Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Make It Work Mini-Cowl

This is sort of my default signature style piece, because it is totally the kind of thing I always like to wear and make, but I didn't set out to make it for Signature Style Week (that's the link you can follow to vote for me starting Friday!) Well, I sort of did, but I planned on making a whole outfit and really doing it right, and things just didn't happen that way.  But I did finish the top, and I do love it, and here's why it's a signature piece for me:

-I like to buy fabric that grabs my attention, without really knowing what I might use it for.  I loved this printed knit when I saw it online at Girl Charlee, but I'm really bad at interpreting the information they give about knits, so I didn't really know what the fabric would be like.  I also never remember to pay attention to print scale when ordering online, so that was a guess too.  Since I didn't know what I was going to use it for, I only ordered a yard, thinking I'd probably do something for the girl.  But I really loved this soft, slinky knit when it arrived, and I wanted to keep it all for myself.

Ah, yes.  How I love to gaze out the window and ruminate.

-I decided that what I really wanted to make was a long-sleeved cowl neck top.  But I only had a yard of this fabric, and I didn't like the idea of adding in any solid fabrics.  I am really picky about length--I like my tops to be longer than average, and my sleeves as well.  I drafted my pattern and cut the bodice and sleeves out first (verrry verrrry carefully to maximize the fabric).  I cut the sleeves short on purpose to leave some bigger pieces for the cowl, and made wide cuffs from scraps to get the length I wanted. I thought I'd figure out how big I could make my cowl when I knew how much I'd have left over.

I thought the slight v in the back of the cowl was cool, but looking at it here
it seems maybe a bit strange?
Well, it turned out I had barely any scraps left for the cowl.  This skinny little baby cowl is pieced together from literally 5 scraps of fabric.  You really can't tell unless you are looking for it, because I was very tricky in hiding my seams on the underside, but it was definitely a puzzle.  And I ended up doing some sort of impromptu french seams when attaching the cowl (can I even call it that?  It barely folds over...) because I wasn't sure where the seams would show when everything flopped around a bit.

One little yard, you guys!
-So, the style of this top is really me.  A fun print in my favorite colors, a comfortable knit with some special details, and with extra length in the bodice and sleeves.

And bonus points that I can wear it with my favorite cardigan!

I didn't make the cardi.  I have tried to recreate it to no avail.
I'm not gonna lie, there are some really amazing sew-along submissions this week in the Signature Style category.  If you want to go ahead and vote for me anyway because you love me, that would be cool (I'm #50), or you can vote for someone else who went all out!  But I do have to let you know, I came in tied for 4th last week, only away from 1st place by 6 you could make the difference!

Also, if you haven't been following along, you should definitely check out the final week of the REAL Project Sewn competition--voting for the remaining three talented ladies ends on Thursday, I believe!


  1. Love the bright colors!! Great top!

  2. I also love a long length and longer sleeves, I normally have to alter patterns to make it longer! I love this fabric and it looks great!


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