Drape Neck Summer Sweater

I knew this knit fabric had possibilities the minute before I impulse-bought it.

My top started with a look at my fabric stash.  I have had this piece of deep olive knit for years.  It’s a thin knit which drapes well, but still is opaque enough not to need lining.  I remember a younger, more foolish me standing at the remnant table thinking “I know it’s only a yard, but it’s so pretty…  I’ll think of something!”  It’s about time I proved to myself I know thing or two about using foolish fabric purchases. Game on!

One of my go-to tops is a sleeveless pullover made of a similar weight sweater knit.  I wondered if I could use it as a model.

Red and Black Stripe Top
I used this top as inspiration for my project.

Preparing the pieces took some patience.  It was hard to keep the knit from stretching while cutting and marking. For a marking tool, I used a yellow chalk wheel. It made nice, clear marks without pulling the fabric.

While I wanted to serge as much as possible, I did not have matching thread.  I knew any dark neutral would work for the side seams, since darker colors tend to recede into the background.  But the thread used to hem the neck, bottom and sleeves would be visible on the front, so I opted to use my regular machine and my single matching spool for the hems and the tucks.  I used plain black in the serger loopers and moved the matching spool to the serger’s right needle position. I serged the sides, shoulders and the raw edge of the cowl with a three thread overlock seam.

Again, I seem to have chosen a tricky fabric.  I had to pull out all of my tricks to keep the sewing machine from swallowing it.  In the end, I laid a scrap of tear-away stabilizer under the knit to get my seams started.

View B was similar to the inspiration top and required less than a yard.

Once I worked out the machine setup issues, the top went together quickly.  I made one small addition to the pattern instructions, stabilizing the shoulder seams with stay-tape.

I would definitely make this top again.  Any solid color, abstract pattern, or even stripes would look great with it.  I would probably go with an easier fabric, but I *think* the second time would be faster even if I didn’t.

I can’t wait to wear this!  It looks good by itself or under an unbuttoned jacket.  It can be paired with jeans for a casual look, but is also completely appropriate as work wear.

Summer, here we come!

TIP: You don’t have to thread the serger with a row of matching cones. Here I have threaded the right needle with an all-purpose polyester thread.
Olive drape neck top front
The finished top looks great!
Nothing fancy, just a nice, plain back.



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