Things to Make with Less than 1 Yard – McCalls 6963 Cowl Neck Top

Carrying on with my “things you can make with less than a yard”, here’s a great top. McCalls 6963 by Palmer/Pletsch

The sleeveless version in size 12/14 takes a little less than a yard

Here’s another pattern for a top that uses just about a yard of fabric. According to the pattern envelope, View A (which I made) takes 1 1/8 yards. But I was able to fit it on a yard of jersey with leftovers.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ TOPS: Close-fitting, pullover tops have draped front neckline variations, narrow hem on back neckline, and stitched hems. A: armhole bands. I made View A, the sleeveless version.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a size 12, grading out to 14 at the waist… sigh.

Fabric Used: Super Soft Rayon Jersey in Foggy Sunshine from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course)

Machines and Tools Used: Juki home serger for most of the construction, Bernina for the finishing.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle. A scrap of weft interfacing to stabilize the shoulders. Thread. Steam-a-Seam on the hem.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix. Trim Your Knit Selvages Before Cutting Your Pattern

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were very good. The Palmer-Pletsch patterns have tons of instructions and fitting lines for getting the fit you want, which is really nice. In the version that I bought (today at the $0.99 sale at JoAnn) there was a very small error. There are seven pages of instructions (lots about fitting, as I said), but one page said “Page 2 of 8”
Okay, that’s totally minor, but just in case it makes anyone look twice, know that there are only 7 pages of instruction.

Construction Notes: I made my FBA on a size 12, then I graded up to a 14 at the waist, back to a 12 at the hip. I used my serger for all the seams and I used a .1 mm zigzag to finish all the hems and the topstitching at the armholes. I used Steam-a-Seam on the hem. I’m not sure if the one I used (it wasn’t the Lite version) is too heavy or I just don’t get how to apply it correctly, but I’m not totally thrilled with it. As you can see from the finished pictures, it’s wavy.

I also did a slight swayback adjustment, using the markings on the pattern.

Likes/Dislikes: I really like that this pattern is drafted so it doesn’t sit too low on the armhole (a big complaint with many patterns)

This is a great pattern for using up a yard or so of fabric. On the pattern envelope, View A calls for 1 1/8 yards, but I didn’t need that much. 1 yard worked fine.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes I will definitely make it again and I recommend it.

Conclusion: This is a great pattern that will work well as a wardrobe builder. Here are the front and back views on Shelley – wavy hems and all:

Front, with wavy hem

And this is why I usually hand-hem my tops.

So all kidding aside, I’ll probably cut off the hems and re-do them so they aren’t wavy. Other than that, this is a winner!

7 thoughts on “Things to Make with Less than 1 Yard – McCalls 6963 Cowl Neck Top”

  1. Holly says:

    I don’t think you’ve ever made anything that I didn’t love. You give me so much motivation to keep sewing and try new patterns.

  2. Rae says:

    Thanks for the pattern review. I’m working on this as a teach myself knits project. It is a super easy pattern, but I am having a hard time with the arm hole bands. I think it is part me, part my mechanical machine. Once I get that under control, I will use this for work basics.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Rae, one of the tricks to making the armhole bands successful is to press the trimmed SAs toward the band, and topstitch. It makes a huge difference.

  3. Mary says:

    Have you tried any of Emma Seabrooke’s tapes? I love them for knits. No more wavy hems!

  4. Diane says:

    I love this pattern. I have made the long sleeved version. If you use knit and stable hemming tape, you won’t get the wavy hem. Just press it on, and then it folds up nicely and no waves. I would love to make it in a woven but don’t know how to adapt the pattern for that. Any tips on that?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      You might be able to use a loose-weave woven if you cut it on the bias, but I don’t think that would be terribly successful, Diane. And thanks for the tip about the hemming tape. Not long after I made this top I was introduced to Sew Keasey tapes, and yes, they are great for solving the hemming issue!

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