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Jayne’s Nell t-shirt with design options.

The Nell T-shirt Dress With A Turtleneck Option

I’m thrilled to share with you my latest sewing project, a beautiful smock style dress using my very own Nell T-shirt dress sewing pattern. 

For this project, I used my overlocker throughout the construction process and finished it off with my trusty cover-stitch machine for a professional finish. I also used the autumn winter expansion pack, which includes a raised neckline and long gathered sleeves that add a touch of elegance to the dress.

Adapting the Pattern

For this project, I decided to adapt the waist frill to a 50cm length to create a smock-style dress. I love this style because it can be worn over skirts or trousers for a different look. The Nell T-shirt dress pattern is super easy to adapt, and the smock style turned out beautifully.

Versatile Sewing Pattern

One of the things I love most about the Nell T-shirt dress pattern is how versatile it is. With the addition of the autumn winter expansion pack, you can create so many different styles and options. Depending on what fabric you choose, you can create so many different looks. The raised neckline and long gathered sleeves make it perfect for dressing up, while the smock style gives it a fun and playful feel. It’s a fairly easy sew and suitable for the confident beginner, making it a great project for those looking to try something new.

Working with Beautiful Fabric

The cotton floral jersey I used for this dress was absolutely stunning. It’s called Floral Summer, and it is just perfect for spring/summer sewing. The variety of different colours make it perfect to accessorize with too. The design has sprigs of cornflowers, lilac buds, pink flowers and sweet little green foliage. It just ‘sings’ warm weather and heady days of summer. The fabric composition is 95% cotton and 5% lycra and is approx. 145cmm wide.

As its still fairly cool here in the UK, I decided to add the longer sleeves for a bit of extra warmth.  I chose the sage green ribbing fabric for the contrasting cuffs, which added a nice touch of colour and texture to the dress. I love working with cotton jersey as it handles beautifully and drapes perfectly for this style of dress.  If you have never tried ribbing before then you will love how easy it is to work with and with so many different shades to choose from there is always something that works well as a contrast.

Turtleneck Style

One of my favourite features of this dress is the turtleneck style. It adds an element of sophistication to the dress, and I love the way it frames the face. The pattern for the turtleneck style is available in my shop as a free downloadable pdf, which you can add to your Nell T-shirt dress pattern too.  It is a perfect addition and literally changes a plain t-shirt into something totally stylish and unique.

Sewing the Dress

The pattern is available in a size range 6-22 and I made a size 12, which fits me perfectly. I then laid the pattern pieces out on the pre-washed fabric, and ensured that everything was positioned the right way as the design was a directional print fabric. The autumn winter expansion pack includes the raised neckline and long gathered sleeves, which I added to the dress. I then used my overlocker to sew the seams and create a clean finish.

Finishing Touches

To finish off the dress, I used my cover-stitch machine to hem the dress and also around the neckline, giving it a professional and polished finish. I also added a small tag with my name and the date of the project to the inside of the dress, which is a personal touch that I like to include in all of my sewing projects.


For this outfit I chose to wear my denim skirt, wool tights and chunky shoes and I love the whole look.  I also added a green knitted shrug for an extra layer of warmth which also coordinated with the shades of green in the fabric and cuffs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m extremely happy with how this dress turned out. Using my own design and the autumn winter expansion pack allowed me to create a unique and beautiful dress that I can wear in a variety of ways. The raised neckline and long gathered sleeves add a touch of elegance, while the smock style gives it a fun and playful feel. The cotton floral jersey fabric was stunning, with lots of different colours that can be used to accessorize with. I highly recommend trying out the Nell T-shirt dress pattern and the autumn winter expansion pack, as it’s a fun and easy sewing project that’s suitable for confident beginners.

Thanks for reading


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