I spent months planning my wardrobe for my trip to Copenhagen (see my initial moodboard from way back in February here) and of course I was still making things at the last minute. On my last two big trips to Europe and Japan, I found the weather to be too cold for my wardrobe, which is really not surprising considering I live in Los Angeles where it’s basically summer all year round. So for Copenhagen in early May I wanted to be extra prepared. I had made a turtleneck using the Piper Top pattern but the fabric and cut are a little drafty to satisfy my warm layer goals. I wanted something that would be a closer fit with a softer fabric and this top jumped into my sewing queue.
First I had to find a pattern. I’ve been eyeing the Nikko pattern by True Bias but I was in a rush and decided to go with something I’ve made before. When I went to Japan last year, I made a dress using the Neenah pattern. That time, I modified it to have a scoop neck. This time around, I used the provided turtleneck collar but cut it into a top length. I really love the the collar (as it's called in the pattern) has a slouchy fit. When I was little, I hated turtlenecks because they felt too tight on my neck. This one is just perfect.
This pattern is from Seamwork magazine and I love how easy their patterns are to sew (and to modify). If you’re not familiar with Seamwork, it’s an online magazine from Colette patterns with loads of great sewing articles and two new patterns every month. Anyone can read the articles but if you subscribe, you get credits to download patterns from their extensive catalog. If you sign up using this affiliate link you can get half off your first month (and I’ll get a little bonus from them too). Even if you don’t subscribe, remember to check out the new issues released on the first of the month. It’s seriously the best part of a new month starting.
Ok, back to the pattern. Since I was in a rush (you know, travel sewing), I didn’t go back to my notes from the dress (blog post here) where I said that I’d make the back a smaller size. I will try to remember that for next time. Fortunately, I am pretty happy with the fit. I made a size Medium and added about 2 inches to the length of the sleeves. The only thing I would change is to narrow it at the hips. The dress pattern flairs out for the hips but I feel like it’s not really necessary for this shirt. Next time I have my serger threaded with black thread, I’ll hopefully remember to adjust this. For the construction, I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams to help stabilize the fabric.
I found this fabric in a bargain bin in downtown Los Angeles probably a year and a half ago. I love the classic black and white stripes. It’s a rib knit making it really warm. It turned out that Copenhagen was having fantastic weather during my visit so many days, I was actually too warm in all my long sleeves and layers. I’ve only sewn with rib knits a few times and I haven’t found a good way to topstitch them without stretching out the fabric. Do any of you lovely readers have tips for topstitching rib knits?
This top was a great layering piece for my trip and I can recommend the Neenah pattern as a great wardrobe builder. It’s really fast to sew and easy to modify. I don’t wear a lot of turtlenecks but late last year I moved closer to the beach and the average temperatures are 10 to 20 degrees cooler than where I used to live so I may actually get a lot of use out of this top. By the way, in these photos I'm wearing the Avery Leggings posted about here, another fantastic wardrobe staple that I took with me on my trip to Copenhagen. Do you have a go to pattern for when you're traveling?