In the very early stages of testing, the Dynamite was going to have a turtleneck. While shopping around for fabric to test with, I came across this plaid that I usually wouldn’t look twice at and inspiration struck. I had a vision and it needed to come to life, but as testing moved forward the turtleneck was scrapped. I was left with two yards of fabric that just didn’t seem suitable for anything else. I asked Jen if she would be bringing back the turtleneck, and when she said no I told her “Well I’m going to do it anyway!” So, I did! I didn’t just stop there either. Visions of cowls danced in my head (and the heads of my fellow testers.) With their help, and my stubbornness, I bring you a free and easy tutorial on how to get these looks on your next Dynamite!
To get started you need:
-Your constructed Dynamite dress or shirt with crew neck and high back. Do not add neckband or binding.
-¼ yards fabric for turtleneck, ½ – ¾ yards fabric for cowl
-Yard stick, ruler, or quilting ruler
-Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
-Clips or pins
-Water or air soluble pen
To make this easy-peasy for you, I just used the measurements provided by the size chart. The TL;DR for the turtleneck is: use the width provided by the chart, and then cut your band around 8” tall.
For my size, the chart tells me to use a band 15” wide for my band or binding. Since my fabric is folded in half, I measured half of that (7.5”) and drew my cut line on my fabric.
Then, instead of using the pattern’s measurement for height, I made my band extra tall. I wanted my turtleneck to be about 3.5”-4” tall, so I measured up to the 8” mark on my ruler and marked this height. Mark your height a few times using your bottom line as a guide.
PRO-TIP: Make sure your ruler is facing the right way. Mine was upside down meaning what I thought was 8” was actually 10” so my turtleneck was way too tall! On the plus side, and (PRO-TIP #2) if you do measure too big or you’re undecided, you can always seam rip and take away height, after realizing my mistake I took 2” off my band.
Draw the width of your band on your fabric using your height mark as a guide, then connect the width lines at their ends to create a rectangle. Cut out your band.
With the right sides of your fabric together, clip or pin the long edge of your band and then sew it together with a ¼” seam allowance to create a tall tube. (I recommend using an iron to steam your seam here.)
Fold your band open, keeping wrong sides together, matching raw edges up to one another. From here we will treat the turtleneck like any other neckband or cuff (Jump down to “ATTACHING YOUR NECKBAND OR COWL” for further guidance.)
To begin, fold your fabric in half horizontally, and then again vertically so that you have two folds in your fabric. We are going to need two pieces so make sure you have enough fabric, cowls can be fabric hogs!
Next, take the measurement for your neckband from the Dynamite cut chart (for me it was 15”) and divide that in half (7.5”) Mark this measurement along the top fold of your fabric. This is going to be the top of your cowl, and when all is said and done it will be twice the size of your neck opening for a nice drape.
For my cowl, I decided 11” tall seemed like a decent height, so I marked 11” down from my top fold.
Then, I took my neckband measurement (15”) and divided it by 4 to get my bottom measurement, which was 3.75”. This will be the part that gets attached to the neck hole. Measuring from the folded edge of my fabric, I followed my height marks and drew a 3.75” line. Now, draw a line connecting the edge of your short line to the marking on your top fold.
Cut out this shape. You can round the point where the long cut line meets the fold for a softer finish; I used my serger knife to cut it off, shown in pictures below. Follow the above steps to create a second identical hexagon (or simply trace your first hexagon onto your fabric.)
Unfold your two pieces and place them right sides together, and pin the long edges together. Sew your edges together with a ¼” seam allowance. I used my serger blade to round the points at the widest part of my cowl.
Your cowl should now look like this (seams down the long sides, short ends still open.) I strongly recommend using an iron to steam your seams before continuing on to the next step.
Fold your cowl open by keeping wrong sides together until the raw edges meet. Now we continue on to attaching our neckband/cowl! See “ATTACHING YOUR NECKBAND OR COWL” below.)
ATTACHING YOUR NECKBAND OR COWL:
Mark your band or cowl in even sections in fourths or eighths (I prefer eights). Repeat for your neck hole.
Place your turtleneck inside the neck hole of the shirt. Attach the turtleneck to the neck opening at the marked spots.
Carefully stretch the neckband to match the neck opening of the shirt, but be careful not to stretch the shirt itself as you work slowly. (Side note: if you use pins and you have a serger, be extra careful about removing the pins before they can be hit by the blade. It could cause damage to the machine, or you!)
Once you’re done sewing, pull your shirt right side out and your Dynamite is good to go!
If you want more inspiration for your next Ragamuffin sew, follow me on Instagram to see what else I’ve made!