The perfect merino turtleneck pattern throwdown

I’ve decided to take advantage of this long-weekend to find the perfect pattern to use for my treasured marsala merino, which I’d like to make the winter-layering-turtleneck-of-my-dreams from!

Since we’re in lockdown here in NZ and it’s not possible to print any new patterns out, this throwdown has been limited to patterns that I already have printed. Spoiler Alert: after making them, I’m still not sure which one should be the winner (or if I should keep looking), so I’d love to hear your opinions.

The contenders are:

The Cashmerette Pembroke Dress & Tunic
Available up to a 58″ bust and 58″ hip and coming with choose-your-cup-size options.

The free Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee
Available up to a 56″ bust and 59″ hip in the plus-size pattern which runs from size 14-30

The Paper Theory LB Pullover
Available up to a 56″ bust and 57.5″ hip

My Details:
Bust: 47 inches
Waist: 44 inches
Hips: 56 inches
Cup Size: C or D
Extra Info: I have quite narrow shoulders and am short through the torso.

Some things to note:
The merino used in these samples isn’t especially drapey and doesn’t have a huge amount of stretch (but does have great recovery). I did make an un-photographed Hemlock Tee from a very drapey merino with high stretch but it really wasn’t a suitable fabric, so that will be worn as pyjamas.

The Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

Hemlock Tee

The Hemlock Tee is a free pattern from Grainline Studio and although the bust measurements put me between a size 20-22, I made a straight size 24 since I was happy with the fit on my previous version.

Hemlock Tee

Of course, I did have some issues with the neckline on my previous version, but had no such issues here since a got to add a cowl neck which didn’t need stretching in.

Hemlock Tee

I don’t think my slap-dash cowl neck worked all that seamlessly and I’ve got some strange draping across the bust. I like the subtle drop shoulder, and the fit on this is most comfortable for relaxing around in.

The LB Pullover from Paper Theory

Lb Pullover

For the LB Pullover from Paper Theory, I cut a size 22 neckline/bust and graded out to a size 26 at the waist and hip. The sleeves I cut in size 28 (the largest size), since I was happy with the size when I made this sweater version recently.

Lb Pullover

This was the last version to be cut out and sewn so I ended up cutting the bodice quite a bit shorter than intended and we got colour-blocked sleeves, in an effort at sustainable toiling!

Lb Pullover

I was quite worried about the fit on this since I like the oversized look in the firm sweater-knit, but I wasn’t sure that it wouldn’t end up looking too big in drapey merino. I think it does look nice while standing, and surprisingly doesn’t look too short, but it does look like there’s a lot of extra fabric when I’m seated.

The Pembroke Dress & Tunic from Cashmerette

Pembroke Tee

The Pembroke Dress & Tunic pattern from Cashmerette is currently available up to a 58″ hip. I sewed a size 20 at the bust, grading out to a size 22 at the hips by drawing a straight line between the armpit seam and my ultimate hip width.

Pembroke Tee

Cashmerette Patterns are built-to-flatter, and do a great job of sitting on curvy bodies. These photos are showing me that there are some fit issues on me around the bust and also on the sleeves. Usually I’d sew with the full-bicep sleeve piece when sewing Cashmerette, but they don’t seem to offer that in their knit patterns.

Pembroke Tee

This was the top that I had crowned winner when doing a bathroom mirror comparison, but now that I’m seeing all these photos I’m not so sure.

The Result:


Since I was looking for the perfect pattern to be able to ‘winterise my wardrobe’ with layering, I thought I had found a winner with the Cashmerette Pembroke pattern, until I saw these pictures and noticed all the fitting issues around the arms and the bust.

I’m not sure how to diagnose these issues- maybe more room through the arms and bust are needed?


I do think having something that has a close-fit around the
armscye is the key to being able to pop the merino under other close-fitted garments, I think the Pembroke pattern would require some work before I’d be happy to cut out my treasured marsala merino for winter-layering.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

By Jess, fat.bobbin.girl


  1. I think the Pembroke? It’s really nice in all of the photos. I’m no fitting expert, but I wonder if you need a FBA to stop that slight drag? Me, I’d not bother as it looks great.

  2. Very interesting. Thanks so much for the compare and are inspiring.😀

  3. I agree. Pembroke looks best, I think – I don’t know that I would have noticed the lines if you hadn’t pointed them out!

  4. I like the Pembroke too. Cashmertte do offer full biceps on their recent Fuller cardigan. So maybe they have changed their policy? Very hard to get merino here in Ireland. I got some from New Zealand but had to pay hefty import duty. Not sure I would do that again.

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