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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top-Toberfest Day Four: Cowl Neck T-shirt

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Day four of Top-Toberfest is this lovely green on green striped cowl neck tee. After searching for inspiration online I found this simple little beauty from Gap.  I love that it is clean, yet the cowl gives it just a enough detail that you look a bit more dressed up. 

Making a cowl neck seemed like an easy enough project, but after thinking through the process I realized that I needed some help.  I searched through the internet for some helpful advice, and I found this awesome tutorial on cowl neck pattern drafting from Cute Confessions of a Sew Addict.  You can use this technique with any pattern that you have on hand, but I worked from a pattern made from an existing shirt (shocker I know).  

The shirt that I used wasn't even exactly like this, but it gave me some good reference marks.  I liked the way that my existing shirt fit through the torso, but I had to raise the neckline, and modify the sleeves. I used my pattern created from the first shirt to add in fabric for the cowl (see tutorial here).  I also made a back facing pattern piece so that I could have a finished edge for the back of the neckline. I'll share some details below.

All in all I like the way the top turned out.  There are a few little things that I'd like to change, for example: I'd love to increase the drape of the cowl neck....I just need to figure out how to do that.  I also need to increase the amount of facing on the cowl, so that it will hang a bit better.  

The fabric is from Wal-mart.  I snagged it during one of their five yards for five dollar bolt sales.  The quality isn't the best, but I like the stripes, and it is nice to have  a less expensive fabric for first time projects.  That way if it is an utter failure you haven't spent a fortune on it.   

The picture above is of the pattern piece I created for the facing on the back of the neck.  To create this piece I measured 3 1/2 down from the center of the neckline on my back bodice pattern piece.  I then drew a curve that intersected the shoulder seam about 5/8" away from the edge of the neckline.  I added 5/8" to the top of the neckline for a seam allowance.  Transfer these lines to a separate piece of paper (if you haven't already) and cut out 1 piece of your fabric.

I then cut out a piece of light weight fusible interfacing and attached it to the wrong side of the  facing piece.  Next pin your the right side of back neck facing piece to the right side of your back bodice piece of material.  Stitch along the neckline according to determined seam allowance.  Press open seam.  Your wrong sides should now be touching.

Topstitch along the neckline 1/8" away from the edge.  Topstitch around the bottom edge of the facing to secure it.

On the front cowl piece I overcast the raw edge, turned it under 1/4", and topstitched the edge.  

Pin your front and back bodice pieces with right sides together.  Stitch along shoulder seam with arm hole openings and neck openings aligned. Tack down the edge of the cowl so that it will turn in towards the body (see above image).  Okay those are the basics of how I finished the cowl neckline.  I did not secure the facing on the cowl in anyway.  It seems to work well enough for me.  Let me know if my instructions are unclear....I'm a bit muddled at the moment. The rest of the shirt (sleeves, and hem) are pretty standard in construction.

I'm linking up here today.  Don't forget to link up any of your top related projects in our little Top-toberfest show and tell


Unknown said...

what a great top Tricia! I like the belt too to emphasize the waistline!

Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

You did a really awesome job with it. I just started sewing so I am really new to all of this. I would like to learn to make clothes but the whole thing really scares me.

LakshmiRP said...

Thanks Tricia! for linking up to my cowl tute. Glad it worked out for you. Facing of the cowl need not be secured as it is folded and stitched at the shoulders together...

Pleated cowl tute is in the to-do list, will keep you posted, meanwhile have posted a pleated cowl top i made for my SIL in your TopTober fest....

Unknown said...

Wow, this rocks! The stripes look fantastic with the cowl neck. And I love the the cowl isn't super deep like a lot of them. I like shirts that don't require layering... Toptoberfest sure is adding a lot of projects to my to-do list... but I love them all so much!

Christy Franklin said...

Jeepers you're clever.

Olivia said...

Very cute! You did a great job!

The homebodies said...

That turned out great! Very cute.

Rochelle @

Unknown said...

What's up, cool site you've got in here