Boxy Hacci Knit Top: Tutorial & Giveaway!!!


The lovely folks at Girl Charlee got in touch a while ago and asked me if I’d be interested in having a play with some of their gorgeous knits.  Absoflippinlutely I would! One of the fabrics they sent me (they are a generous bunch, but more on that later!) was this delicious Hacci knit. (If anyone knows the correct pronunciation let me know. “Hachi or Hacki” ?? What say you??)

It’s times like this that I wish you guys could reach into the screen and pick this fabric up. Soft and drapey is an understatement. SOOOO soft….SOOO drapey….


So as you may have gathered from the title this is a very boxy top.  Made up in a different fabric (ie heavier and less drapey) it would look much more voluminous. But the great thing about this one is it drapes to the body and doesn’t look like there’s huge amounts of fabric adding bulk to your frame. Only when I raise my arms is it obvious just how wide this top is….(and I don’t tend to walk around in a permanent “yay!” position. So we’re good!)HACCI KNIT SPOTTY BOX TOP - DRAFTING TUTORIAL

Approx 56″ around to give you an idea. (I’m a 38″ bust so that’s a full 18″ of ease). It’s so simple to draft your own pattern for this. It’s literally a couple of squares for the body and a trapezium shape for the sleeves. Here’s what I did…

The basis for this top was the RTW jersey top you can see in the background below…HACCI KNIT SPOTTY BOX TOP - DRAFTING TUTORIAL

I took some measurements of the body, neckline and sleeves. Things like the neckline width, sleeve length and circumference at either end. Body length and width. Shoulder slope, how far the armhole extended out from the main body etc.

Then I took those measurements and went about drafting a simple template pattern. I established from the RTW top that the body (front and back) was essentially 2 squares measuring 28″ x  28″ ….identical bar the neckline depth, so I only really needed to draft one pattern piece for the body and cut 2 of those from my fabric.HACCI KNIT SPOTTY BOX TOP - DRAFTING TUTORIAL

Before we proceed it’s worth noting…this is “maverick” drafting. It’s not technically perfect as I haven’t added seam allowances the “right” way or anything of that nature; and purists out there…I apologise, lol! I am not a qualified pattern cutter. I work things out as I go and what I share here tends to be what works for me first as opposed to “technically perfect”.  But it does yield a wearable top because the size and boxy nature are very forgiving of such things! And it’s a top I love and is in use as soon as it comes out of the laundry. So if that’s the measure of a successful outcome, then this totally works for me. If you get easily “offended” by technically “incorrect” stuff…click away now! If you want a really quick easy bit of drafting that yields a comfortable drapey top….read on!

Patterns are drafted in quarters as we know. So I started with a rectangle that was 14″ wide and 28″ long…


  • Measure down 1.5″ to 2.5″ (or your preferred neckline depth) from the top left hand corner of your rectangle. Mark a point.
  • Measure across 3.5″ to 5″ (or your preferred neckline width divided by 2) from the top left hand corner of your rectangle. Mark a point.
  • Join with a curve ensuring a 90 degree angle where the curve meets the centre front and shoulder point.


You have your neckline!


This style has and extended/drop shoulder line and a curved under arm seam.

  • From the top right hand corner of your rectangle, extend a dotted line out by 3″
  • Square down from there another dotted line of 3″”
  • Join that to your neckline curve to get your shoulder line
  • Square down approx 7″ (your preferred armhole depth) from the end of your shoulder line to get your armhole opening
  • Join that to your side seam with a smooth gradual curve at least 3″ down the side seam


You have your armhole and shoulder!

The sleeve

It’s a matter of preference here it terms of length and “snugness” around the arm. But essentially it’s a trapezium! The measurements shown are what I used for this top. You might prefer a longer or more/less fitted sleeve. Jut change the measurements to suit:

  • Draw a vertical line the length you want for your sleeve; incorporating a bit extra for hemming etc
  • Your sleeve head measurement must match that of the armhole. Draw a horizontal line of that width, across the base of ( and centred on) your vertical line.
  • Your cuff measurement will vary depending on the length of your sleeve. The longer the sleeve the narrower the cuff. Draw a horizontal line of that width, across the top of ( and centred on) your vertical line.
  • Join either side with a diagonal line


You have your sleeve!


  • Body – Cut 2 on the fold
  • Sleeve – Cut 2



  • Sew the shoulder seams RS together
  • Sleeves are put in flat. Attach the sleeves RS together then flip and press out (see below)
  • Fold in half RS together and sew the sleeve, under arm and side seams in one go
  • Finish hem, sleeves (I just turned once and hemmed) and neckline  (here’s what I did) as you wish.


