A spring turtleneck in cream wool jersey

I bought some beautiful cream wool jersey from A-Z Fabrics on Goldhawk Road last time I was there, and I figured it’d be the perfect all-season fabric for layering or for wearing alone. By the time I bought it, though, my funds were a bit depleted, so I only grabbed a meter and a half as it was quite pricey at £10 a meter. I was instantly imagining it as a turtleneck but without any fully formed details in my mind. Then I was reminded of BWOF 08/08 #118 (an issue I’d previously overlooked) and saw that this was definitely what I had in mind, albeit shortened to a top.

The wool jersey, however, had other plans. The first issue is that is was fairly sheer (you can see what I mean in the back view above), so when I was cutting out, I cut two front yokes and two lower fronts to protect myself from “hey! here’s my bra!” syndrome. The lower fronts I treated as one, gathering and sewing as one in all steps, but I opted to be more clever with the yoke and treated it like a lining, which meant I could have some beautifully tidy shoulder and yoke seams inside.

Here it is, inside-out, on Susan:

The other problem with the wool jersey was that it curled. Badly. And in both directions.

Have a look at these serger offcuts, which just naturally assumed the “fern frond” position upon being cut:

All of the edges of my fabric did this, too, so I had to baste pretty much every edge to keep it from curling, otherwise I’d lose a good inch or two to curling (if laid out on its own, a piece would naturally form a roll, sucking up the entire length!). It also meant I had to pin perpendicular to the seam, and at ludicrously short intervals, to keep the edges under control. So even though this looks like an easy garment, the fabric made this a lot more difficult to achieve!

The only thing I’m not happy with in the finished top, though, is the twin needle stitching on the hem, and how badly the fabric rippled. In my beginning days of sewing knits, I’d get the same effect when I stretched the fabric as I sewed, but I guarantee you I learned years ago not to do that, so I’m a bit stumped as to why it happened here. Could it perhaps be a side-effect of the fabric’s tendency to curl? The test pieces I twin stitched looked absolutely fine, so I don’t think it was a thread tension issue.

Overall, though, I’m really pleased with this top. The fabric feels lovely to wear, and even though I don’t normally go for tunics, I’m quite enjoying this one as I can either wear it loose (very good for “blah” days, of which I’ve had many recently), or belted if I want something more form fitting. And I reckon it’d look absolutely lovely paired with my blue tuxedo suit, too!

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