Saturday, April 21, 2012

Done! Scarf-Collar Floral Knit Top (Jalie 2921)

Tie-neck knit blue floral top (Jalie 2921)

My Jalie scarf-collar floral top: quick, easy and satisfying. Now officially my favorite top I own! Wore it to work Friday and received two unsolicited compliments (by which I mean, they were given without me blurting out "I-made-this-top-what-do-you-think?!" first).

Inspiration: After three of my four secret sewing doubles (Katie, Elizabeth AND Kristin) made fabulous versions of this top, I knew I had no choice in the matter.


Sea Blue Spring & Summer Separates

The pattern: Jalie 2921, the ever-popular scarf collar top.

Tie-neck knit blue floral top (Jalie 2921)
Pattern Description: Close-fitting (negative ease, baby!) v-neck knit top with various sleeve length and scarf collar options. Front is 2-piece.

Pattern Sizing: Includes wide range of sizes, from toddler girls to plus-size adult woman. I made the S (34" bust) overall, but as per Katie's tips traced the size V (37") for the bust and front sleeve armhole (to adjust for my 37" bust).

Even with the full bust adjustment, there's still about 3-4" negative ease across the bust--just enough to make it fitted, but not enough to distort the side seams when I wear it (unlike all my RTW tops!). The waist (which I tapered back to the smaller size) has a few inches of positive ease--I'm not sure if that's good (hides squishy post-baby belly?) or bad (too boxy, if something so fitted can be called boxy).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Sure.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not really, because the illustrations aren't very clear. I relied on bloggers who had been kind enough to show the process.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the close form-hugging fit, love the v-neck, love the tie neck. And it's a great basis for a TNT pattern!

Fabric: Poly (ITY?) geometric floral jersey from Metro Textiles in NYC, with a fun 1960s vibe to the print. It's one of the many not-quite-right fabrics I bought for the dickey of my Mad Men dress. $6 for 1.5 yards, I believe, and I still have enough left for a sleeveless top. It's really awesome and soft and substantial and has a great drape and cling to it. Sadly, like most of its polyester sisters it does NOT press, so the hemming was a bit difficult.

Tie-neck knit blue floral top (Jalie 2921)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Did a cheater width FBA (see above link in sizing), and added half an inch to the length, too.

Construction notes: All seams done on serger, and the hem and sleeve hems topstitched on my conventional sewing machine with a twin ballpoint needle.

I usually stabilize knit shoulder seams with an inch-wide strip of self-fabric cut along the vertical (i.e. with much less stretch), but I tried to do something new and use clear 1/4" elastic. It was a disaster--the shoulders bunched up and gathered awfully--and I had to unpick miles of serger seams and go back to my tried and true method.

Tie-neck knit blue floral top (Jalie 2921)


  • My first truly successful non-maternity knit top EVER.
  • One down on my spring separates plan!
  • It is super awesome and I love it.
  • I have a TNT top pattern!!!!
Room for improvement?:
  • In my excitement I completely forgot about pattern matching and pattern placement, mistakenly treating this as a small-scale floral...when it actually is a medium-scale floral with quite a big repeat. This especially sucks because it has a center front seam. And I really shouldn't have put the lightest area right over the belly.
  • I don't know about all the positive ease at the waist--I might make the next version with zero ease.
  • Hello major swayback issues! (though I'll probably often tuck this in).
  • I sewed the little hole that the scarf is supposed to be pulled through shut... and when I tie it the inside of the V of the neck flips/droops forward a bit.
  • Undecided on how I feel about the sleeve length--maybe cap sleeves would be better on me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Oh yes and yes and yes and super yes. This only took me three evening stints to do (one to alter and cut the pattern, one for the serging, one for the topstitching) and I bet it will go faster next time.

Wear to: Work, home, weekend, date with husband, playground with daughter... Everywhere!

Conclusion: I'm so glad I decided to take a break from my misery-inducing alteration-intensive Mad Men dress and make a quick fun spring knit!

Tie-neck knit blue floral top (Jalie 2921)

Full outfit details:

  • Top: me-made, tie-neck knit blue & green floral top (Jalie 2921), in ITY knit from Metro Textiles in NYC
  • Corduroy skirt with flounce: Anthropologie (gift from Mom when I went back to work after baby)
  • Tights: Spanx brand reversible tights (my favorite--they're super sturdy and one side is black, the other is dark brown)
  • Chartreuse heels: Gentle Souls, from forever ago
  • My daughter is wearing a dress and leggings from Old Navy. But where are her shoes?!

How's your seasonal sewing going?


  1. Your top looks fantastic! What a great print you have chosen.

  2. 1. I love the top.
    2. Not really related to anything, but my niece has the exact same dress as Z. (It looks adorable on both of them, of course.)

  3. I thought the lighter portion of the print was well-placed, actually. Good job!

  4. I love that top. It has such happy colors!

  5. Wow that looks amazing on you! I really need to try a scarf collar top.

  6. Such a pretty print! Looks great. I've seen so many nice versions of this pattern and this is no exception.

  7. It's so lovley! The colours look fabulous on you and the cut is terrific. Well done!

  8. I love the pattern you picked for your Jalie scarf top. I need to dig out my pattern and make it. I really want to make the Jalie jeans as well. Those are two fabulous patterns that I earn, but have yet to try. I am REALLY LOVING your version.

  9. Really great top! Looks fabulous on you. The only Jalie pattern I've made so far is a men's t-shirt but now I am thinking I should try some of their women's patterns too.

  10. So cute! Love the colors, love the skirt. Might look even better if tucked into the skirt as in your initial sketch, but as-is, adorable and comfy. :D

  11. Very nice top! You are right to make this one a TNT pattern!

  12. YAY! Beautiful top! Great colors on you!

  13. Oh my goodness, those colors are perfect for you! I haven't made that top, but seeing this one is pushing me that directions.

  14. It looks great! I love the colors on you, and the pattern works well with the cut. Lovely.

  15. Gorgeous--and thanks for the shot of the toddler toes. :)

    Poor instrux from Jalie??! Bummer.

  16. Dang, that is INCREDIBLY flattering on you (not that you need the extra flattery because you're a Hot Mama anyway :))! Love love loveee that fabric too. Hm I think that Jalie pattern is going to have to sneak it's way onto my birthday wish list... all the finished versions I've seen are just gorgeous.

  17. I always use the 1/4" clear elastic for shoulder stabilization. I typically use washaway glue to baste it onto the shoulder area before serging, and it hasn't stretched on me yet. If you haven't seen the superfast way to unpick serged seams, head over to this tutorial:

  18. Fantastic! I love this print--I would not have noticed the spotlight on your tummy if you hadn't pointed it out--it's definitely not obvious at all. I'm glad you like this pattern though--the tie neck really seems like you.

  19. Looks great on you, here with the skirt and in person! I like the sleeve length a lot. Hurrah for a flattering, easy to wear (and inexpensive) top you can knock out in a couple nights.

  20. It looks just lovely! I like your whole ensemble but that top is just stunning :) Well done!!


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