2 ways to make a {Stunning} COWL NECK top pattern

How to make a COWL TOP pattern

cowl neck pattern

A cowl neckline consists of folds of fabric that fall from the neck creating a draping effect in the front of your bodice. With this neckline you do not need an additional scarf as it gives a scarf like appearance.

You find this style popularly stitched in knit fabrics, but  you can use any fabric to sew this style as long as the fabric is drapey.

Other than those soft draping darling folds this necklines make in satin gowns, I love this style especially in the back of dresses. When using this neckline in the back it is usually combined with a boat neck.  Checkout the different styles of cowl neck fashion

The pattern below is to make a medium cowl neck top. You can adopt it to sew this neckline to the back also.

how to make a diy pattern for cowl neck bodice

What do you need to make a cowl neck top

Fabric – 1.5 -2 meters  if cutting with the straight grain. About 2.5 times that of a wide fabric, if cutting on bias grain

Naturally woven cloth does not drape very well . It is better to use synthetic materials like rayon, chiffon, Georgette etc for this top.Checkout the different types for fabrics available to sew clothes with

Basic top pattern -To make a cowl neck you have to make the simple top pattern on paper. This pattern is altered to a cowl neck.

I always keep a copy of the basic top pattern in my cupboard. So that when inspiration strikes to make a pattern, it is available, rather than start from the scratch.
Trace this onto another paper to copy it. Keep the original back in the cupboard.
Cut out the new pattern ( Make sure a v neck is drawn ). This pattern will be altered to make the new cowl neckline.

Pattern paper – Draw parallel lines along the edges marking the center seam and shoulder line

 

Main things to consider before making the pattern for the cowl neck top/ tunic

  • V neck – Remember to draw a v neck on the basic blouse pattern
  • Drapes – You will have to decide on how many drapes you want for the cowl neck – This pattern gives a medium cowl neck
  • Fabric – It is better to get very drapey fabrics for this style like knit, satin, georgette, chiffon, crepe etc. Heavy fabrics, stiff fabrics are completely out of the scope of this pattern.
  • Bias grain – The front bodice of this top is cut on the bias grain of the fabric. With the first method you can also try to make it in the straight grain ; You need a very drapey fabric for that. But it is definitely doable. But with the second method you need more fabric and definitely should cut on the bias grain

cowl top pattern

  • The back bodice of this top is the same as that of the basic bodice piece, which goes without saying. It is only the front bodice that we will be altering to accommodate the cowl neck, unless you want the cowl in the back.

Method 1. Making a paper pattern to sew Medium cowl neck 

STEP 1. Take your Front Bodice pattern. Back bodice pattern is the same. No need to alter it. Check out this tutorial for the top pattern, or alternatively you can make a pattern from an old top of yours. You need a paper pattern.

BASIC top pattern

STEP 2. Make the markings as per the diagram below on to the front bodice pattern you have. Cut through the lines from the center seam line points 2, 4 & 6. Stop when you have 2 cm to the shoulder and armhole seam line. Just enough for the whole thing to stay together.  

cowl neck top pattern

STEP 3. Keep this slit pattern on a big pattern paper. 

STEP 4. Spread the drapes as per the diagram below.Make sure that center fold line of the pattern is aligned with the side edge of the new paper. Arrange the cut pieces so that the top piece is parallel to the top edge.The neckline changes now. There is no neckline as much to tell the truth. It has become a straight line now.

how to sew a cowl neck pattern

STEP 5. You will have to redraw the pattern now, outlining the pattern you have made.

STEP 6. To make a self facing, From the top neckline measure 2 inch outside. You can alternatively finish the neck edge with a picot edge stitch or overlock stitch. 

This is the front bodice pattern for your cowl top. You can cut it keeping it on the bias as shown earlier or keep it on the straight grain ( which maybe a little risky depending on the stretchiness and drapiness of the fabric you have chosen)

Method 2. Marking directly to fabric – easiest way of making the cowl neck top

This is the easiest way to make a cowl top, as it does not involve making a paper pattern. In this method you keep your basic blouse pattern on the fabric and mark directly on to the fabric .

Keep the front bodice pattern on to the bias folded fabric, ensuring that atleast 12 inch fabric is available above the shoulder line . Keep the center fold lines aligned. 

how to sew a cowl neck top

Arrange the fabric above the shoulder line so that it forms folds or cowl along the neckline. The fabric under the pattern should be moved from the center fold line a little to the front, starting from the waistline.

Ensure that armhole and shoulder line doesnot have any folds. 

The sides and armholes are marked with your marking tool on to the fabric now. 

how to sew a cowl neck top

Sewing the cowl neck top

After you have made the pattern it is a breeze to sew the top.

Step 1

Finish the neck edges of the front pattern and the back pattern. The front cowl and the back neck edge can be turned under and hand stitched. 

Step 2

Join the shoulder seams together.

Step 3

Then you can finish the armhole edges with binding or turning under.

Step 4

Join the side seams .

Step 5

Then hem the bottom edge. The top is ready.

Checkout related posts – Kaftan pattern and simple tunic pattern or sew a sleeveless camisole top

how to sew a camisole  boho top pattern

Some style inspirations.

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