How to Make a Simple Turtleneck For Beginners (2 Easy Pattern Choices)

Sara SJ Kim
by Sara SJ Kim
6 Materials
2 Hours

It’s winter! Are you looking to sew a DIY turtleneck sweater? Here’s how to make a turtleneck that’s cozy, soft, and flattering. The best part is, you make it yourself in the style you prefer.

Here, I'm including two turtleneck sewing patterns you can choose from. Let me show you how to make a turtleneck!

Tools and materials:

  • Medium heavyweight rib-knit fabric
  • Paper pattern printed
  • Pins/clips
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional but helpful)
  • Scissors
Turtleneck sewing patterns

Turtleneck sewing patterns

These are the patterns for the sweaters:

In this tutorial, I'll be using the Elliot sweater pattern, but they are all somewhat similar, including raglan sleeves.

Rib-knit fabric notes

Knit fabric may look very similar on the right and wrong side. Before you start pinning or sewing, it’s helpful to mark the wrong side. 

Rib knits don’t fray. You can sew with a sewing machine or with a serger only. Using a serger helps prevent the fabric from wiggling or slipping as well as other stretch issues.

You may want to use a walking foot and ballpoint needle with a lower foot pressure setting and a longer stitch length.

Using a serger with knit fabric

Using a serger with knit fabric

When using a serger, use an adjusted setting to prevent gathering and puckering of the fabric. Adjust the differential feed to be a higher number. This leaves a beautifully smooth and professional finish.

Cutting the turtleneck sewing pattern

1. Make the pattern

Use a ⅜-inch seam allowance all over unless otherwise indicated. Print the pattern and cut the fabric.

  • Cut the front bodice on the fold.
  • Cut the back bodice on the fold.
  • Cut 2 mirrored sleeves.
  • Cut the neck piece.
Clipping the right sleeve at the notches

2. Sew the sweater sleeves

Place the bodice front on a flat surface. Clip the right sleeve at the notches.

Sewing the sleeves for the turtleneck

Sew the sleeve in place. Then do the left sleeve.

Clipping the back bodice to the sleeves

Once both sleeves are sewn to the front bodice, clip the back bodice to the sleeves, right sides together. Sew them together.

How to sew a turtleneck collar

3. How to sew a turtleneck collar

If you don’t have notches in the neck piece, mark the 4 center points at the neck by snipping a small snip at the center front and back, and two sides.

Folding and sewing the neck piece

Stretch the fabric to see which way the stretch goes. Make sure the folding goes in the opposite way of the stretch. Fold the neck piece, right sides together and sew the sides. 

Turtleneck sewing tutorial

Flip the piece so it’s wrong sides together. Fold it in half. Mark the 4 centers on the neckline if there are no notches by snipping as well.

Inserting the neck piece into the bodice

Insert the neck piece into the neckline of the bodice. Match up the notches with the raw edges meeting. Clip at the notches.

There will be a bit of a gap in the difference between the neckline and the neckpiece. This is normal and expected.

Sew or serge through all the layers. As you sew, stretch the layers to fit. 

How to sew a turtleneck sweater

If you’ve got a serge thread tail and want a clean finish use an embroidery needle with a big eye. Thread the needle using the tail and weave it into your serging stitch. Trim the excess.

Pinning the side seams

4. Sew the side seams

Place the front and back right sides together. Pin the underarm seams and side seams. Sew them together. 

Sewing a DIY turtleneck sweater

5. Finishing touches

Finish the sleeve edges and bottom hem in your preferred way. As knit doesn’t fray, you can leave as is. You can topstitch or understitch the neckline as an optional finish.

Sewing your own label into the DIY turtleneck

Another option is to make your own labels and sew them in to personalize your beautiful creations!

How to make a turtleneck

How to make a turtleneck

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to make a turtleneck and it inspires you to make your own!

I'm wearing the dress-hacked Elliot sweater View A in a rayon blend rib knit, while my umma is wearing the Elliot sweater View B in a lightweight modal rib knit. She ended up taking this home with her!

How to make a turtleneck sweater

I also made the Toaster sweater (Version 1) in a cotton-blend rib knit.

Enjoy wearing your DIY turtleneck sweater! Please let me know in the comments which one you made!

Suggested materials:
  • Medium heavyweight rib-knit fabric
  • Paper pattern printed
  • Pins/clips
See all materials

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