Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sewing Workshop - Cowl Top

There was a brief respite this morning from last night's storm when I could grab a picture. It poured again after this was taken, and then was gorgeous the rest of the day, culminating in a beautiful sunset.

Shortly after returning to sewing almost 2 years ago, I tracked down several out of print (OOP) patterns that I'd read or heard good things about. This Sewing Workshop Cowl Top was one such pattern. I'd read that the cowl on this pattern is really great. And it is. The nice high cowl, and the relaxed sizing of the top, with the dropped shoulders, just screamed "snuggly loungewear" to me.

I am currently visiting a coastal town in northern CA and last night was one of the worst storms I've ever experienced. Finally, around 2:30am, I gave up trying to sleep and got up to sew. As I was winding the bobbin, the power went out. An hour later, the power came back on (much to my surprise as the storm was still raging), and I was still awake. I returned to my machine and finished this top, in fairly short order. It was so calming to sew as the 60+ mph winds played dice outside with deck chairs and barbecues.


  • Popcorn fleece from FabricMart. This looks like minky, but is not minky.

This pattern comes in Small-Medium-Large. The large is supposed to be a size 18 and is fairly generous. I cut out a size 18 with no alterations (such as an FBA) and it fit pretty well. My only other alterations are listed below.

Alterations and Construction Notes:

  • I wanted it to be more of a tunic, so I lengthened it by 2"
  • I finished the hem with side slits, which begin around the waist.
  • I shortened the sleeve by a couple inches and tapered it in at the wrist by about 2" (1" pinched).

I'm sure I will wear this to shreds. I just saw this pattern about a week ago on ebay, so it shows up from time to time.


  1. How cozy! Love the fabric. You'll enjoy wearing that cute top in cool weather, by a fire, maybe.

  2. That does look cosy. I must stay, if that was the worst storm you have been in, I can tell you didn't grow up in the midwest like I did. "Storm" is a relative term in California.

  3. LOVE that top! It looks entirely too yummy - does the fabric feel like minky too?

    And yes, 'storm' is a relative term here (I grew up in Montana, where it knows how to storm) but 60+ mph winds constitutes major scary storm in my book!

  4. Although the collar's interesting, I wouldn't have given this pattern a second look having seen the top tucked in, but lengthening it and making it such a cuddly fabric turns it into something really appealing!

    And how did you manage to make that bobbled fabric look so, well, chic-ish???

  5. Great style! Love the way the gentle folds at the underarm area echo the softly stacked layers of the cowl. Like the sophisticated texture of the popcorn fleece -- great choice. Glad you posted this review. I was reading one of your blog posts Friday night via Feeddler on my phone. I was interrupted before I finished, but I couldn't recall the name of your blog. I became frustrated as I searched without success. I subscribe to several sewing-themed blogs and can't always put the blog title together with its owner. I always enjoy seeing your amazing garments!

  6. Wow you really put that great bargain fabric to good use, Shams. I had been eyeballing it on the Fabric Mart site but it's not a great color for me. I absolutely love the look on you, both the style and the fabric. Comfy and stylish come to mind when I see you in that top.

  7. For many years, we had a weekend house at Sea Ranch, about 40 miles or so north of where you stayed. When you are right on the ocean like that, the storms really slam onshore. Quite dramatic!

  8. Very cozy for the wild weather you're having. I would never have selected that pattern from the envelope -- yours is much nicer. I really admire the way you can pick patterns that both suit you and turn out so beautifully.