You should go make this top right now

Every fall, I keep hoping someone will come out with a really cool drapey cowlneck top that will give me something to do with the immense number of fall/winter knits I’ve accumulated.  By far and away my most-used pattern is the cowlneck top from Simplicity 3634, which I have used with various neckline variations and lengths probably a dozen times.  Truth be told, though, I’m getting  a little tired of this pattern, and— lacking the imagination to come up with something better myself— I keep hoping one of the pattern companies will do it for me.

Then this year Burda did:

(Burdastyle 11-2011-114)

It’s a wrap, but drapes like a cowl.  It’s tunic length, has a nifty back yoke cut as part of the fronts.  It’s designed with sleeves but looks great without them as well.  And it even comes with decent instructions, as the “sewing lesson” for the month.  I sent the picture to my sister to see what she thought and heard back within a few minutes:

AMAZING.  That is my IDEAL shirt.   Seriously.   Somewhere in Plato’s cave they are sitting around right now looking at shadows and imagining THIS SHIRT.

I’ve made four of them already.  One for me in black poly-lycra jersey, one for my sister in pale blue rayon jersey, one from a piece of very fine, sheer teal wool knit that I’ve been puzzling what to do with for years, and a sleeveless dress version that I’m hoping to wear for a long-anticipated “date-night” next month.  OK, the last two aren’t hemmed yet, but still.

A couple of quick notes: I took about an inch out of the torso based on holding the traced pattern up to myself in the mirror and noting where the arms ended and the hip began.  Seriously, Burda patterns always make me feel like a pygmy.  Also, the look and fit can vary a lot depending on how stretchy a fabric you use.  One that I cut as a “top” could probably be worn as a dress with thick enough leggings.  The pattern calls for “only fine knitted fabrics.”  Personally I liked the way it looked in somewhat less stretchy fabrics.

I’m thinking that four of these might be enough.  For now.  Although I could still see doing one more in a wide gray and black stripe:

(image from

Or maybe a bold geometric print.  Or another cozy wool.  Ahem.

If you don’t have the magazine you can still get the pattern here or here.

Then show me your version.  Or don’t, because then I will spend the entire year making copies of this one pattern.  And how would that make all those other patterns in my stash feel?