Vogue 8831 – A long cowl for layering


I’ve always loved fall fashion…the chunky coats, the heavy sweaters, all perfect to wear with boots!  But I didn’t know what true love was until I found sweater knits. When it comes to cozying up for winter, they are the real deal.

Fall means layering pieces for me, and when I sew a base layer, I think monochromatic. That way, I can go crazy with additional layers, adding color and texture over that simple base piece.  The trickiest part with that base layer for me though, is making sure it’s not too bulky. I try to stay away from the chunkiest sweater knits. I don’t want to look like the Michelin Man (although, I’ll bet that guy is warm!!)


This ‘fifty shades of gray’ sweater is a base layering piece for me, cut from a cozy sweater knit that’s a bit of a mystery fabric. I found it languishing in my stash, hidden under a heavy piece of boiled wool that I’ve had for several years. What a great surprise! Since I’d all but forgotten about it, its appearance seemed magical, so I had to use it right away.

The pattern is Vogue  8831 (OOP but still available on-line. Vogue 9055 is similar), a close-fitting, pullover top and tunic with a draped collar, side front/side back seams and stitched hems. What’s great about this pattern is that it includes several cup sizes which means you can get the fit just right.


I varied the pattern as follows:

I cut the short sleeves from the same fabric as the bodice then added a lower sleeve in a solid fabric, basically making two piece long sleeves.

I added cuffs of contrasting ribbed knit.

I added a band of ribbed knit to the bottom.

I cut the collar from a solid knit.


Challenges? There were a few.  Matching stripes on princess seams is no picnic, especially when you’re working with a knit that wants to stretch when you touch it. I pinned and pinned and pinned, trying to make sure that stretchy knit didn’t shift. It turned out okay – – not perfect, but ripping seams out in a sweater knit is not easy.

In fact, this might be the biggest downside of sewing with sweater knit. Stitches get lost in the weave and you can’t ever find them again. And if you do find those stitches and try to take them out, you can easily rip up that fabric.  So….it’s best if you don’t make any mistakes (Ha, not happening in my world)!!!


After getting a bit angsty over the whole thing,  I finally decided to give up on perfectly matched stripes in order to keep that sweater knit intact.

I love my cozy sweater! Because it’s long, I’ll wear snug fitting pants and skirts with it to balance out the oversized look of the top.  And, I can easily layer this up a bit with a long vest, even a coat over that.

Have you sewn any cozy layers lately? If so, I’d love to check out your makes! Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by….

12 thoughts on “Vogue 8831 – A long cowl for layering

  1. Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! November 17, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Very nice! I like the piecing together you did. A useful garment too since the cold weather is coming. I have a knit fabric in my stash that I wish to use for a cardigan, but I haven’t made it yet. Someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes November 17, 2015 / 9:57 pm

      Thanks. Cowl necks are so cozy, buy easy to sew , a great combination. I’ll be watching for your sweater on your blog….maybe after designing December?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ellegeemakes November 17, 2015 / 11:10 pm

        Oh! Jungle January! Hilarious, of course. I’ll have to put that one on the calendar. Around here, you could still wear that cardigan in July.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. carmenross88 November 18, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    What is designing December? You’ve been rocking knits this season. I haven’t made anything I’d describe as cozy yet this fall/winter. I should get on that . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes November 18, 2015 / 12:49 pm

      Designing December is a month to create our own version of ‘designer’ garments. Linda of ‘Nice dress, thanks I made it’ hatched the idea. You must join us! I’m definitely hooked on knits right now…can’t seem to control myself…!


  3. mahlicadesigns November 20, 2015 / 11:53 am

    I really like the mix of fabrics you used and they all work well together. I’m woefully behind on winter makes, but the cold and chill are urging me on to add layering pieces to the wardrobe.


  4. mahlicadesigns November 20, 2015 / 11:55 am

    I really like the mix of fabrics and they work well together. I’m woefully behind on winter sewing, but the cold is urging me on toward adding layering pieces to my wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes November 20, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      Thanks! The weathers changed here too. There may be more layers in my sewing future


  5. Elizabeth Made This November 25, 2015 / 7:28 am

    Excellent cowl. Thinking about your Thanksgiving dress, a cowl like this seems perfect for Turkey day eating too. The piecing on the sleeve makes for some cool lines too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes November 25, 2015 / 7:45 am

      Thanks! The piecing was fun! This cowl could go to dinner but then I’d have to wear pants and that could be too ….constricting:) We will have three pies and I will be trying them all.


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