Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sewing: City Cowl (Tutorial)

This "City Cowl" is one of the cowls I made for luvinthemommyhood's "Comfy Sews vs. Cozy Knits" boxing match. If you read the post you already know I couldn't decide between the two so I decided to do both! See here for a few ways you can use this soft and sleek cowl and if you want to sew one for yourself click below to see the tutorial.

City Cowl Materials:
--1 yard zebra (or some other animal...) printed velboa
--coordinating thread
that's it!

**PLEASE NOTE**: After much trial and error trying to figure out what should have been a simple little project I figured out the counter-intuitive, but necessary, method for sewing this double-sided cowl. But then I did the tutorial all wrong(!) because somehow I was still hanging onto the idea of the way it seemed to me it should have worked. So the following tutorial is updated/correct using a combination of  photos with a small scale "model" and the real deal--the velboa cowl.**

1.  To begin, cut two pieces of velboa 18" long/high and 41 inches wide. (This makes a very generously sized cowl because I wanted the option of pulling it over my head too; you could make it narrower--just make sure you can pull it comfortably over your head as it's not all that stretchy.)

2. Pin the two pieces right sides together along the long ends and stitch per the photo below (shown in scrap fabric/small model for illustration purposes):

You have just sewn a hollow tube shape:

3. Now you will turn the tube of fabric inside itself, right sides together, like so (shown in my scrap/small model and the velboa fabric):

4.  Align the seams you stitched in step 1, and pin together along the top edges so you are sewing right sideas together and forming another hollow tube (this one is shorter than the original since you have folded it on itself). Stitch, leaving a four inch opening in the seam for turning the cowl right side out. (I am showing a photo of the small/scrap model.)

(I tried putting this cowl together a number of ways and though this seems strange this method was the easiest for me. It was a bit counter-intuitive constructing this without any seams showing...I ended up with a really tall skinny tube instead of the shorter wide tube I wanted. Still can't figure it out in my head, let me know if you can!)

5. Now pull the cowl right side out through the hole you left in the end seam.

(Here's how it looks in the small/scrap model)

6. Pinch the ripped seam together and top stitch very close to the edge to close.


7. Now you have your cowl! I am showing the end seam, closed shut, which you can wear in the back (flip the end seam with the top-stitch close to the inside of the tube so it doesn't show at all.)

8. Final step is to top stitch the top and bottom seams you created in step 1. With topstitching the fabric lies flatter--sort of a flat tube. If you want to skip the top stitching it's a bit more free form, which is also fun.

Easy enough. Hope you enjoy it.


Sarah said...

That's beautiful!

Jim said...

Joann's has this fabric on sale right now :-) Sarah

My Mad World said...

Very nice!!!

Louisa said...

I love this idea. I'm adding it to my ever growing list of projects to make for Christmas gifts.

Cara said...

Love it! I'm having the same trouble with getting a tall and narrow tube. Any ideas? I reviewed everything several times. Before I turn it outside right it looks nice and wide but when I turn the rights side out it ends up being this tall narrow tube. Help?!

Anneliese said...

Oh horrors! this may have to be called the "Cursed Cowl" instead of the "City Cowl!" I am so sorry, but I just did a little test and in fact I posted this tutorial all wrong! It gave me such trouble and then I figured it out but must have waited a few days before writing it up and I had a mix of right and wrong photos, and well, I confused myself again and went with what seems logical and in fact this is the wrong way to put it together! I am updating/correcting this very minute! Please check back and thanks for asking or I would have never looked back and realized my error!

Cara said...

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I was just making a faux fur cowl and I was having the same problems!! It seemed so simple in my head and then I got to it and just couldn't figure out what was going on and how I kept getting the opposite shape I was going for! This does seem like the simplest way to do it, there must be something about the concept we just can't quite understand. Thanks for the post!

Ana - Barcelona (EspaƱa) said...

Super cool and great instructions.

I hope that you don't mind that I linked you in my blog.

Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Anonymous said...

This looks so warm and comfortable. I must try it!

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