I’m Obsessed With Cowl Necks II

Even though I didn’t have the use of “my sewing room” (a.k.a. the guest room) and went on a mini-vacation, I still made some clothes. I even used some stash fabric!

Right after the Burda cowl dress I needed to do something easy and straightforward. So I took out the (free) Eva dress pattern by Yourstylerocks again and set to work. It took only 1.5 meters of polyester ponte knit and about 4 hours to complete from cutting to hem finishing. Here’s me wearing it on New Year’s Eve:

Eva Dress II - December cowl dress II

Eva Dress II – December cowl dress II

I made it because I wanted to start wearing pretty stuff at home instead of just pyjamas or sweatpants. As I wrote the first time, it’s extremely comfortable to wear, thus perfectly fine for lounging. It’s also my favourite dress to wear when we have guests as it looks quite put together. And I just love the colour! PB calls it my colour, as I wear it all the time (even if I’m a summer and not supposed to wear turquoise). Some more detailed photos:

Eva Dress II - The way I wear it for loungeing

Eva Dress II – The way I wear it for lounging

Eva dress II - back view

Eva dress II – back view

In just one week we are leaving for Los Angeles (for 3 months! Eeek!) and this will be my flying outfit. Comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle.

Then, after we came back from Switzerland, I made some layering pieces, as they were lacking from my closet. I had seen the Nina cardigan pattern at StyleArc and it looked exactly like a cardigan I loved but that had shrunk in the laundry. It’s described by StyleArc as a “waterfall front cardigan”. So no surprises I loved that one, as in German a cowl neck is called “Wasserfallausschnitt”, which means waterfall collar…

I had this polyester knit in my stash, and like every sewist I seriously need to stash bust. It’s close to what the pattern suggests (they provided a fabric swatch with the pattern, how cool is that?). So here’s my first StyleArc Nina cardigan:

Nina Cardigan I - wearable muslin

StyleArc Nina Cardigan I

StyleArc Nina Cardigan I - back view

StyleArc Nina Cardigan I – back view

StyleArc Nina Cardigan I - back detail

StyleArc Nina Cardigan I – back detail

On this first version I left the edges raw, since the fabric doesn’t fray. As a reviewer on Patternreview noted, it’s an easy and instantly gratifying project (provided you have done similar things before). The pattern istructions are very minimal, but rather helpful, as I found out the second time around. See that non-matching seam in the detail shot? I wanted to avoid this in the second version, so changed the order of sewing. Big mistake, as it took a lot of fiddling to put it together the way I did. And in the end the seams didn’t meet up either, as you can see from this detail shot:

StyleArc Nina Cardigan II - back detail

StyleArc Nina Cardigan II – back detail

StyleArc Nina Cardigan II - front view

StyleArc Nina Cardigan II – front view

This one is made in the same ponte knit as the above Eva dress, but obviously in red. I overlocked the edges this time, as I had perfectly matching thread that I never use. The cardi goes great with all the grey office dresses I have in my wardrobe. I just love how it falls and the compliments I got when I wore it the other night.

17 thoughts on “I’m Obsessed With Cowl Necks II

  1. You had me at ‘cowl neck’….but then the back pleat detail of the dress had me swooning! So pleased to learn of Yourstylerocks! Your waterfall cardi’s are wonderful, great colours.


  2. That dress is lovely on you! It looks elegant and comfortable, and I love it with the long sleeves undernearth.

    Where in Los Angeles will you be staying? A group of friends has just started sewing meet-ups on the Westside. And have you planned your trips to the Fabric District yet?!


    • Thank you very much!

      We’ll be staying in Venice, but my PB will be working at UCLA, so sewing meet-ups on the Westside sound very interesting! Having sewing buddies would make me extremely happy!
      We’ll not rent a car, so I’ll have to see how to get to the Fabric District, but I was secretly dreaming and scheming about going…


      • If the sewing group does a downtown trip we will definitely figure out carpools. As for myself, I am just east of Venice. Would you like to get together for a beer on the beach sometime?


  3. Good day! I know its been forever but I’d just like to ask if you stabilized the dress with interfacing like the instructions at Your Style Rocks says to? I really want to try it but am pretty apprehensive since fusible interfacing is difficult to find where I live.


    • Hi! As far as I remember I didn’t use interfacing in this version. The fabric only has horizontal stretch, so it wasn’t necessary. If you use a thinner or more stretchy fabric, I’d use interfacing, though. I don’t remember where the interfacing would go, though. If it only goes between the gathering and inner hip yoke, sew in interfacing would probably work quite well.


      • Thanks so much! Based on the instructions, it’s supposed to stabilize the neck and armholes but I’m hoping using the least stretchy and the thickest knit fabric I have would turn out well. I have a turquoise knit which looks pretty but would probably get distorted really easily based on this pattern.


      • For neckline and armhole stabilising you can also use clear elastic or petersham ribbon sewn to the seam allowance. Just make sure to test it on a scrap first! Also, staystitching the might help to prevent warping while sewing. But again, try on some scrap first.


      • I’ll try my best to find the elastic, but sewing supplies and ribbons here aren’t as complete as in other countries. Mostly we have the elastic, black or white that is used for waistbands. Perhaps using strips of the jersey like bias tape would work?


      • I don’t think that would provide enough stability (regular bias ribbon doesn’t) . I have seen some people use fabric selvedge strips instead of petersham ribbon. It will be a bit stiffer than the elastic, but the interfacing I usually use is not flexible at all, so that should be OK.


      • Is the fabric selvage strips used that of the jersey knit I’ll be using, or any fabric selvage strip sewn using a zigzag stitch on the seam allowance? I apologize, this is my first project using jersey knit.

        So basically, I would sew along the lines with a straight stitch, then zigzag on the seam allowance, then stabilize the neck and arm holes and finish the hems, is that right?


      • Thanks! It’s a really helpful site! I dug around, and she posted this tutorial: http://3hourspast.com/2012/05/13/pictutorial-knit-binding/ for knit hems which I believe should work on the neck and armholes of this particular dress, so I got super excited. I’ll give this pattern a go hopefully before my classes start up again. I’d like to thank you so much for your time. I hope your kid is all right? 😄


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