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Tips & Techniques > Add A Removable Cowl

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Posted by: Noile

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Member since: 7/3/04
Reviews written: 108
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Posted on: 8/13/05 1:53 PM
Last Updated: 11/11/06 10:28 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 7 people   
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I used this technique for my McCall's 4219 Tunic With Cowl (there's a review posted on this site). The picture's posted above. This particular cowl is very large -- it makes into a hood. However, the same attachment trick can be used for any similar collar -- even adding a turtleneck to a crew-neck shirt.

The collar connects with tiny elastic loops to small buttons sewn inside the neck edging.

You need:

-- 5 to 8 small, flat buttons
--1/8 inch elastic (I prefer flat elastic, but oval could work)

First, finish the neckline of the garment as usual. Then sew 5 or so very small buttons to the underside of the neck edge. When using 5, I tend to place them on each shoulder seam, one at the center back, and the remaining two spaced evenly on each side between the shoulder seams and the center back.

For a big cowl like the one in the picture, I don't put any buttons in the front, since the cowl will drape nicely and there's no need to attach it there.

Cut an elastic loop for each button. To determine the size, fit the loops to the buttons on the garment -- you want a snug fit, so that the collar won't unbutton, but not one so tight that it's impossible to get the collar on and off easily. The loops should not show below the lower edge of the collar.

Inside your collar, sew the elastic loops to the underside of the lower edge, along the hem. Attach these loops so that they are caught only at the upper (cut) edge of the elastic.

You want the loops themselves to "flap" so that the neckline of your garment slips under the lower edge of the cowl, with the loop reaching under the garment edge to the button. This gives you a smooth seam-line line where the cowl joins the garment.

If using a smaller collar, you'll probably want to add an additional 3 buttons to the front neckline of the garment, and corresponding elastic loops to your collar.

I really enjoy doubling my options like this -- I get a lot of extra use out of my garment with just one little trick!

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BjP said...
Great tip and well-written. I can see many uses for this! Thanks.
8/13/05 3:04 PM
Nancy Peters said...
I couldn't find a review for McCall's 4216 no matter what I put in the search engine. I like the idea however, and plan to use it. Thanks.
8/24/05 10:36 PM
MaryBeth said...
Here ya go, Nancy: This is a good trick! Thanks for the construction details, Noile.
8/27/05 9:44 PM
GoSewGirl said...
Very clever! And a good description of your process too. Thanks.
9/8/05 8:43 AM
Yvonnems said...
Is this an old pattern as I cannot seem to find it anywhere and it looks so cosy
9/8/05 10:04 AM
Tina Rathbone said...
Thanks for the tip. I just love your top; maybe it's the photo with the gorgeous wood hues behind the blue top (complementary colors and all :) ) but it looks so pretty. :)
9/8/05 12:44 PM
bheath said...
What a great tip! Thanks for sharing it!
9/8/05 1:07 PM
danielle Santos said...
where did you find this pattern? it seems that McCall's 4216 does not exist anymore??? i would love to find this, i have been looking for a cowl turtleneck pattern.
9/5/06 1:44 AM
Noile said...
Danielle -- Sorry I didn't see this sooner; I hope you see it. McCall's 4219 is the correct pattern number for the tunic -- it is OP. McCall's 4600 is the cowl pattern which I altered -- see my review of 4219. 4600 is also OP, but still available on the McCall's site. Hope this helps.
11/11/06 10:36 PM
barbcl said...
This is a great idea, and thank you for providing good instructions.
3/28/07 8:04 PM
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