4/19/12

Free Sewing Tutorial: Draft a Cowl Neck

UPDATE: I added a tutorial for drafting a facing for a cowl neck top here.

UPDATE: You can find a tutorial for the deeper cowl neck here.

I have a simple t-shirt/shell pattern that works well for me but I have enough basic tops - I want something fancier!  I love the high cowl neck look that is going around these days: 

Pinned Image
DKNY from macys.com
Pinned Image
LRK from saksfifthavenue.com

I wanted to make this look without having to shell out money for a new pattern and I couldn't find a free tutorial online that was really what I wanted.  So I hid out in my sewing lab and figured it out!  I use a lot of online tutorials in my sewing so I'm always happy when I have something to share with all of you.  Here's what I created:




Materials
*1 - 1.5 yards of drapey fabric with stretch (jersey, knit, stretch charmeuse, maybe even stretch poplin)
*Tracing paper (I use Bienfang Canary Sketching and Tracing Paper, the 50 yard/24" roll)
*Clear ruler
*Top/bodice pattern that you like (if you don't have one, there are plenty of tutorials online that will show you how to create a pattern from a t-shirt or top that you have in your closet, like this one).

Step 1:  Cut & spread neckline
Trace your front bodice/t-shirt pattern onto a new sheet a paper; you need to cut the pattern so you don't want to ruin your master.  Draw a curved line under the neckline, 1.5 inches down from the original.  Cut along this line until you are about 1/8 inch from the shoulder line.

Draw two lines that meet at a right angle on a new sheet of paper.  Place your cut pattern piece along the top line on this piece of paper.  Spread the neckline so that both points touch the top line.  Angle the remaining bodice so that the bottom center front corner touches the side line.  Tape into place.  This sounds harder than it is so don't fret!  It should look like this:


Smooth out the angle created at the shoulder line:



Step 2: Turn half pattern into full pattern
You need to cut on a bias for this design, so you will need a full instead of a half pattern.  Take a big piece of tracing paper and draw a T with lines meeting a right angles.  Trace your half cowl neck pattern onto one side of the T and then flip and trace it onto the other.  It should look like this when you are done:


It looks a bit odd, doesn't it?  Trust me, it works!  Imagine that super wide neckline draping in the middle because this is what will happen.  (Ignore the wide band in the middle of my pattern piece - my tracing paper wasn't large enough so I had to tape two pieces together with masking tape.) 

Draw a new grainline that is at a 45 degree angle to the center line.

Step 3: Place and cut your fabric
Spread out your fabric.  Place the front pattern piece on the bias and the back pattern piece on the straight grain.  It will look like this:



Cut and sew the top as you would normally.  I have left the edges serged and turned them under by 1/4" and topstitched them into place - your choice.  I added a band to the bottom for this top but you could do a simple hem or leave the hem unfinished.  However you finish it you now get to glow with pride everytime you wear it because you drafted the pattern and put it together on your own!






I also drafted a cowl neck from a pattern that had a bodice dart which made for a deeper cowl.  I'll post instructions for how to do this if there's interest - leave a comment if you want it!



Credit:  I generally followed instructions I found in Adele Margolis' book Make Your Own Dress Patterns.  I strongly recommend this book if you are interested in learning about drafting patterns.

26 comments:

  1. I really like the print on the blouse and I can follow your tutorial even though I'm a novice. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Germania! I hope you give it a try. And I bought 5 yards of that print at a thrift store for next-to-nothing so I'd be happy to give you a piece!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Job- Thanks for the tutorial :)
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Shannon! And I'm happy to now know about your blog, too!

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Shannon! And I'm happy to now know about your blog, too!

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just bought a top like this yesterday! I am large busted and I like the way this cut minimizes the emphasis of my bust without adding weight elsewhere..I will definitely try this pattern this week.Thank you for sharing your knowledge and gift so generously!
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is so funny Karen - I like this style because I am small busted and I like that I can have a fitted top that doesn't emphasize my smallness!

    Let me know how it goes!

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  8. Please do post the instructions for the cowl neck with the dart; love the other one too! I am going to try it

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful shirt! I'd love to see the tutorial for the deeper cowl neck. I have some fabric that I have been trying to dream up a use for and I think the deeper cowl would be perfect. Thanks for the idea!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you! You can find the tutorial for the deeper cowl neck here: http://poldapop.blogspot.com/2012/05/free-sewing-tutorial-draft-deep-cowl.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much you angel! I am large busted and I think this will be a good pattern for me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for posting this! I've been thinking of buying a pattern for this, but now I can just modify my tnt tee pattern. You saved me $$--thank-you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks, Wendy! If you make it, I'd love to see a photo. You can send it to poldapop@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  14. HI am trying to make a fairly deep cowl neck on the back of one of the 5 bridesmaid dresses I am making, will try your pattern above but anything else I should watch out for? please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - Did you see that I have a tutorial for a deeper cowl neck? Go to this post: http://www.poldapop.com/2012/05/free-sewing-tutorial-draft-deep-cowl.html. If you wanted to make it even deeper, I think you could just draw more than one slash/spread line in Step 2 Good luck! And I'd love to post the picture of your finished dress!

      Delete
  15. Have you posted the tutorial for a deeper cowl neck, I would love to make one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kika - You can find a tutorial for the deeper cowl neck here: http://poldapop.blogspot.com/2012/05/free-sewing-tutorial-draft-deep-cowl.html

      Delete
  16. You have made this pattern drafting so easy! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Best and simplest tutorial I got on the net on cowl neck. Very simple to understand. Thanks angel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anon! That's the best compliment I've received on this!

      Delete
  18. Thank you so much for this. I'm making an Artemis costume and have been looking for a pattern for a drapped neck. This is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck and please post a photo of your costume - I'd love to see it!

      Delete
  19. Hi!
    Thanks for the tutorial. Just one question: why the front piece should be laid on bias?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kati - Thanks for checking out my tutorial. You don't have to place the front piece on the bias, but your cowl will be more drapey if you do. I've cut it both ways (on grain and on bias) and I like the results both ways. The cowl is a bit higher and less drapey on grain, but it somewhat depends on the fabric you are using. I suggest making a couple of tops and experimenting to see which way works best for you. Good luck, and please post a link to any photos!

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...