Making your own embroidered turtleneck dickie

turtleneck dickie

(Reprinted with permission from Kathleen Chevalier)

T-shirt cotton knit is recommended to use for both the ‘body” of the dickie and the turtleneck, as this fabric feels good against the skin. A Stretch-&-Sew basic T-Shirt pattern is what I use, as it is multi-sized and has instructions for turtle and crew necks with purchased ribbing or self-fabric trim. In this case self-fabric trim is being used, but ribbing can be used for the turtleneck portion of the dickie, if you wish. Several other pattern companies, such as Kwik Sew and Burda also have multi-sized t-shirt patterns. Size will depend on the person you are making the dickie for.

Adapting the pattern:


  1. Trace the front neckline, shoulder seam and center front line.
  2. Put a dot at the shoulder seam about 3 inches from the armhole (at bit more for very large sizes, a bit less for very small sizes). Draw a line at this point parallel to the center front line.
  3. Put a dot on the center front line 9 inches down from the neck edge. Draw a line at right angles to the center front line at this dot.
  4. Join the two lines with a curve using a desert plate


Do the same with the back as you did with the front pattern piece. You may want to tape the pattern pieces together on you to check and see if you like the curve. You may want to make a sample out of cheap fabric to make sure you like the shape and try it with a V neck and standard sweatshirt neck top over it.


  1. Cut 1 dickie front on the fold, cut 1 dickie back on the fold.
  2. Cut the turtleneck according to the pattern directions.
  3. Sew shoulder seams of front and back pieces.
  4. Finish lower edges by serging, using Seams Great for extra stability (stretch it a tiny bit as you apply it), or by straight stitching ¼ inch from the edge and pinking the edge, or any other method of your choice.
  5. Measure and cut turtleneck piece.
  6. Pin turtleneck into a circle and pin in place on dickie. You can have the seam at the center back or at a shoulder seam. Fold in finished position and mark where you want embroidery design.
  7. Unpin and embroider with design of choice. Some ideas for embroidery: center front, off center to the wearer’s left enough so it doesn’t look like you didn’t get it centered correctly or an all-around design.
  8. Sew turtleneck seam.
  9. Fold turtleneck in half the long way with embroidery out.
  10. Insert turtleneck seam, being careful to get it positioned so that the embroidery will show when the turtleneck is folded down.

Enjoy your turtleneck dickie!