100 Acts of Sewing July '19 - adding a cowl/hood to Shirt No 2

So it's stretch week this week and we're going to add a different look to Shirt No 2!

Shirt No 2 is an easy fit straight T-Shirt with a scoop neck.  It can be up or downsized for different looks and is a great basic.

But what about when the weather turns and you need something warm and cozy to pull up against your neck?

As usual, I decided to take some inspiration from my vintage pattern collection and came up with this gem!

It even has the iron on applique pattern (unused!) in the packet. I'll maybe save that for another day. 

I was inspired by option 2 with the long cowl/hood.   

In this instance, I made the shirt for Katie my marvelous Beyond Measure assistant.  We decided to go up a size for an easier fit to wear over clothes.  

I used the softest organic cotton jersey from Offset Warehouse

Now this is a really easy hack - it is actually even easier then applying a neckband. 

  • You will need an extra  half a yard or 50cm length of fabric for the cowl. 
  • Always use a needle, thread and stitch suitable for sewing knits/stretch fabric. 

Here's what to do:

I had the advantage of using the vintage pattern as a base to draw the neckline:

But you can do the following for something similar:

Trace off the Shirt No 2 front and back pieces but use the original Shirt No2 BACK neckline for both. 

For the new front neckline (using the back neckline of Shirt No 2 as a starting point) bring the centre point down about 3 inches and go out about half an inch on the shoulder. Re draw the neckline curve - it should be shallower and a tiny bit wider than the original back neckline.  This will reduce your shoulder a bit but don't worry. 

NB - this was for a size 3XL - for a smaller size you may need a shallower curve.

For the new back neckline, you don't need to change much - just re-draw the line about half an inch inside the original. Make sure your shoulder seams are the same width for front and back. 

Cut out your front and back pieces in fabric with the new neckline - use the original pattern for arm holes and sleeves. 

Now join your shoulder seams as per the Shirt No 2 instructions and then mark centre front and back of your neckline. 

Now using a tape measure standing on its edge, measure the curve of the front and back neckline without seams.  You'll need to measure about half an inch inwards, where you would be sewing you line of stitches.

Add the front and back neckline measurements together to get your total neckline.   This will be your cowl piece width. We are not going to add a seam allowance as the cowl needs to be about a tiny bit smaller then the neckline hole to get a slight stretch on insertion and a good clean finish

Mine came out about 27 inches (68cm) for the total neckline. 

Now calculate how deep you want the cowl - if you want to wear it as a hood it will need to be quite deep - at least 18 inches. Try measuring from your nape up and over your head plus add a bit for comfort to get an idea - you can always chop it down if it's too long. 

Cut out a rectangle for your cowl based on your calculations - in my case 

27 inches wide by 18 inches deep  (68cm x 46cm)

Fold the cowl in half wrong sides together matching the shorter side edges and then sew down the length of your seam with about a quarter inch seam allowance. You should end up with a tube.  Make sure it fits over your head!

Press the seam open or finish edges together if you like.  Mark the mid fold point of the cowl on one edge.  

Now with your shirt body pieces facing wrong side out and your cowl right side out, matching right sides together, insert the cowl into the neck of the garment, with the seam at the centre back and matching the marks at centre front.  Ease and pin your cowl into the neckline - focus on pinning it about half an inch in from the edge along the seamline.  

When you are happy that it is even, machine sew all around the neckline seam.  Finish the raw edges together with zig zag or overlock stitch and then press seams towards the cowl.  

You can topstitch the seams in place from the right sides for a neat finish too.
The above image shows the inside with the stitched seam, overlocked edges and top stitching on the wrong side. Below is the neckline from the outside.

Gently try it on for length.   You could leave the edge raw if your jersey is non fray or finish the edge with a double fold hem or some jersey binding.

Finish the sleeves, side seams and hem as per the instructions. 

Happy snuggling!  And enjoy this on you camping trips Katie!






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