How to Sew a Cowl With a Hood

Updated March 23, 2017

While it may date back centuries, the cowl neck hood is a tube of fabric that has become a fashion accessory essential, appearing in fashion collections across the globe and worn by influential celebrities including Lady Gaga. Cowl hoods also have practical uses, and, using fabrics such as fleece or felt, can be welcome gifts for military personnel deployed in regions such as Afghanistan or Iraq, where warm cowl hoods can combat high winds, sand and cold. Providing that you have some basic sewing skills, you should be able to sew a cowl hood in an hour or two.

Lay the fleece fabric flat, right side down on your cutting surface.

Measure a rectangle that is 30-inches long and 20-inches wide. Mark the rectangle using your yard stick and chalk to draw straight lines.

Cut around the chalk line to get the rectangle you will sew into your cowl hood.

Fold the longest length of the rectangle in half, with the right side of the fabric facing inward. You will now have a doubled piece of fabric that is 15-inches long and 20-inches wide.

Thread your needle and sew together the two 20-inch wide ends to form a tube. Use a running stitch and secure both the start and finish of your sewing with a few extra stitches.

Turn the fabric, so that the right side is facing out.

Place the tube over your head and pull the back edge of the fabric over your head to your forehead to form a hood. Push the fabric back when you simply want to wear as a cowl scarf.


Experiment with different weights of fabrics and lengths and widths of fabrics. A longer wider silk cowl can make a stunning fashion statement. When making a cowl hood for military personnel, choose a neutral-coloured fleece fabric, such as olive, tan or black. do not use patriotic or red, white and blue fabrics, since they are not permitted to wear these.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard fleece fabric
  • Yard stick
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle
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About the Author

Helen Harvey began her writing career in 1990 and has worked in journalism, writing, copy-editing and as a consultant. She has worked for world-class news sources including Reuters and the "Daily Express." She holds a Master of Arts in mass media communications from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.