Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cowl Collar Improved

The patterns with cowl collars leave a lot ot be desired, IMO. The collars never look or behave like those in RTW (Ready to Wear).

A few years ago, using a RTW cowl neck collar sweater, I drafted what I think is a much better collar.My version requires two seams however.

Here is my cowl collar lesson told with photos.I used Vogue 8597.

FirstI measured the back neck from Center Back (CB) to shoulder seam The back neck was 4 3/4".To this I added a seam of 5/8"for a total of 5 3/8" ( Of course this is only a half of the back neck line).

2.Next, I measured the front neckline from Center Front (CF)to the shoulder seam. The front neck was 8" +5/8" seam allowance (SA)

I decided I wanted the collar to be 7" deep so this is the piece for the front collar. It measures 8 5/8" by 14" (that's twice the 7" as the collar is doubled.)This will be cut on the fold for a total width of 17 1/4".

To make the collar fold and roll down nicely,this is what the back piece looks like.

The bottom measures 5 3/8". I added about 2" to this measurement as you can see in the photo and this is what makes all the difference from the regular rectangular shape that was in the pattern. ( I wanted to show you this pattern piece but I can't find it but that's Ok because my method works so much better). So the width at the top of the collar is now 7 3/8 ". The piece is cut on the fold for a total of 15".

Because the slanted line is longer than 7",I cut off a bit at the bottom so the front and back collar pieces would be even.

Here is a look at the two pieces together.

Here is the collar sewn and folded.

And here is the finished top.

I do hope this helps someone else achieve a great cowl collar!

Happy Sewing !


  1. This is a fabulous tutorial, thank you. I'm going to use this method for V8634.

  2. It must be kismet! I was furiously searching yesterday for a pattern to add a cowl to a scoop neck raglan tunic... and poof! Thank you, Fairygodmother!

  3. Thanks for this fantastic tutorial! I just bought some soft jersey knit, and was wondering how to jazz up the neckline when I found your page. It worked great!

  4. This is the second time I have used this tutorial to make a better cowl collar for my tops. Thank you, Diana. I can't wait to show you.