Exaggeratedly-oversized scarves have been gaining attention over the past few winters for both functional and aesthetic reasons, while at the same time, cowl necklines have become more and more popular because of their flattering drape. For those living in northern climates, a little creativity in combining the two can offer a cozy place to tuck your nose on windy winter days, while minimizing the combined weight of the fabric you carry around all day.
As an Edmontonian, I’m an expert in bundling up. Although I love layering, I can get pretty exasperated when I come inside from being out in the cold, and start sweating as I try to peel off all my layers of garments that have me feeling like I’m packed tight like a stuffed sausage. A few winters ago, I decided to make this process more efficient for myself: I made a fitted hoodie that has an extra-long hood base, which serves as a cute cowl when it’s down, and serious, structured winter protection without the additional bulk of a scarf when I pull it up. It’s so easy that once I finished making two for myself, I helped my sister Emily (pictured here) make one for herself!
To make this exaggerated cowl hoodie, trace the edges of another nicely-fitting sweater you have, then add seam allowances (5/8” or 1.5cm) and sew the sides, shoulders, sleeves, and cuffs. For the hood pieces, cut two of this pattern on the fold — this will give you a lining for your hood, as well as add a little extra warmth and structure so your cowl will stay up when you want it to. Sew each piece together, right sides together, along the centre back seam (i.e., the curved seam that will sit on top of your head). Then, nest one hood piece inside of the other, right sides together, and sew around the face opening. Topstitch 3/8” (1cm) away from the face edge. Finally, nest the hood inside your sweater body, lining up the base of the hood with the neckline, and the centre front and back of the hood with that of the sweater, and sew all the way around. Then, snuggle in!