BWOF 2/2009 #108A: Boat Neck Top



This is a great top.  I think I have a weird sewing pathology, where I am tempted always to “challenge” myself with more difficult things — jacket, coat, etc.  When it comes down to it, though, I do not have a lot of places to wear these things.  For example, I still haven’t worn the jacket I finished the other day, even though I love it.  This top is an example of something which is definitely not challenging, but which I will wear all the time.  In fact, I am thinking this pattern would be a great use for basically all of the small scraps of knits I have around.  This fabric is new, part of the large order from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It’s really fantastic — you can’t see this in the picture, I think, but it’s kind of textured in the black parts. 

This top is extremely simple to put together: sew the neckline, sew the shoulders, sew the sleeves in (flat, which is not what BWOF recommends but obviously makes sense), sew the sides, hem and done.  Basically an hour or two.  One caution: some of the PR reviews recommend that you sew the shoulders and then the neckline.  I agree this gives a more finished look.  However, because of the angle at which the shoulders meet, I think this could be a little challenging if you are a beginning.  I might recommend the Burda order of instructions if you are just starting out: neckline and then shoulders.

This project has made me wonder if I need a serger?  It’s obvious you can sew knits without one — Jenna asked about this the other day, and it’s no problem as long as you have a ballpoint needle — but I was thinking maybe I could make things look nicer if I had one.  I’m torn.  One of my colleague’s wives has one, and she said I could borrow it at some point.  I may take her up on this and see how different the experience is, before spending $500 on another machine!

A parting shot of the in-progress coat:


This will not be finished this weekend (among other things, I have no shoulder pads or buttons) but at some point soon I’ll post something on how I did the collar.  So far I’m excited about how this is coming out!



  1. Jenna said

    The thing about the serger is all the threading. Definitely borrow first. Also, the coat is looking really good, I’m excited to see the final product!

  2. Jen said

    That fabric is very pretty!

    What is a serger? Why might it make sewing knits easier? SOMEONE TELL ME. If it costs $500 it better be made of diamonds.

    And that coat already looks like, you know, a coat! Man, sewing is cool. I like my chosen occasional-craft-hobby of jewelry-making, but sewing is way cooler. I can’t believe you can just make things to wear.

  3. […] are covered with excess fabric from this top and I love […]

  4. Rachel said

    OMG buy a serger. They are amazing. I bought a Juke 457D from It cost $400 ish dollars, came with 12 feet and a video on how to use. I can thread it (I’ve done it a million times). I use it on every project because serge’d insides are so nice to have on all your garments. Knits are a wizz because sergers are faster than normal machines. I bought a Juke because they are Japanese industrial sewing machines and well that was enough for me. I wanted a powerhouse that would last and Japenese mechanical products do last.

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