The One Hour Cowl tee

First of all, thank you so much for all your comments and suggestions regarding my draped jacket! The consensus seems to be a) try it with skinny trousers, and b) shorten the sleeves at the very least, but I definitely need to take some time away from it before I can contemplate working on it again.

I think you can also predict what came next – a quick knit top! This top was particularly medicinal because last Saturday I’d already sewn up Holly’s maternity coat muslin, then done a bunch of overtime work from home, cut more insulation on the boat, and I found myself about 4pm with a totally frazzled brain and not quite sure what to do with myself.

So I went with my gut instinct, and started tracing the MyImage cowl tee (M1152 from the Fall/Winter 2011 issue)!

This fabric was a gift from Marie-Christine when we visited her in Toulouse at Easter. It’s a viscose(?) jersey printed (or actually, bleached, since the reverse is black!) to look like lace! I’m not a big “prints” person in general, but I’m such a sucker for a trompe l’oeil print, and you already know my love of lace!

There was only 1 metre of this, though, so it’s a good thing it has 2-way stretch since I had to fit the sleeves on the cross grain! If this was just a crosswise-stretch fabric I don’t think I would’ve been able to fit it in…

This pattern really is the essence of simplicity – there’s only three pattern pieces (four if you count the back facing, but I just used a rectangle of fabric instead), and the title of this post is no exaggeration – from tracing to cutting to sewing to wearing it took me only an hour! This really was just the pick-me-up I needed after the long-running draped suit project…

It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a total lover of cowls, and as a result, I’m a total connoisseur of cowl necklines. There are high ones, low ones, floppy ones, revealing ones, and everything in between. I’d just like to state for the record that this is such a fantastic cowl – it’s got a perfect drape and plenty of facing on the front (though I was skeptical looking at the pattern pieces…) so the reverse of the fabric doesn’t ever show.

I love the fit of this top, too – it’s nice and slim through the waist and hips and the sleeves are just right – perfect slim fit without being tight, and exactly the right length to be just barely over my wrists!

I wore this out to a friend’s on Saturday night immediately after sewing it, and then again to the office on Monday, and it really is such a fabulous top. Someone recently reviewed it on PatternReview and had made it three times in rapid succession, and I can totally see more of these in my future wardrobe.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a really cool way to finish the neckline edge on patterns like this where there’s a facing on one side and a folded edge on the other (a few of you may have seen an incomplete draft of this I accidentally put live, but have no fear, it’ll make more sense tomorrow!).

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