The Seamwork Aberdeen Shirt Pattern is an easy to construct top that has several design options, making it my new favorite knit piece to sew this summer. This pattern is a great place to start if you are new to sewing with knit fabrics or if you are coming back to knits after primarily sewing wovens (like me).
Instructions & Resources
Like most Seamwork patterns, this one is well organized. The instructions and pictures are clear, and I found the steps logical and easy to follow. The only slightly tricky part is the application of the neckband. Thankfully, the pattern references a great article on this technique and I was able to get it right on the first try. There is also this e-book from Seamwork that is an essential resource for sewing knits (and as a bonus, you can use your Seamwork points for this one too!)
Fabric & Design
I chose a lightweight Jersey knit with a drapey feel for this shirt, which was a significant improvement from my first attempt. I had some leftover super stretchy bamboo knit fabric and used it on my first try with this pattern. That turned out to be a mistake! The all-way stretch made the construction difficult and more troubling was the way the shirt began to grow & grow once I got it together. In this attempt, I used a knit that had enough horizontal stretch and little vertical stretch. The Seamwork Aberdeen Shirt Pattern has dolman sleeves drafted onto the front & back pieces. The beauty of this design is that without adding the additional length, the shirt looks great. I omitted the actual “sleeves” in this version and am happy with the T-shirt results.
Getting the “V” perfect was not difficult, but like anything in sewing, I slowed down and took it step by step. The directions are clear and break down the steps with pictures that are helpful. Once the band is cut out and folded, I gave it a good press and joined the short ends. Since I wanted the result to look polished, I used my serger for this application.
Next, the band is added to the neckline. To facilitate this step, one of the shoulder seams is sewn (or serged) and the entire neck band can then be pinned to the neck. The pattern is drafted so the neckband needs to stretch a little to fit the neckline. Since I knew I was going to eventually serge this seam for a polished look, I decided to baste it first with my regular machine. I’m not that comfortable with my serging skills so wanted this extra bit of confidence before running the seam under the serger. I also serged this seam in two parts to make sure the “V” in the front matched up. The back “V” will form when the back seam is sewn. With the neckband attached, I gave the whole thing another press and followed that with topstitching on the right side to hold it all down.
Once the neckband is complete, the other shoulder seam can be sewn/serged. Likewise, the center back and remaining two side seams were joined in the same way. I tried on my mockup before the side seams were completed just to make sure it fit and ended up taking in another 1/4″ on each side to get it a more fitted look for my shape.
I chose to serge all of the vertical seams on this shirt and used my coverstitch machine on the hems. I also serged the neckband onto the front & back neck as was described in the pattern. I was a little nervous (did I mention that I’m not 100% confident with my serger skills) about the “V” of the V-neck; however, doing one side at a time made all the difference. In the end, I love how these serged, and cover stitched seams line up- definitely adds a professional finish this drapey summer shirt!
I had been thinking about purchasing a coverstitch machine for some time. I do own an older serger/coverstitch combination machine, but changing back and forth between functions was an ordeal, and most of the time the machine sat idle. Recently, while scrolling through FB Marketplace, I came across a great deal on a used machine that I couldn’t pass up!. After having this coverstich machine home a month, I would categorize its purchase as a “game changer” for my sewing. Being able to obtain professional-looking results with little effort has been enlightening. With that said, you do not have to have a serger or coverstitch machine to sew knits and make them look good. A great resource to read is this article by Seamwork, which walks you through basic sewing machine functions to utilize when sewing knits.
I’m glad I discovered the Seamwork Aberdeen Shirt Pattern, especially for making casual T-Shirts for summer or layering. I was able to hone my knit sewing skills with this pattern, and I like the result. What about you? Have you made the Seamwork Aberdeen Shirt Pattern? I would love to hear your thoughts below…