwiching the colored strip between them.

Sew the facing to the bodice, along the neck, using 1/4" seam allowance. Use a stretch stitch!
Flip the facing under and topstitch along the neck, as close to the edge as possible (again use a stretch stitch). Do not stitch over your colored strip! And try not to stretch your neckline (mine stretched a bit).

Now do the whole thing again for your back bodice.

Now sew your shoulder seams, sandwiching in your color strip. Make sure your facing is lying flat. Topstitch along the shoulder, folding the bulk to one side.
Your shirt now looks like this:

Set in the sleeves. Sew side seams, starting at wrists and go all the way down to the hem.
Hem your shirt with a double needle.
Set in your wrist bands. To do this, take your wrist strips and sew them together on the short side to make a loop. Now fold your loop on the long side, so that you have a narrower loop with both sides being the right side. Place your loop over the wrist on your sleeve, matching up the raw edges. Now sew around the wrist, using a stretch stitch, and stretch the wrist band as you sew.

Now take your matching embroidery thread and hand stitch across each "flap" on the neckline (where the strip goes under the plain fabric). I did this for two reasons: 1. It is pretty. 2. It keeps the strip from folding under 3. It also attaches the facing to the shirt.

Your woven neck shirt it finished and ready to be worn! Have fun!

I was lucky enough that Littleheart wanted to try on her new outfit (even though it is way too hot for it now), so here are some pics of my little model (this was before I did the handstitching).



  1. Very, very clever, Mira!!! The neckline looks fantastic!!! I'm pinning this one.

  2. I'm with Pam, the woven collar is a great detail! I really need to get out my jersey again....

  3. Ive come across from Sew and Tell Saturday, & I love this & the cute little wardrobe you've made for your little one! Kind of makes me wish I had little girls to sew for...what fun I bet I'd have. Or, sometimes kids' clothes are so gorgeous you wish you could wear them as an adult!

    1. Many of the things I made you can just as well make for yourself, just in grownup size :)

  4. Yes, this is a nice detail! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow thank you for this tutorial. I make my own t-shirts and am going to use this idea on them.
    I have a free scarf pattern on my site if you are interested

  6. This is so cute - nice for any age. Thanks for the idea. Your little one is a cutie!!!!

  7. Love this idea. She is darling. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Cute little outfit! I love the strips! Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!