Meet my latest pattern - the versatile Tabor V-neck! Some of you may have already met and possibly ordered this pattern a bit too early as I absentmindedly made it go live a few weeks before it was due to debute (apoligies to those of you who made your purchases then). Both the pdf and paper patterns are now available in my shop (shipping May 29th). AND... I always have a sale going on around the time I release a new pattern so all the more reason to check it out.
Anyhow, I must have made the error in my rush to get the pattern out as I was worried that I missed my window for spring releases. Fortunately, this pattern has something for every season. It's a sleeveless cropped t-shirt, but it's also a long sleeved t-shirt, a short rolled sleeve t-shirt, a sleeveless cropped sweater and a long sleeve sweater with side vents. At the risk of sounding cliche, it's the ultimate wardrobe basic pattern.
Ever since I quit my office job and have been working from home (2 years now), I have found that I tend to choose comfort over style. It finally dawned on me that I shouldn't have to choose. Most days, I find myself reaching for T-shirts and sweaters, yoga pants and other secret pajama garments to wear comfortably while sitting in my home office. Then, when I have to pick up my son or go out in public for erands, I change into my nicer clothes, then come home and change back into my grubbies again. I realized that I didn't have a lot of nice looking, me-made t-shirts and tops that I could wear in both situations and so I set out to make some. Presto (not exactly that fast), the Tabor Vneck was created! Now that I have a few of these simple tops, I find it easier to get dressed in the morning - they go with just about anything. And...they can be as dressy or laid back as you want to make them depending on the fabric you choose as well as what bottoms and accessories you pair with your t-shirt or sweater.
The pattern includes three neckband options, three sleeve options and three hem/length options - I love options.
Sabrina in view #5 iand the Alberta Street Pencil Skirt in denim. Photo by Molly Quan.
Myranda in Tabor view #5. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
Shown above is the lapped, wide neckband on the cropped sleeveless sweater (version #5). I love this cotton/rayon fabric that I purchased from Stone Mountain & Daughter. It's a gorgeous herringbone sweater knit with kind of a french terry back. It doesn't have quite the 25% stretch that the pattern recommends, but it works with this sweater version because it's sleeveless. You need the 25% for the sleeves mostly and about 15 - 20% stretch for the neckband.
Myranda in Tabor view #4. Photos by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
The long sleeved sweater (version #4) shown above is in another gorgeous sweater knit that I bought at Bolt Fabric Boutique. It also doesn't have quite the right amount of stretch but still looks great. Unfortunately, the lack of stretch means that you can't push up these sleeves. Bolt is currently out of this fabric however, they have an even better one that is very similar but the stitches are slightly smaller and it has the perfect amount of stretch AND it's made of organic cotton - perfection! I can't seem to find it on their website now though. I'm also not sure if the original fabric or the new stretchy fabric is this one from Pickering International. They are great and all of their fabrics are sustainable, organic, etc. If you seek it out, just make sure you ask about the stretch or be aware that your sleeves must stay down.
Sabrina in view #1 in a grey slub cotton jersey knit. Photo by Molly Quan.
Myranda in Tabor view #1 in a rayon knit. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography
In the above photos, Sabrina and Myranda are wearing the long sleeve T-shirt (version #1) that shows the narrow mitered neckband. You can use either the mitered neckband or the slightly wider lapped neckband with all of the t-shirts. If you don't have experience with V-neck knit garment sewing, I recommend starting with the lapped neckband. The mitered neckband is completely do-able and a tenascious beginner can conquer this neckline however, I rated this otherwise very easy pattern as intermediate because the V-neckline can sometimes be a bit challenging to align. I suggest first sewing just the center V and doing so with a looser stitch so you can rip it out and and try again if needed before firmly attaching the entire neckband. Also note that the t-shirt neckbands and sweater neckband shouldn't be interchanged with the sweater and t-shirt bodies because the sweater neckline is much lower to accomodate the wider neckband.
These t-shirts work best with light-weight, drapey fabrics. Using a fabric with some drape gives a beautiful, fluid silhouette. A stiffer fabric can cause the body to appear a bit boxy due to the drop shoulders. There are so many great new t-shirt knit fabrics out there. One of my favorites is a Soy/Organic cotton knit - again by Pickering International. I've seen these gorgeous knits at many on-line and brick and mortar shops. If you haven't tried them, you should. They are divine against the skin and look very high quality as well.
Crystal in Tabor view #1 in a heather grey rayon knit. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
Crystal in view #1 in a bamboo knit. photo by Molly Quan.
Above, Crystal is wearing the long sleeve t-shirt (version #1) with a lapped neckband and it's paired with the Alberta Street Pencil Skirt.
Sabrina and Crystal in view #3 - rayon knit & soy/organic cotton jersey. Photo by Molly Quan.
Sabrinain view #3 in rayon knit. Photo by Molly Quan.
Myranda in Tabor view #2 in a rayon knit. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
Crystal in Tabor view #2 in a rayon knit. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
This is the lapped T-shirt neckband on version t-shirt #2. This is probably the easiest of the three neckbands to execute. The V point on a T-shirt can be difficult to execute well but the instructions walk you through it and I recommend working with the neckband on the bottom. It sounds strange but I get much better results this way (all included in the instructions). The short sleeve, rolled cuff adds a different look to the same body - options and versatility.
Crystal in Tabor view #4 in a cotton/modal sweater knit. Photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
Myranda in Tabor view #4 in a wool sweater knit. photo by Katharine T. Jacobs photography.
Above are some more images of the sweater (version #4). Although spring and summer are on my mind and in my closet now, I have to remind myself that it's winter somewhere.
Both of the fabrics used in these sweaters are from Mill End Fabrics in Portland, Oregon. Both are no longer available but I couldn't resist using them here. The grey rib is the most gorgeous 100% wool and the marled indigo/white is some sort of cotton/modal blend that has the perfect drape and stretch for this sweater. There are other lovely sweater knits out there although, they are all over the board as far as stretch, recovery and drape. I suggest using sweater knits that aren't too stiff so the body drapes nicely and the neckband doesn't stand up too much. I also don't advise anything with too much lycra (no more than 5-6%) or too much stretch-recovery such as ponte knits. The reason being that too much recovery in the knit can cause the neckband to act like a rubber band and gather up the neckline.
I would like to thank Cat, Emma, Kerry, Kristen, Kristin, Pattie, Rachel, Suzy, Mac, Mahri and Mia for pattern testing & proofing the Tabor Vneck. These ladies were monumental in helping me get my patterns tuned just right and I can't thank them enough. I will be posting some of their photos on IG. I would also love to see your #Taborvneck if you care to share it.
Stay tuned for the sew-a-long.
Thanks for reading. Happy sewing!