The Fabric

Now I LOVE this fabric. But it’s the very things I love about this fabric that make it a little tricky to work with. For instance, it is soooo drapey (actually “springy” and “boingy” would be suitable terms too I think!) that when you hang it off an ironing board to press the hem it drapes/stretches out (all the way to the floor in my case!) Which doesn’t make for even hemming. I resolved this by popping a stool underneath to “support” the fabric. Steam a seam to stabilise the hem for turning and sewing. I spray starched my pattern pieces around the edges after cutting to minimise curling. When it comes to cutting, the fabric stretches out as the scissor blades pass underneath it then “springs” back as soon as it is cut. I found cutting a couple of mm away from my pattern paper compensated adequately for this.  Apart from that, work relatively quickly, use the right needles and tension settings and you’re good. But SWATCH first and handle gently 🙂HACCI KNIT SPOTTY BOX TOP - DRAFTING TUTORIAL

It’s perfect for a loose fitting top like this…HACCI KNIT SPOTTY BOX TOP - DRAFTING TUTORIAL



Giveaway time!!

Now I mentioned that the folks at Girl Charlee are a generous lot! They are offering you the chance to win 2m of the fabric of your choice from their selection. To be in with a chance of winning, follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Then leave a comment here stating what fabric you would choose and any suggestions for what knits you would love to see them stocking in the future. Simples. Giveaway closes at midnight GMT on 9th October and the winner will be selected at random.

Good luck!!

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  1. Jan Crews September 24, 2015

    Oh my goodness – so much beauty! I’d love to try the sandalwood-cotton-modal-lycra-french-terry-knit-fabric. It looks like it would feel cozy during our cold winters.

  2. Renee Gibson September 24, 2015

    Beautiful top Portia!
    Your work is inspirational and has induced me to try something similar!
    Do you use a serger or regular sewing machine when working with knits?
    I’ll be in London next week and hope to stop by the Makery.
    Thanks again for such a great blog!

    • portia September 24, 2015

      Renee thank you so much! I ought to point out that “THE Makery” in London and I (just “Makery”)have no connection so I won’t be there, lol! The confusion is understandable though!

  3. sophie // the cake hunter September 24, 2015

    I’ve actually just ordered this fabric and Girl Charlee sent me the link to your review. I can’t wait to get sewing with it. I’d love to win 2m of the black heather charcoal stripe hacci knit though as well I’d like to see more striped ponte di roma in the future! Looking forward to stocking up on more knit fabric. So glad they introduced me to your blog xx

    • portia September 24, 2015

      Awesome Sophie! You’ll love it and welcome!!! 🙂

  4. Jillian Tees September 24, 2015

    i love the top and fabric, I’m a great fan of ‘imperfect’ sewing patterns, your pattern is a lot more perfect than my improvised ones are! 🙂 On the unlikely chance that I’m picked, I love the Bold Feathers on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric . I’ve not seen this fabric site before so it’s great that you picked them out, thanks.

  5. Vicky Myers September 24, 2015

    Oooh generous folk:) I would love the Fox Family on Cobalt Blue Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric as it would be perfect to make my gorgeous 9 month old niece and my 8 yr old daughter matching dresses. I love the range of knits, perhaps add in some simple flower designs which would appeal to girls?
    Love your top:)

  6. Anna September 24, 2015

    Potia that is a lovely combination something that looks so comfortable yet is smart enough to go out in. I would choose the Indigo blue cotton jersey sweatshirt fabric or maybe the nose red, velvet purple, leaf green or koala grey, errr I just can’t chose, to make a jasper dress (the first PDF pattern I have purchased). I would love to see some of that reversible knit with spots on one side and stripes on the other. also my holy grail of fabrics is a bright patterned knit that could be used for girls leggings. As my girls like to climb trees and play in mud I try to avoid pale colours.

  7. Alexa September 24, 2015

    What a lovely top. I already follow girlcharlee and have been seriously lurking over a feather print jersey that they have. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Renee Gibson September 24, 2015

    I forgot to mention my fabric choice in previous comment! I would love to have some of the Hacci sweater spotty print. What a great giveaway!

  9. rrjane011749 September 24, 2015

    I’d pick something from their Jersey Knit selections!

  10. Christine Chin September 24, 2015

    Wow, super hard to choose! I’m currently on a denim kick, so I’d probably have to go with the Candiani Millinum Chocolate Stretch Denim Fabric… it is so hard to find great denim. Second pick would be the chevron ponte de roma, I just love their chevron prints. Also sort of in love with the animal prints… !

  11. Christine Chin September 24, 2015

    Oh, and what I’d love to see Girl Charlee carry… black denim! Black and white ponte knits, because I can’t get enough of them. Wicking supplex knits would be fantastic too, the choice of prints in sportswear fabrics are pretty limited.

  12. Hilary Malam September 24, 2015

    Rust Chartreuse Euro Floral Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric.

