Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cute Cowl Tops

Back in the summer I made this cute cowl top.

 It’s New Look 6470 View B.

Unfortunately, I cut my usual size 12 (as I do in knit patterns, going down 1 size from my usual size 14) but this pattern must run a little on the small side. And to make matters worse, (in my attempt at efficiency) I had cut out two tops at once, before I realised the sizing problem. They are just wearable, but I feel very self-conscious wearing them, because they are very clingy and show every spare tyre round my middle. Probably not a great look. Also, I feel they would look better on me if I lengthened them about 5 cm (2 inches).

I was careful when cutting out to avoid placing the green circles directly over my boobs.

I love the zebra stripe fabric
Closer view of cowl
Back view ( far too tight for my liking)

I did use a tip from Mazzygirl on Pattern Review for widening the cowl facing.

Widening the depth of the cowl facing and catching it in the armhole hems worked well to keep everything in place.
I then had a third attempt at this pattern, with some alterations this time. I added to the side seams to get a looser fit and increased the length. Here is the result:

Adding to the length was a definite improvement.

Can you see the new problem I created?

I have learned an important lesson here. If you add to the side seams, this will make the armhole bigger too. Not always ideal. Next time I will add the additional width at the centre front and centre back to keep the armholes the same, or maybe I should just make the bigger size?

This view on my dress form shows how much the armhole gapes and shows my bra.
Another mistake that I learned from:

Always leave needle down whilst sewing to avoid steps like this.

I guess this top looks OK with a cardigan and it feels much more comfortable with the extra room.

Love it here worn with my Style Arc Nina Cardigan
As soon as the weather warms up (it’s now the middle of winter down under) I can see myself having another go at this pattern, and I anticipate achieving far greater success, now I have worked out what not to do.

Happy sewing.


  1. Very cute tops! My first top similar to this also fit closer on me than the pattern illustration. Glad you hung in there and made more!

    1. Thanks so much Sarah. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to every new post. You are so inspiring.

  2. I always add to my side seams to give me more room around my middle. I usually add an inch (which for me is like grading out from a 14 in the upper body to an 18) but I leave the armholes as is, and start tapering out an inch or so below them. That way I don't have to change anything on the sleeves or armholes. I do like your cowl tops! I am working on a couple of them this week myself:)

    1. Thanks for the tip Angela. This middle age spread is awful isn't it. I will definitely be giving this pattern another try.

  3. I love your zebra stripe version, it is a knockout with your Nina cardigan (which I also love!)

    I have this pattern as well and it is in the sewing queue. I really appreciate you identifying the "lesson learned". I am certain I have done the same thing and not even realized that I made the armhole too large by adding to the side seam. Lightbulb moment!

    I have noticed your reviews and comments on PR in the past and I'm happy to have finally found your blog :)

  4. Thanks so much Meigan. I am glad you have enjoyed reading my blog. I am having a lot of fun writing it and sharing with the online sewing community.