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DIY Top Cowl Neck Collar Sew Along: Effortless Elegance in Every Stitch (2024)

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diy top cowl neck collar sew alongYou’re about to create an elegant cowl neck top with effortless DIY flair.

Cut the collar, sleeves, and body pieces precisely along the grain.

Fold and stitch the collar, then attach it to the neckline with careful pinning.

Gather the sleeve caps.

Sew the sleeves and side seams, and press seams open.

For a clean hem, turn under the raw edge, fold again encasing it, pin, and stitch with a narrow zigzag.

Follow this DIY top cowl neck collar sew along diligently, and timeless sophistication will grace your wardrobe with every stitch.

Key Takeaways

  • Carefully cut the collar, sleeves, and body pieces along the grain for a precise fit
  • Sew the collar seam, press it open, and attach it to the neckline with pinning and stitching
  • Gather the sleeve caps, sew the sleeves and side seams, and press seams open
  • Turn under the raw edge of the hem, fold again encasing it, pin, and stitch with a narrow zigzag for a clean finish

Preparing the Fabric

Preparing the Fabric
Start by cutting out the cowl neck collar piece according to your pattern instructions. Next, cut the sleeves and body pieces, making sure to follow the grain line and layout carefully.

Cutting the Cowl Neck Collar

To create your cowl neck collar, start by cutting out the collar pattern piece.

Measure the length of your collar fabric and compare it to the pattern’s recommended length. Adjust the pattern if necessary to guarantee a perfect fit.

Next, determine the desired width of your collar. A good rule of thumb is 8-12 inches.

Cut your collar fabric to the adjusted length and desired width.

Fold the collar in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the short ends.

Turn the collar right side out and press.

Your cowl neck collar is now ready to be attached to the neckline. Get ready to add effortless elegance to your top!

Cutting the Sleeves and Body

Next, let’s cut the sleeves and body pieces.

Refer to your pattern for sleeve length, seam allowance, and fabric choice.

Cut two sleeve pieces, making sure the shoulder width matches your pattern.

For the body, cut the front and back pieces, incorporating any necessary darts.

When cutting the sleeves, be mindful of the fabric’s direction and any pattern matching.

For the body, align the pattern pieces to reduce waste and create a flattering fit.

Double-check that all pieces are cut precisely according to your pattern.

With the fabric pieces complete, we can proceed to creating the cowl neck collar.

Constructing the Cowl Neck Collar

Constructing the Cowl Neck Collar
Take the collar piece you’ve cut and pin the short ends together with right sides facing, forming a loop. Neatly stitch along the pinned edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, then press the seam open for a crisp finish.

Sewing the Collar Seam

Now that you’ve cut out your cowl neck collar pieces, it’s time to sew that seam! Grab your fabric and let’s get started. First, place the collar pieces right sides together. Pin along the raw edge, then stitch using a 1/2 seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end for durability.

  • Use a straight stitch for a crisp finish
  • Sew slowly around any curves for best results
  • Press the seam open once stitched
  • Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 for a clean look

With the collar seam sewn, you’re one step closer to rocking your new cowl neck top! Stay tuned for the next part where we’ll press that seam to perfection.

Pressing the Collar Seam

After sewing the collar seam, it’s time to press it for a crisp, professional finish. First, trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch for a clean look. Next, choose a pressing tool that fits the curve of your collar, like a tailor’s ham or sleeve roll. Gently press the seam open, using steam to set the stitches. Be careful not to stretch or distort the fabric. Finally, press the collar in half lengthwise to set the shape. With a well-pressed seam, your DIY top will have a polished, store-bought appearance. Keep pressing as you go for collar shaping perfection!

Pressing Tool Pressing Technique
Tailor’s Ham Press seam open
Sleeve Roll Use steam
Clapper Press in half

Attaching the Collar to the Neckline

Attaching the Collar to the Neckline
With the collar seam complete, carefully pin the cowl collar to the neckline of your top, ensuring the curves align. Once pinned securely, stitch the collar to the neckline with your machine, using a stretch or zigzag stitch to allow for movement.

Pinning the Collar to the Neckline

With your collar pieces ready, grab the front and back bodice pieces.

Lay the front bodice right-side up. Arrange the collar over the neckline, aligning the raw edges and matching the center front and center back notches.

Carefully pin the collar to the neckline, centering it evenly around the neckline and gradually distributing the collar length for an asymmetrical appearance.

Make sure the pins are perpendicular to the raw edges.

Finish by basting the collar to the neckline using a long straight stitch.

This step necessitates precision to attain a flattering cowl drape.

Stitching the Collar to the Neckline

With the collar affixed to the neckline, it’s time to permanently sew it into place.

Verify that the fabric strip lies smoothly and the overlap remains in its intended position.

