Simple V-neck Top

My idea was to make a simple t-shirt for my mother to go with the skirt I made for her Paris trip earlier this year.

We chose Alabama Chanin's 100% organic cotton jersey fabric in dove. We were going to bind the neck, sleeves and hem in navy and put a small applique from the Magdalena stencil on the sleeve to match the skirt. I was to use my modified A-line pattern that I had used for this top.

This top fit my mom perfectly and looked so nice on her that I insisted she make it her own. But when she tried on the basic top, it didn't fit. It was too small. She hadn't gained any weight; in fact, the opposite. Usually a basic, unembellished garment will fit more loosely than an embellished garment. I must have used the wrong pattern when I cut it out. So on to plan B. I kept it for myself, and opted to keep it all one color, without any applique. I may bind the sleeves and hem at some point....maybe. I want to wear it a few times to see if the sleeves are the correct length first.

Here's a simple way to make add the v-neck binding, shown to me by Diane Hall when I was at the Alabama Chanin Factory years ago. There is also a tutorial on this blog post. But here is a refresher.

After making your binding (1 1/4" strip cut across the grain and ironed in half), take a length of binding that would be long enough to go around the whole neck, approximately 30", but it's best to measure first on your own garment. Fold the binding in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch a "V" at the crease.

Cut a notch in the "V".

Unfold the binding lengthwise, turn it right sides out,  fold on the crease, and place the notched "V" over the "V" of the V-neck.

Pin, baste, and secure with a stretch stitch as you would normally sew on a binding.

Remember to pull or stretch the binding ever so slightly as you are pinning it. This will keep your neckline from flopping forward.

I used the feather stitch as my stretch stitch to secure the binding.

The back has a simple seam down the middle.

After the Holidays I may try again to make the correct top for my mother. But first I'll need to make sure I have the correct pattern! As for which pattern this is cut from, my guess would be the Alabama Chanin fitted T-shirt pattern; but I can't be sure of that either. I will enjoy having this very basic top to wear with my embellished skirts, over dresses, and also with jeans.


  1. Love the embellished pieces. Lucky mom! Thank you for the v-neck refresher. This is the part that makes me cringe. Good pictures; better than the book instructions. Elsie

    1. Hi Elsie~ You're welcome; I'm glad the tutorial is helpful. Fingers crossed, next time there will only be a tinge, not a cringe, and sweet success!