Friday, August 20, 2010

Over t-shirt vest with cowl neck

Just finished a blue over-t-shirt vest for spring/autumn. Its made from a gossamer thin knit from Global Fabrics in Wellington (the entire vest folds up in my palm). I designed the pattern myself after reading Cal Patch´s wonderful book Design it Yourself: Patternmaking Simplified. Its basically the tshirt pattern which you draw up from p 58. I did a scoop neck on it, and then a cowl collar. I wanted something different for the hemline, so I did a satin stitch hemline, which creates the wobbly effect at the hem.

I think cowls are mainly made by either adding lots of extra fabric to the neckline (bit like a peasant shirt) & then extending the neckline to create a cowl, or by having an ordinary tshirt and collar & adding a cowl collar. I did the latter because I wanted a fitted garment, without lots of extra fabric draping under then neck/bust. I´ve seen the former kind around where the garment has been given a cowl neckline by adding fabric to the neckline then made more fitted by taking it away again at the sides, and that seemed to create lots of pulling on the torso of the garment to me (just not what I wanted, although I´m sure lots of people have made super garments doing that).

My cowl is 52cm along the inner neckline (because I did a low scoop neckline on the tshirt), 90cm on the outer neckline, and 10 inches width. I think this turned out OK, but if I did ever make one again, I would make the outer neckline more like 80cm. I wanted an oversize cowl, but I also like it to be sort of ruffly (as opposed to flat sitting) and the cowl I made was borderline in this regard.
Although this cowl isn´t heavy due to the fabric, I used straight stitch (as opposed to a stretch stitch) along the neckline. Inside, I also turned under the edges of the seam and sewed them under to create more strength along that inner neckline seam (where the cowl joins the tshirt).

In my post-pregnancy state, it took me quite some time to figure the whole cowl business out. Here are my hastily written ¨notes to self¨in case I make another one sometime. They are probably illegible and cryptic, but I thought I´d post them anyway (if it saves just one other woman enough time to have a chocolate bar, then its been worth it), so if anyone in internet-land wants any clarification, just ask. I´m not a professional dressmaker, so no promises of correctness! I´m sure someone a ¨few notches¨ better in the sewing world could explain it better and more correctly ;o)

Beach at Porangahau, North Island, New Zealand

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