Knitting, Sewing

Cowl Madness

Hope you all had a fab Labor Day weekend!  I’m sure glad that we have the workers’ rights (an 8 hour workday, in particular) and celebrating with a nice 3-day weekend is nothing to sneeze at, either.  ;)

We spent the weekend grilling out, hitting a local food festival, cleaning up around the house and relaxing.  Well, kind of relaxing…I spent most of my downtime sewing and knitting.

Baltic Sea Stole
Obligatory knitting porn: Baltic Sea Stole worked in Sea Pearl by Briar Rose Fibers.

Knitting?  Yup, I do that, too.  Knitting domineered as my craft of choice for years before I really got back into sewing.  I tend to go pretty knitting-lite (or knitting-null) during the Summer, though – I mostly like to knit with wool and alpaca, which are not very heat and humidity friendly – who wants a bunch of wool sitting on their lap when it’s 80+?  Though, there was a time I worked with a lot of cottons, bamboos, and linen yarns for summery knitted garments, but IMO sewing really fits Summer clothing way more naturally than knitting does.

But, enough of that tangent for now.  May I present…the Vogue 1282 cowl tank, which is the first completed garment of my mini wardrobe:

Vogue 1282

DSCF3016DSCF3023Vogue 1282DSCF3026

This is actually the second one o’ these puppies that I whipped out this weekend. These little devils are fast, even if cutting them out made me want to skewer my eyeballs with hot pokers. This top is only one BIG piece (plus armhole bindings), and while I admire the Donna Karan/Vogue folks for their ingenuity of their design, it’s cumbersome to cut out.

See what I mean?

After years of pinning and then cutting, I now prefer to use a rotary cutter/mat and pattern weights. Unfortunately, I only have 24×36 and 18×24 cutting mats, neither of which would contain this monstrosity. I thought about getting one of those giant 36×60 puppies from JoAnn, but read some bad reviews online about the newer model they’re selling. Plus, I was naughty and bought a bunch of fabric (but at least I know exactly what I’m going to use it for!) So, I ended up with a combo of rotary and pinning/cutting with shears.

After getting the back and shoulders of my first cowl sewn, the back neck was sticking way out, which I’d seen as a common problem while going over reviews of 1282 on Pattern Review. To counteract this, I took out a good 2″ on either side of the top (4″ total!). It turned out a little funky just eyeballing it with the serger:


But, never fear…I smoothed the lines of that puppy out on the pattern:

Adjustments – 2″ triangles taken from CB necklines.

You’ll also notice that I raised the ‘pits. Those things were daaaaang low on my first top:

OMG bra peeking out. Bad tank!

So I raised them 1″ for the subsequent navy top. Unfortunately, that was too drastic of a move and the armholes ended up a big tight. If I make a third one of these, (doubtful, but never say never) I would split the difference – 1/2″ higher than the original armhole:

I’d also favor the tip of the bottom armhole toward the front of the top, based on what I removed from the CB

The top also calls for a weight to be sewn in so the drape hangs nicely. I followed the advice of grays08 and bought a pack of 1/4 ounce egg fishing sinkers. I had to sew each half of the pocket closed at a time, but I got it in there and was able to get it adequately sewn closed. If you decide to go this route, the only thing I’d like to caution is to make sure you are using steel sinkers, not lead. I don’t know about you, but I need all the brain cells I can retain.

And here’s how that first one ended up overall!

Vogue 1282
I feel like the armholes look long even from the front somehow!

While it was a 4-way stretch, it was just a bit too firm for this top. I could hold things in it while barely distorting it:


Overall thoughts on the 1282 top? Worth a try, but nothing to write home about.

Mini wardrobe: 1 down, 4 to go; 27 days remaining.


10 thoughts on “Cowl Madness”

  1. Yay for having 1 of 5 done! This is such a neat & unusual design. It looks great on you, and I can see how it would be a really versatile wardrobe item. Why are pattern necklines always so gapey? Grr. I think the armholes look perfect on the navy version.

    LOL @ the tennis ball test for knits.

    1. Thanks, m’dear! I have a confession – the armholes were TIGHT on the navy top. I kinda did the worst thing ever and tried just stretching them out eeeeever so slightly. Ok, that’s not true…I yanked on them. And they are not both completely whole anymore. But, it’s not super noticeable and I’ll wear it until it is. :P

      And yes, the tennis ball test is very important!!!

  2. I like this top – it suits you very much and your colour choices are fab. I wouldn’t have expected it to suit you given that you have a large bust (I mean that in a nice way) but it really does. I quite fancy giving it a go – just enough drape to make it interesting but not too fussy.

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