    I read recently (apologies, I can’t remember whose blog) that you should shop for fabric in threes, or at least have two garments that will go with what you’re hoping to sew. I’d love the above fabric to go with an orange boiled wool unlined boxy jacket I’m just starting. How great would that be for autumn?! (I really like the Black Abstract Lines on Taupe Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric too!)

  13. kathryn September 24, 2015

    Ooh what a gorgeous top, thanks for the tutorial! and what lovely fabric! I’m pretty sure it’s the same fabric as the skirt I’m wearing (re-fashioned from an H&M dress – though my skirt is lined). I follow GirlCharlee on Instagram but my acount is private, and I don’t have Facebook, will that do? I’d love to win so I could get some of the sweatshirt fleece to make a cosy cardigan.
    I’d love to see more variety of sweatshirt & loose-weave knits as they seem to be much harder to get in a good variety of prints and colours.

  14. tamsinwp September 24, 2015

    Hi Portia, that’s a lovely top – I have been eyeing up the same fabric for a little while. The only reason I haven’t got it is that it black and I’d like it to be navy! Alternatively I would choose the jewel stained glass cotton spandex mix

  15. jeanie September 24, 2015

    I love this top- color, stretch- everything. It would be interesting to think how this pattern would look in a non-knit fabric. My stash is more non stretch….hmmm maybe a shopping trip is in order. thanks!

  16. Emma Jayne September 24, 2015

    Would I like 2m of Girl Charlee fabric? Absoflippinlutley! I’d like the vintage motorcycles on grey. And then I really would walk round in permanent yay position!

  17. Ann Marshall September 24, 2015

    Great top tutorial Portia, thank you. I’m going to have a go. I would love to win some of the Red Navy Blue Elephant Rows in Cotton Spandex Knit Fabric or Blue Red Ethnic Diamond Rows Ponte De Roma Fabric. It would be nice if there were a larger selection of Ponte De Roma in both plain and pattern.

  18. Littlebit_Bod September 24, 2015

    Top of my current wish list would be the rose red sweatshirt knit – perfect for making winter blues busting goodies for myself and one of my girls.

    What I would like to see Girl Charlee stock in future more of their bright fun prints like the bright feathers I used to make my other daughter leggings and a raglan tee.

  19. Caroline Flynn September 24, 2015

    Black Kilim Tile on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric

    i’d like to see sport fabric

  20. Frau Du September 25, 2015

    Thanks so much for your tutorial, I love loose fitting tops. The fabric is gorgeous, Girl Charlee is new to me, but I’ll definitely have to order some of it. If I would win I would go bonkers over that fabric or the Teal Blue and White Stripe Jersey or the Bird Silhouette Jersey in grey. (It’s hard to choose) And for the second question: I would like to see more knits in the Anchors Away section.

  21. Helen September 25, 2015

    I’m not on Facebook but I already follow both you and Girl Charlee on Instagram – does that count? I like their Peacock jersey best – I can see that in all sorts of different ways!

    • portia September 25, 2015

      Yes that counts Helen, lol 😉

  22. Rhian September 25, 2015

    I love the top! Boxy and comfortable are what I’ve been living in recently.

    I love the Grey Scuba Blue Triangle Stag knit. It has some of my favourite colours and random stags – how can you go wrong? I’d like to see more ponte de roma fabrics or sweatshirt knits. Thank you for the giveaway!

  23. Amy September 25, 2015

    I think I would go for the Gold Glitter Aqua Triangle Stag on white cotton. My suggestion wouldn’t be a type of fabric but a type of search. It’d be really good if you could search by type of stretch (2 or 4 way) and degree of stretch. Looking to make up some Alice leggings that need 4 way at least 50% stretch.

  24. Jo R September 26, 2015

    I’d love Bold Feathers on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric, it would make such a nice top.

    I’d love Girl Charlee to expand its plain sections, e.g. more ponte colours, so I can make loads of basic tops for work and not have to worry about the quality when ordering as it will be top notch 🙂

  25. sonja September 26, 2015

    Wow: What a beautiful top. Love it and the fabric is great. I love the Black Mauve Scattered Spots Baby Hacci Sweater Knit Fabric and would love to be the winner of 2m of this gorgeous fabric.

  26. Katy M September 26, 2015

    I love the Fox Family on Cobalt Blue Knit, I think it’s make the cutest dress! More solid colours would be good to see for making basics x

  27. Karen Young September 27, 2015

    Just a quick question roughly how much fabric would this top take ?
    Thanks for you time x

    • portia September 27, 2015

      I got this out of 1.5m Karen ?

  28. Amanda September 27, 2015

    great tutorial and love the top! I have my eye on some of the girlcharlee quatrefoil fabric in mustard 🙂

    • Camilla September 29, 2015

      Buy it! It sews up a dream!

