How to Sew a Slouchy Seafarer
Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.
For every collection we launch I spend hours upon hours pouring over which patterns to include. There are several elements I like to see in each grouping of patterns that I hope appeal to most garment sewists. One thing I always try to incorporate are a few versatile knit sewing patterns.
For the 2015 Spring Collection
, I knew the Seafarer Top
would be a great addition to every sewist’s spring wardrobe. It’s a basic tee with dolman sleeves and the option to band the sleeves or the waist. This sewing pattern has endless possibilities. Plus, it’s super comfortable and can be easily dressed up or down.
So today, I want to show you my favorite take on the Seafarer Top, making it the ultimate slouchy top for a casual, spring outfit. It’s a quick variation on an already super fast sewing project.
The first blue and white striped Seafarer I made fit me like a glove, with a nice high, banded neckline. It had a close fit and looked great with jeans and layered under basically anything. It also functioned as a stellar workout top.
For my next Seafarer, and the collection sample, I wanted a top with a bit more slouch. I wanted more length, a wider neckline and in general, a looser fit. Since Spring is just a few weeks away, I wanted a knit tee that could stand alone with skinny jeans and some cute sneakers for a casual outfit.
The Spring Collection Seafarer was a total experiment that resulted in the slouch I was after. Yesterday, I sewed another oversized Seafarer Top and decided to document the process for you. For my Seafarer I used a black and white tribal ponte
graciously provided by Imagine Gnats
. I love the result.
First, look at the Seafarer size chart found on the product page
. My measurements put me somewhere between an extra small (bust and waist) and a small (hips). To achieve a more relaxed fit for my tribal Seafarer, I sized up to a medium. My next Seafarer I plan to size up to a large. You can never have enough slouch. So, step one? Size up at least one, maybe two sizes.
Widen the Neckline
If there’s one thing I love on a knit tee, it’s a good knit-bound neckline
. I love the finished look it provides and I love the process of attaching it. A good slouchy tee often has a very wide neckline. I wanted my slouchy Seafarer to still stay on my shoulders but to have a wider neckline than the pattern is drafted for.
The Seafarer sewing pattern gives you the option to bind your neckline or fold it over and hem it. This tutorial will apply to the bound neckline.
First, cut out or trace your pattern pieces like you normally would. I always trace my patterns onto cheap interfacing for easy storage. Next, cut out your fabric making sure to lengthen your neckband by at least three inches on the fold, so six inches total.
Now lay out your front pattern piece (still folded) and grab your seam gauge. Measure 1.25” in from the point at the shoulder and neckline and mark with tailor’s chalk. Then, measure 1/2” from the center front of the neckline and mark again. Feel free to play with these measurements to achieve the neckline width that suits you. I recommend taking more width from the shoulders than from the center front, or you might wind up with a very revealing Seafarer.
Layout your back pattern piece and repeat this process, marking 1.25” from the point at the shoulder and neckline. Then mark 1/2” from the center back of the neckline.
Now, with your fabric scissors carefully cut from one mark to the other, following the natural curve of the neckline. Your modified necklines should look something like this:
Now, follow steps 1 and 2 of the pattern.
Attach the Neckband
Now, you’re ready to attach the neckband! The Seafarer sewing pattern uses the in-the-flat method for attaching your neckband. With this method you can be less precise with your neckband length. Instead, you can simply trim off the excess before sewing up your final shoulder seam.
First, pin one end of you neckband to your shirt, right sides together, aligning the raw edges.
Instead of pinning the entire neckband to the neckline, bring your shirt to your sewing machine or serger. Sew the neckband to the neckline stretching consistently as you sew, always aligning the raw edges.
When you reach the end of the shirt you should have at least an inch of extra neckband. Trim that off.
Press your neckband seam down towards the shirt bodices.
Follow the rest of the pattern instructions to finish your shirt! I sew my Seafarer with sleeve cuffs and a simple serged hem. Paired with simple skinny jeans and my favorite leather sandals, this will be my go-to spring outfit.
So a bit about this fabric. Isn’t the print great? Rachael from Imagine Gnats will soon be carrying a ton of great new ponte fabrics. She’ll be selling several awesome prints and beautiful solids as well. She’s also launching a new three-part blog series all about knits. The first part is already up here
What’s coming up this week, you ask? Well, Erin from Sewbon
will be blogging about her Indiesew Spring Collection tomorrow. Make sure you’re signed up or our newsletter below to be the first to know about new patterns and deals!