On Friday morning I awoke with visions of Vogue 1250 plus sleeves dancing in my head. In case you’ve not noticed, Vogue 1250 is the wildly popular sleeveless knit dress with a cowl that sewing bloggers have been working overtime this year. To move the trend into fall, several have added sleeves. (Vogue should take note.) Here’s Art Attack’s method and Debbie’s. All I had to do was choose one and copy.
My own copy of Vogue 1250 had been resting in a project box along with a likely-looking knit print while I did other things. (Frankly I was worried that the dress would get stuck on my wedding cake and not hang smoothly. And, as I eschew shapewear, there would be no help for it.)
Musing over the pattern brought me to the realization that I already had a knit dress pattern that fit the way I like–that is, fitted with a natural shoulder line–with usable sleeves. That would be McCall’s 6355, which I’ve made twice this year. The only thing that pattern lacks is a suitable cowl neckline.
All weekend I worked on cutting other garments–which I’ll tell you about another day, allowing the idea of adding a cowl neckline to my TNT dress pattern to percolate in the back of my mind.
I could simply add a large floppy turtleneck-style cowl to my existing dress. That would be easy and would give me some coverage on the back of my neck, unlike Vogue 1250. But it occurred to me that there was another pattern with a cowl neckline that I admired. That one–The Sewing Workshop’s new Stella & Luna Tops–has an inset cowl.
I’ve never actually sewn (or seen) an inset cowl, but I couldn’t let that stop me now could I?
Aided by some drafting books, I traced my TNT, adding the collar in back and traced off the inset shape I wanted to use:
To get a big floppy cowl for the inset area, I laid the inset piece on a folded piece of tracing paper and simply pulled the top edge outward a few inches leaving the bottom in the same place. Then I trimmed off the top of the resulting piece so that I could cut it on the fold.
I muslined it in some of that floppy rayon lycra that everyone has and no one likes. I also tried out the sleeve while I was at it. No surprise that the fabric was totally inappropriate for this pattern, which seems to work better with a more stable knit.
It’s fine for a first attempt, but I don’t like the collar seams at the sides of the neckline. Plus the back facing is weird, and it’s too high in front.
At this point I’m rethinking the inset–it really doesn’t hold much appeal now that I’ve seen (and sewn) it. I may go back to the big floppy turtleneck-style cowl and call it a day. Since I’m not sure there are any more unloved knits in my stash, I want at least a semi-pleasing garment out of my next try.