Wednesday, 17 June 2015

V neck tutorial tested on me and the kids!

Today is another of my regular posts on the Oliver + S blog where I tinker around with their patterns. Click on the image below to go to the Oliver + S blog to learn how I converted a circular neckband to a V neck for both the Metro T-shirt and the School Bus T-shirts. Or hang around here for pics of the kids and me.

Straight up I'm going to confess that I'm not actually much of a V neck fan. But when there was discussion on the Oliver + S forum about how it could be done, I became intrigued by the question and decided it was a problem I wanted to solve...

I figured I could be happy with a V neck if it wasn't too high. I was wearing my relatively risqué Camas blouse at the time and decided that a V that was in line with my armpits would feel more like a blouse than a dorky t-shirt. From then on I was sold on the idea.

I love the way the Metro T-shirt fits me and I can't have too many long sleeved T-shirts. If a V neck made this one a little different from the others that would be a good thing. The fabric is a relatively thick knit, not quite a ponte, but not far off. My T-shirt is a straight size XL and is now my fourth version of this pattern. Needless to say, I love it.

But before I cut into so much fabric I figured I'd experiment with something smaller. So P was first in line for a V neck T-shirt. His is the School Bus T-shirt, which is essentially the kid's version of the Metro T-shirt. I thought about how to create the vertical seam in the neckband without needing to measure angles and I think it worked well regardless of how acute the V angle was each time. Then, to attach the neckband to the T-shirt involves sewing two very opposing angles to each other. Not too dissimilar to a sleeve placket, only with a little bit extra awkward.

I'm acutely aware that I am a self taught experimenter when it comes to things like this. I intentionally don't search for other online tutorials as then I would feel like I'm presenting someone else's work as my own. But I'm also mindful that I don't really know what I'm doing. My solution is not necessarily the best solution, and for this tutorial I did shoot an email to Liesl to check that I wasn't going about it all wrong. She was supportive and so I plunged on.

P's T-shirt is size 6 with an arbitrary 2 inches added to hem and sleeve length in order to finish each on a dark band of the stripe, and account for his monkey arms.

If only I'd thought to bring the apex of the V down to meet the dark stripe too. Just a half inch lower would have looked so much neater. I cut the neckband a bit wider (about 3/8 of an inch?) than the pattern called for to make my first time a bit easier. It's not perfect, there's a little blip on one side but it wasn't bad for a first effort. I added some twin needle top stitching in orange, just for a bit of extra colour.

Even though it could have been positioned on the stripe better, I do think his is the one with the best "depth of V" of the lot.

Yep, there's another coming.... I knew mine would have to be all in one dull-ish colour in order for me to ever wear it and that wouldn't make for a good photo tutorial. So I made a third with some more photogenic colours. This time for A:

Of course, it's when you photograph something that you don't do your best work, right?! Well, actually, there's nothing wrong with the V neck itself, it's just that I cut it too deep. Lesson learned for the tutorial. What's "cheeky" deep for a grown up is just plain weird on a kid.

But a 10cm strip of stretch lace from Spotlight handstitched to the inside of the neckband seam is a great save. Now that it's there I really quite like it as a little feature. One of those happy accidents in sewing perhaps.

Hers is the School Bus T-shirt in a straight size 4. Note for next time: I could probably start adding a little bit of extra body length for her too.

Trying to get a group photo to celebrate our V necks was a challenge.....

P thought he was hilarious and then there was no way little sister wasn't going to join in with that gag...

V necks, love and peace to all!


  1. What fun! Those stripes on P are particularly great!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I can never resist a stripey knit fabric. When it's beige/olive/khaki colours I'm doubly sold!

  2. Brilliant V-neck t-shirts for all of you and now off to see how you did it.

    1. Thanks Sharon. I hope the tutorial proves useful or is at least readable!

  3. That last photo is just lovely!

    1. Thanks Nicole! They love being in pictures all together!

  4. This is amazing! I think you need to do a tutorial on your blog (hint hint wink wink). I really love A's version - I have that fabric in a different color (don't ask me which color, as I can't remember...and yes that should tell you how messy my stash is), and have been wondering what to make.

  5. Aw thanks Emi. If you click on the Oliver + S logo at the top of the post it takes you to their blog where there is a detailed photo tutorial. This is my "job" with them. I fiddle with their patterns and they pay me in more patterns!


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