May 4, 2014


...When McCall's recently released their new fitted cowl neck top, and you know that I, Ms. Patternaholic had to have it in my collection.  Nice and easy, four pattern pieces, made for knits with 4 variations. What's not to like?   I can see it being a great wardrobe essential, and a way to add much need pops of color and or print for spring/summer.

This pattern even has a built-in swayback adjustment line.  I've never seen that in a pattern before.  Nice pattern, BUT nothing's ever 100% perfect. I can tell by the model depiction on the envelope that this pattern as probably going to be cut much too low for my taste.  Leaving me looking down at my bra ALL DAY LONG, wondering if everyone else is looking there too.    I HATE THAT!  Now, how in the world do I fix that problem???  Enter Google to the rescue.  I visited the new to me Sew Everything Blog that spelled out two methods of pattern adjustments for raising a much too low cowl neckline.  I used method two because there was much less math to contend with.  Thank you Samina.

I made a wearable muslin to give this alteration a try and decreased the cowl depth by 1 1/2 inches bringing it up to a comfortable wearing position. 
I ended up with a 1/2" horizontal wrinkle at center front that I will need to work out if I decide to make it again.   Mmmmm undecided at this time.  This pattern does run on the large size.  I made size 16 and had to take in the side seams considerably.  I also lengthened 2 inches, but ended up cutting that amount off before hemming.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial on raising a cowl neck. I will definitely use this, and your top is lovely.

  2. Her method makes total sense to me. I just drafted a back cowl and my first attempt wasn't low enough. The difference between the shorter and deeper cowl, was the width across the fold line. The deeper cowl was much wider, and as you can see in the deep cowl and the one she's shortened is how much narrower it is at the fold line.This is a really easy way to make it shallower and no real math involved makes it very attractive!

  3. That is such a great pattern, and your top looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  4. Love your top, the fabric is great ~ just read another post from Sharon at Petite and Sewing who also raised her cowl line like you ~ none of us like flashing all day long at work ... J

  5. Anonymous5/06/2014

    Thank you for mentioning my post, Faye! I, too, love cowl necklines. Your wearable muslin looks lovely by itself. Waiting to see what the "real" fabric will look like -- Samina

  6. I like the top you made. It's good to know that there are methods for raising a cowl neckline other than just sticking an insert into the top (which rather ruins the point of the cowl neck, doesn't it?). I may be able to start sewing again in June - this year has been so difficult with my husband's surgery and recovery, and May is shaping up to be a really busy month for this family. So, June and summer dresses are looking hopeful to me.

  7. Thank You for the tutorial on the cowl neck. I have never sewn a cowl neck before. I'm always scared to attempt it. But one of these days I will definitely try one. Your top looks beautiful.



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