  29. Camilla September 29, 2015

    I’d go for some of their ponte roma. Perfect for autumnal sewing.

  30. Camilla September 29, 2015

    I would choose this very hacci knit as it is already in my basket ready to buy! Along with about 20 other fabrics!

    I would like to see more French terry for the autumn winter, and also the beloved knitfix! I love GC’s knitfix!! Also more vintage style florals and occasion fabrics (Halloween. Easter. Christmas etc)

  31. Fooniks September 29, 2015

    Oh my, it’s so hard to pick from their selection! But seeing as the fall is here and winter is fast approaching, I’d love some black sweatshirt fabric to make some wardrobe staples that will keep me warm during the cold weather.

  32. Mary S September 30, 2015

    I’d love to try some hacci knit but I have a sudden urge to make a papercut coppelia out of this

  33. bekki October 2, 2015

    I’ve got my eye on their quatrefoil in purple.

  34. Liesel October 2, 2015

    Amazing top! Thanks for the tutorial. I would love the heather charcoal grey cotton spandex knit.

  35. Jen October 4, 2015

    So many great fabrics! Thanks for sharing all the codes and offers. I’d love to win some of the Grey Scuba Blue Triangle Stag on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric.

  36. Houndstooth- houndstooth- houndstooth! I can never walk past it..There is a gorgeous houndstooth ponte that is calling me!! ?

  37. Linda October 7, 2015

    I’d love to try the French terry or the Hacci, and more options in the andalwood-cotton-modal-lycra-french-terry-knit-fabric would be divine! Thanks for the opporutnity to win Portia!

  38. Amy Love October 7, 2015

    Hello! I don’t have a preference re: particular knit I’d like to win. Just excited to work with knits – I have very little (almost No) experience.
    Re: particular knits to stock in future: something edgy and romantic – open to interpretation.

  39. Katy October 7, 2015

    I just bought pineapple on blue fabric to make my kids some PJs for christmas but now I’m kicking myself for not getting enough for me too!

  40. Samantha Cullen October 7, 2015

    Ooh there’s too much to choose from practically I would say either the sweatshirt fleece or french terry for some snuggly trousers for round the house but I really like their fawn and stag print knits. I’m working on a plantain with their triangle ponte as we speak its great

  41. Jennifer Rhymer October 7, 2015

    Following on instagram & liked on facebook. I love the Black Chevron on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric. I really like monochrome fabrics. What a lovely giveaway, thank you 🙂

  42. Seamsoddlouise October 7, 2015

    I would chose the fabric you used it looks lovely.

  43. Nancy P October 7, 2015

    Love this boxy top and so excited that Girl Charlee are in the UK.
    I would love some Grey Scuba Blue Triangle Stag print jersey to make a slouchy top for autumn.

  44. Kimberly Stelly October 7, 2015

    Absolutely loving the Rust Chartreuse Euro Floral Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric! Loving the Quatrefoil too! As for suggestions, keep those florals coming, and maybe some stripes for spring?

  45. Cressid October 8, 2015

    I’m very intrigued by the Hacci knits too; the black heathered charcoal hacci knit would make an ace cardigan I think, Seamwork Oslo, or a hacked Grain line Lark do you think? (@cressid on IG).

  46. Sammi McSporran October 8, 2015

    For me its a toss up between the adorable Bambi-eqsue Fawn print or the Fox Family. They’re so cute, but I’d have to think carefully about what I wanted to make before deciding I think!
    I’d love to see some more delicate floral patterns added to the range, as the current florals are stunning, but very busy!

  47. Alison October 9, 2015

    Too difficult to decide… I love the mustard chevron cotton jersey and the red anchors on white but I also really need to replace my Breton top so it might need to be a classic navy & white stripe. But then again the quatrefoil in navy or mustard is lush too. Some more floral print options would be good in future.

  48. Johanns October 12, 2015

    I just came across your blog, and boy am I pleased I did; you make such beautiful stuff (exactly the sort of clothes items I’m interested in) and I’m especially in love with this one.
    I’d love to win this exact fabric, because I’m very new to sewing (bear with me). I didn’t overread that it wasn’t the easiest to handle, but it looks so beautiful that I’d love to give it a try, and whilst I also liked the cocoa mauve, I thought this one was better, because it might be more forgiving if things don’t line up perfectly.
    I would love to see them stock organic fabrics, other than that I’m liking what I’m seeing but will have to give the website an even more thorough look later. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    • portia October 14, 2015

      What a lovely comment. Thank you so much!

  49. Rebecca @ Pattydoo November 16, 2015

    Looks great! Nice to hear what the fabric is like – I’ve been eyeing it up on the Girl Charlee website, but wasn’t quite sure what it would be like. Although it’s perhaps a bit of a pain to work with, definitely looks like it’s worth it!


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