Hot! The “Cogswell Cogs” Blouse

Pattern: Simplicity 2599

Year: Current

Fabric: 1 1/4 yds lightweight black cotton from stash

Notions: 13 cogs (or washer like things-) and 13 sew on rhinestones from stash

Time to complete: A couple of days to stress about not feeling the embellishment thing, one day to run crying to Tempest and for her to encourage me, and about 3 or 4 hrs to cut, sew, and embellish

First Worn: Sunday

Wear again?: probably not

Total Cost: $0

I’m not sure why this challenge was so difficult for me. I just couldn’t get it together in my head and these long, lazy summer days make me want to be lazy. They make me want to lay around and hang out with my son and watch TV. I have a dress that a friend gave me. It’s one of those big billowy chiffon numbers with a lot of gathering and a sequined swirly thing sewn across it. She said her mother-in-law wore it to her wedding. I took it apart and was going to make a light dress out of it and use the sequin thing to hide a small stain but I didn’t have the energy to piece the bodice together and I guess I felt like it was kind of a cop out. I am an over achiever and these low achieving days make me feel bad. Lucky for me Tempest reminded me that I am supposed to be having fun with these challenges and that even a small contribution is a contribution. So here it is-

I like the embellishment but I don’t like the top. I checked the neck to bust measurement and thought I needed to make my usual adjustment only to find that I was wrong. After sewing the darts and attaching the front and back I put it on and saw that the bust points were too low. I went ahead and brought them up but I’m still not happy with the fit. To make the collar I used the front and back facings. I cut 2 of the front piece and 4 of the back. I thought it might be better to have a wider collar so I extended it but in the end I wasn’t happy with that either. Honestly I’m just not used to such a plain looking top. It makes me feel a bit dowdy. I think if I’d had a little more fabric so that I could have made it a dress I would be happier with it. I had a hard time styling it too. I’m not in love with it with these jeans but it was the best I could do.

Here’s a close up of the embellishment-

I love shopping the hardware store for pieces to make jewelry out of. I made a necklace using these cogs, craft wire, and swarovski crystals. When I got bored of it I took it apart to use the crystals for another project. I love the way the cogs look with the wire and the rhinestones are perfect in the center of each one.

So here are the options as I see them. I can buy a little more of that fabric and attach it to the bottom to make it a cute little dress. I think I would make the collar narrower too. Or, I can make something I like better and remove the embellishment from the top to add it to that project. Either way it will most likely sit around for a while. What do you think? Maybe you have your own idea. If so-I’d be happy to hear it.

I got the title from the cartoon The Jetsons. I remember Cogswell Cogs looking like the hardware I used here. I’m probably wrong but it’s still a fun title.

I want to thank Tempest for pulling me across the finish line this week! Thank you Tempest!




Gina Clark is a girl from Texas living in the Midwest. She has been sewing most of her life but swears every few months that she is giving it up for good.


Comments are closed.

  1. I actually like it and wouldn’t call it plain. I think the embellishment sets it off just right. I found it eye catching. One mans meat is another mans poison and all that . . .

    • I’m glad you like it. I think if the blouse fit better it would have been all right. I think I need to get rid of this pattern though. It’s not doing much for me.

  2. It’s very clever and a great way to embellish…

  3. I really wouldn’t call this “plain”. The embellishment and the collar are totally great. Very clever idea! How did you attach the cogs? With the wire? The doesn’t give away how they are attached and it’s hard to believe you actually used wire to attach them to the fabric…Sorry to hear you’re not happy with the fit of the shirt. I am quite a over achiever in that respect, too. If something doesn’t fit perfectly it really bugs me…Oh, and you know, when I was looking at the thumbnail of your pic (when it was still pending) it looked as if you were wearing totally exaggerated bell bottom pants. Now I can see it was the statue in the background – what a crazy illusion!

    • I went back to look at the picture and it does look like I’m wearing bell bottoms. I will say right now that I don’t think I would wear bell bottoms-especially not in a such a public place like Sew Weekly. I wrapped the wire around the cogs or washers or whatever they are. They are sewn onto the shirt. I guess the blouse isn’t plain with the embellishment but would be pretty dowdy without.

  4. Very cool cogs and crystals– how did you attach that stuff to the fabric? I think it looks great, but I firmly believe that if you don’t feel great in it, use what you can from it and move on. I vote for a dress. I like the bigger collar, but maybe it would look better with the embellishment at the edge rather than centered? Can’t wait to see what you decide.

    • I bought the cogs and some swarovski crystals to make a necklace. I wrapped craft wire around one end -like you see there-then slipped it through a crystal and then attached another cog by wrapping the wire around one end of it. I repeated that pattern until it was the length of a choker. Then I added a clasp. The cogs are not really comfortable against the skin so I took it apart. The wire was still wrapped around each cog and I left it because I liked the way it looked. The blouse is now in my UFO pile waiting to be reworked.

  5. I love the. Embellishment, I think the tip would look more your style if you removed the sleeves and added the skirt.

    • I think I will make it a dress and remove the sleeves. Then I can wear my hair up and try for something more fun. Thanks Krista!

  6. Wow! I know how you feel about your blouse, I felt the same about my muumuu this week. However, I like the embellishment you came up with and I like the collar. I agree with Lee that maybe if they were moved to tho edge, it might look better. But, if it was a lot of work to attach them, I wouldn’t change it. It’s worth putting aside for awhile and perhaps you’ll come up with a way to make it work for you.

    • Thanks Barbara! I’m going to set it aside for a rainy less busy day-like maybe when my kids go off to college!

  7. I love it! I would wear it all the time paired with skirts with modern sorts of prints or designs or something like that. Or, actually jeans, too, but I don’t mind being a little plain.

    Anyway, cool idea and I like it! :)

  8. Great idea Gina, steampunk with a splash of sparkle. I think it looks great. Brilliant job.

  9. The combination is fantastic! Really fab job.

  10. Yay! Home Depot fashion is one of my favorites! Your cogs kick a**. Sorry the top didn’t come out like you planned, but we definitely dig the brilliant embellishments. Like Djamila, I’m curious about the weight of the washers and if they had were light enough for the neckline. I’m buying shelving to line the walls of my purple guest room with books and just might pick up some fashion hardware while I’m there.

    • They do weigh the top down a bit. One thing I will do is make the collar narrower then embellish the back as well to balance it out.

  11. I’m loving your cogs : ) I’ve tried using various washers etc for the steampunky thing but I love your version with the rhinestones in the middle. Tough but sparkly, just like you!

  12. You should try it sometime. I made this great necklace with buttons that has a steampunk feel to it. I’ll try and send a pic. Tough and sparkly sounds nice-I think I’ll keep it.

  13. My pleasure to be there and remind you this is meant to be a bit of fun (please return the favour next time I have a taking it all too seriously crisis!)

    I love the collar but can see what you mean about the fit of the top, you’ve got such a gorgeous figure would it look better to make it sleeveless and try and make the top slightly closer fitting? I like the way the collar sort of extends out over the top of the shoulders and love the mix of industrial cogs and wire with the girly bling of the crystals.

    Great effort for a week when you weren’t totally in the mood and dealing with the summertime kid/slumber-inducing issues/fun.