Pattern Review: McCalls 6963 Cowl Neck Top

I made the sleeveless version of this last summer, as part of the One Yard Wonders series. This weekend I decided to try the sleeved version, so here you go!

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pullover tops have draped front neckline variations, narrow hem on back neckline, and stitched hems. A: armhole bands.
I made View A/B body with View D sleeves.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a size 12

Fabric Used: Walk in the Woods Smooth Faced Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (we’re running a 20% off Blizzard sale, right now, BTW). I had a lot left over from my Lorax DVF wrap dress, thanks to a laundry mishap with the first piece of fabric (I love my sons, and I really appreciate that they tried to be helpful and did laundry but they need to learn a couple of things about new denim and dye-bleed), so I was able to make a long sleeve shirt. Bonus!

Machines and Tools Used: Juki home serger, Pfaff home sewing machine, Naomi the Naomoto, sleeve board, shoulder press.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 70/10 needle, a couple of scraps of interfacing for stabilizing the shoulders, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Sewing With Knits(GFUniversity video).

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

How were the instructions? I didn’t use them this time.

Construction Notes: I made a size 12, but it’s pretty big through the shoulders. I could easily go down to a 10 and do a FBA.

A couple of notes about the sleeves that you should know if you decide to make this version. They are LONG. Really long. I have average length arms. In Vogue patterns I routinely shorten sleeves by an inch. These are about 2 inches too long for me, so be sure to check the length and adjust accordingly. Shame on me for not doing that beforehand, but I cut them down after the fact. You can see the length in the pictures below.

Also, the sleeves are pretty tightly drafted. The biceps measurement for the size 12 is 12 inches. So you may need to give yourself some ease in your upper arm.

Likes/Dislikes: This pattern has good bones, and the fitting instructions are quite thorough. I’m not crazy about how large the shoulders are on McCalls patterns of late, but that’s something I can work around pretty readily.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I doubt I’ll do it again. I have Paco Peralta’s version coming to me, so that will be the next cowl neck top I make. But this is a good basic and I do recommend it. Here are some pictures on Shelley:

You can see how long those sleeves are


Parting Shot – Snowstorm! You may have heard that we are rather socked in here in the Northeast. I think the storm is over in NY and out in the western parts of New England, but closer to the coast we’re still getting bands of snow. This is the view from my sewing room window.
The roof of the addition to our house is about 9 inches below the sill. That’s a solid 2.5 feet of snow

So if you are in the path of this storm, please stay inside and be safe!

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Gorgeous Fabrics

I own an online fabric store, www.GorgeousFabrics.com. The name says it all!

4 thoughts on “Pattern Review: McCalls 6963 Cowl Neck Top”

  1. The top is lovely! How deep does the neckline fall? I love how this drapes, however, I work for the church so can’t have even a hint of cleavage showing (and those cami-magic things are awful). Every pattern I have purchased ends up being cut too low.

    1. On me, it falls to just above my bra band at the center front. There’s no cleavage showing, but it might not pass your test. HOWEVER! Good news with this pattern is that the other front piece (Views C&D) are higher cut, so that would probably work well for you, Eva.

  2. I bought this pattern based on your review last summer. I’ve made view C twice, and tweaked it once to use a too-small piece of knit remnant on bottom and lace knit on top. The neckline on those fall about 2-3 inches below the base of my throat – totally work & church safe I would think.

    I agree this pattern is well drafted to sew up easily, and the fitting instructions are good (saved me from having to haul out a book). I didn’t notice the shoulders being a bit large, but do agree about the sleeve fit in upper arms. I’m glad to know that if I do make a long sleeve version, I may not have to add length.

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