14 April 2013

Vogue 8831 - Another Cowl Neck knit top

In my search to find cowl neck tops, I finally gave up on the 1 piece bodice.  Since I do not have the shape to fill such a bodice, it looks droopy and reveals way too much when I bend over.  Yikes!

This defeat came when I finished my 20th (it felt like it) cowl neck top that just did not work for my body.

Finding Vogue 8831 felt like an answer to several year's worth of wishes ... or it could have been a great cosmic joke.  However, after my first trial, I will report success with this pattern that has good "bones."

This will become my cowl neck shirt of choice once I iron out a few wrinkles (mostly in the back there).

Changes I made: dropped the bust point, shortened the length, and adjusted for sway back.

I like the upper back, but may need to take a deeper sway back adjustment.  I also need a bit more width across the back hip (some of that wrinkling).

I want to narrow the sleeve: which juts out rather than conforms to my shoulder area.  And I want to remove some excess at the armhole princess seam.

I'm going to call this a really great start to an entire wardrobe of cowl neck tops!  Yippee!  No longer do I worry about the view I'm giving others when I bend over ... this top is quite secure.

I used the blind hem stitch for the sleeve and hem, and was quite happy with the inherent stretch.  No more popped hems for me.  I do have double needles, and I even have overlocker that will coverstitch - but I'm usually unwilling to fiddle with all the necessary changes and adjustments.  No siree, blind hem works well for me!

And a closing picture of me with my girl, Skyla, she will be 13 this year.  :)


Maria said...

This top looks great - and the sway back adjustment has really worked well!
I wondered if you could tell me how you did it? I'm trying to make a Sorbetto top, and am really struggling to fix the sway back issue of pooling fabric at the bottom of my back. It looks like whatever way you did it seems to have worked, so any tips would be appreciated!
Thanks, Maria

Kira said...


The simplest way to perform the sway back adjustment is to pinch out the excess in a muslin (making a dart) and remove that from the pattern.

Make a centerback seam, and remember to add in the seam allowance.

Miss P has some good pics (and a drafted top that looks remarkably like the Sorbetto) at:

There are a variety of issues that can develop from a swayback adjustment - more hip room required, lengthen the centerback hem. For me, these are dependent on pattern, length, and fabric.

It it not uncommon for me to need two or three muslins before I finalize a pattern.

Please update me on your success!

Maria said...

Hi Kira,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I see what you mean about making a dart in my muslin and then removing that from the pattern, to get rid of the excess. Is that a horizontal dart, like in Miss P's post?

You then said about making a centreback seam - do I do that as well as pinching out the excess into a dart? Would that be just on my muslin or would the centre seam be in my final garment?

Sorry for these questions - I'm new to all this and I want to make sure I get it right! I think I will end up with a few muslins before I'm ready to cut into my final fabric - it's reassuring that you do that too.

I'll let you know how I get on (If I ever get the pattern right!)

Thanks, Maria

Kira said...


First off, there is no right in sewing (and most crafting, now that I think about it)! This is a hard "rule" for us rule followers to accept!

What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.

And you got it, a horizontal dart to pinch out the excess that is pooling at/near your waist. I've decided this adjustment is required due to either very straight posture, a forward tilting pelvis, or a combination of the two.

As a result, your dart may be narrow to wide, and it may be placed nearer to your waist or closer to your mid-back.

Most patterns are cut on the fold at center back, which does not follow the contours of the body (this is cheaper, faster, easier in the pattern drafting world). When you remove the dart for sway back adjustments, the result is a highly modified center back seam. (In my case, I usually remove up to 1.5" in depth at the centerback ... a "wicked" deep sway back adjustment!)

The next step is up to you. I create a center back seamline, since most of what I wear is fitted/semi-fitted.

Other people, such as Miss P, re-straighten the centerback seam to place it on the fold (and may or may not remove/transfer that added width at the side seam).

These later steps are so subjective, because they are based on how you feel in your pattern.

Sarai describes her Sorbetto as "swingy" so you get to decide how swingy you want it to be. :)

Clear as mud?