Employ a stretch stitch or a narrow zigzag to allow for comfortable movement of the neckline. Stitch gradually, easing the curved areas, and turn at corners for sharp edges.

For a stylish contrast, contemplate using a decorative stretch stitch in a coordinating thread color.

If desired, a slender elastic band can be incorporated for gentle gathering.

Bear in mind that the collar establishes the style – so customize with plunging necklines, uneven overlaps, or striking cowl necks to match your personal style.

Sewing the Sleeves and Side Seams

Sewing the Sleeves and Side Seams
For the sleeves, start by gathering the sleeve cap using a basting stitch and your desired gathering technique. Next, sew the sleeve seam by aligning the gathered cap with the armhole edge, pinning in place, and stitching with the appropriate seam allowance.

To construct the garment body, simply pin the front and back pieces right sides together at the side seams. Stitch these seams using a straight stitch, ensuring that the raw edges are neatly enclosed.

Gathering the Sleeve Cap

It’s time to wrangle those sleeve caps! Gather the fullness carefully using 1) pins, 2) basting, 3) easing stitches, or 4) a gather foot. Distribute the ease evenly, adjusting for a fitted or loose fit. Pro tip: Make a muslin for tricky fabrics or sleeves. Choose stretch needles for knits and silks – they handle fuller caps beautifully.

Stitching the Sleeve Seam

Stitch the sleeve seam using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and a 2.5 stitch length. Use a size 80/12 needle and matching thread. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Press the seam allowances toward the sleeve. Topstitch 1/8 inch from the seam on the right side for a professional finish. Adjust stitch length and tension as needed for your fabric and body proportions.

Stitching the Side Seams

With the sleeves sewn, it’s time to tackle the side seams. Align the side seams, right sides together. Stitch from the underarm to the hem, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press the seams open. For a sweatshirt-like look, add a drawstring at the hem. Finish your Rickey Jacket with a deep neckline and asymmetrical collar for effortless elegance.

Hemming the Top

Hemming the Top
To complete your DIY cowl neck top, turn under the hem allowance to the wrong side of the fabric. Once the hem is turned and pinned, carefully stitch around the entire bottom edge using a stretch stitch or stretch needle to preserve the garment’s flexibility.

Turning Under the Hem Allowance

Now that you’ve gathered the sleeve and side seams, it’s time to turn under the hem allowance.

Start by folding the raw edge of the fabric to the wrong side, creating a neat, even fold.

You can use a bias binding, rolled hem, blind hem, french seam, or hong kong finish to finish the edge.

If you’re using a bias binding, simply pin it in place and stitch.

For a rolled hem, gently roll the fabric as you stitch.

A blind hem is perfect for a clean finish.

A french seam or hong kong finish adds a professional touch.

Choose the method that suits your fabric best and get ready to stitch that hem!

Stitching the Hem

Now it’s time to stitch that hem and complete your chic cowl neck top! First, determine your desired hem width – a classic 1-inch hem works well. Fold the raw edge up by that measurement and press. Fold it up again, encasing the raw edge, and press once more. Pin the hem in place.

Set your sewing machine to a narrow zigzag stitch. Stitch along the inner fold, catching just a thread or two of the fabric. This stretchy stitch allows the hem to move with the fabric. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Press the hem one last time. You’re all set to rock your new top!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I choose the right fabric for my cowl neck?

Sure, you may be tempted to grab any fabric, but choose one with good drape and stretch like a rayon knit or bamboo jersey. Test the fabric recovery to avoid a saggy neck!

What is the best way to finish the raw edges of the collar?

To neatly finish the collar’s raw edges, fold and press the fabric inwards, enclosing the raw edge. You can also bind it with bias tape or serge the raw edges for a professional look.

Can I use a serger to attach the collar to the neckline?

A serger makes attaching the collar a breeze. It neatly encloses the raw edges, plus its differential feed evenly stretches the collar for a perfect fit. Just serge slowly around curves for best results.

How do I ensure the cowl drapes nicely without adding bulk?

For an elegant cowl drape, you’ll want to…cut on the bias for seamless movement. But be cautious – bias edges can stretch, so handle with care. A stabilizer may assist in managing unruly fabric, ensuring a refined yet flowing finish.

Is it possible to add a zipper or buttons to the cowl?

A zipper or button placket can transform the drape into a stylish, structured neckline. Simply leave an opening along the collar edge and add a zipper, buttons, or snaps for a fresh, versatile look.


Remarkably, over 60% of women favor DIY fashion projects as their artistic outlet. By carefully following this diy top cowl neck collar sew along guide, you’ll attain expertise in crafting an elegant wardrobe staple. Delight in the fulfillment of donning a handmade creation infused with your individual style and enduring sophistication.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.