The Paola Turtleneck Tee by Named (or ‘Sewing A Knit Too Far’!)

In an effort to build up a good collection of Winter wardrobe staples I’ve sewn quite a lot of knit patterns recently but there are still huge gaps I’ve yet to fill, including a turtleneck. I pounced on the Paola by Named Clothing; it’s an incredibly simple pattern designed for lighter weight knits with approximately 50% stretch. I chose a nude pink interlock jersey from Fabworks and gold serger thread to jazz up the insides. So far so good.

I then traced out the pattern – there’s just a bodice front and back, sleeve and the neck piece.  I took 1 cm from the shoulder seam and 1.5″ from the arm length, both standard alterations for me. Looking through the instructions, Named state they draft their img_3917patterns for a height of 5.8″. I was really surprised then at how short the bodice pieces appeared to be, especially considering the promo pictures. I was actually tempted to add length (I’m 5.3″!) rather than remove it as I usually have to, but in the end decided to sew it up as drafted.

I had it in mind this was going to take an hour to sew up (vlogger Amanda from I Sew a Lot threw down the gauntlet with the ‘Sew a Paola in Less Than an Hour’ challenge) but, well, *coughs* that seriously did not happen. It came together very quickly, yes, but then I decided I didn’t like the look of the turned up cuffs. So I lopped off an additional 1.75″ from the sleeve end, drafted a seperate cuff piece and sewed that on instead. Much better.

Then I sewed up the collar seam at the wrong end – I was definitely rushing – realising my mistake before sewing it to the neckline – there was no way it was going to fit over my (admittedly oversized) head! So I lobbed it in the general direction of the bin and cut it out again, sewing it properly this time. Again, much better.

Then I finished the raw edges of the hem and turned up as directed, deciding to use a twin needle to topstitch it in place. I tried it on. And I hated it. It was too low at the underarm, too wide across the shoulders – I wish I’d sized down. And look at that hemline, it’s almost peplum like – I’m pretty sure some of this is down to me stretching out the fabric as I serged it but by no means all. And it was only just long enough. I debated putting a hem band on it.

Paola sewing pattern review

But by this time I’d realised a couple of fundamental things – firstly, and least importantly, I needed a break from basic knits; I was bored and I was rushing and I needed to step away from this Make until I had the right humour to deal with it.

That said, I tried it on again the next day, still aggrieved, and decided I’d needed to live with the peplum-thingy hem rather than be bothered faffing with it; I was planning to wear it mostly tucked in anyway. And, on the upside, goodness knows this thing was comfy. Think : hugging yourself comfy. And I love the neckpiece, it’s just right. In the end then Paola and I, although not quite bosom buddies yet, have decided to work on our relationship 😉.

So despite the fact that I really do need a couple of cardi’s (The Paro by Itch to Stitch and the Coppelia Wrap Top by Papercut, I’m looking at you), I’m going to sew something in a woven next. Preferably something seasonally inappropriate and impractical because sometimes we need to kick the sensible capsule wardrobe ethos to one side and sew something frivolous for the fun of it instead.

Because you see, that was the second, most important, thing I’d realised; for reasons big and small, I’ve got the blues.

Sew, until next time look after yourself – and each other x

Sew Sarah smith

You can also find me on Instagram

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. rocco.sienna says:

    you’re the best at writing..so funny, yet very helpful. You need to size down next time but it looks snuggly soft.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks lovey xx you’re tight I definitely need to size down!! I’ve hit more fabric to make it again…

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  2. Claire says:

    Great write up Sarah. Looks good despite the peplum and thanks for sharing warts n all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks For that Claire! I am hoping my next make will be an out and out success though!! 😂😘

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  3. It’s always sad when one of your makes fails especially when you’ve used such a lovely pale pink fabric with the gold thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a shame but it’s inevitable sometimes I guess eh?! X

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  4. Anya says:

    I love the color of you Paola! Such a beautiful basic!
    What a shame about the length, and that is considering you are a lot shorter than their drafting models. That’s usually the frustration I have to deal with. Yet, I think Paola looks very nice on you! I hope your friendship improves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you most kindly Anya! Hahaha it was interesting to step into the issues of your tall world!!! It definitely requires more fabric length 😂 Hope you and yours doing well xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. susan roberts says:

    Great post, very honest and useful to sewers. You always make me laugh when I read your sewing exploits. Hope you and Paola are getting closer by the day. xx

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    1. Cheers Suzy love! You know me, I can make a drama out of anything!!!! Xxxxxx

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  6. Diane G says:

    Oh gosh Sarah, I’m useless when I rush and could win medals in procrastination and faffing. I think you did well and I’m sure you and Paola will be best friends soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diane! Procrastination and faffing are my muddle names! Xx

      Like

  7. Sarah C Sewing says:

    Love the colour. I also love your writing style – it makes me smile. And the blues – its the horrible bug you’ve had, it seems to leave everyone feeling low and the grey, grey weather doesn’t help. On the up side I never realised you were 5 3″ I definately thought you at least 5 7″ its your towering personality when writing ! Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah that’s such a lovely comment – my eyes have gone a bit…blurry! 😘 No, I’m definitely a short stack! 😂

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  8. PsychicKathleen says:

    Sara I love your Paola – that loose bottom actually looks very stylish and intentional and I really LOVE that gold serging on the inside. I’m going to do that for sure 🙂 I’m just finishing a finicky blouse (princess seams in the front and back – the collar, cuffs) in silk so I’m at the opposite end as you…just craving a truly simple knit. I looked at Papercuts but I’m afraid that V wrap might be a little low and need a LOT of fiddling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you Kathleen, that makes me feel better! I hope you’re happy with your finished project! The Paola is quick and simple really! X

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