Cowl Back Tee

Cowl Back Tee

We have had a good run lately with Cowl Drape styles and this week is no exception with the Cowl Back Tee.  Last week was the Vivienne Drape Dress featuring a Cowl Drape on the neckline and in the skirt.  And two weeks ago, a reworking of The Drape Shift, in a woven fabric, for The Drape Shift – Woven.  You might say we are coming at the #CowlDrape thing from all directions.
The Cowl Back Tee is a simple but elegant take on the current fashion trend for loose, flowing shirts.  As a design feature, it would work extremely well with a classic shirt, collar, and cuffs.  This version of the design is set out below in a pattern plan on a dart-less, kimono block:
  1. Begin by marking in a more casual fit on the neckline.  Make sure it is big enough to get over your head.
  2. Then extend the shoulder line into a shaped, cap sleeve.
  3. Make a more generous fit for the body by adding 2.5cm (1″) to the front and backside seams and dropping the underarm point 2.5cm (1″).
  4. Curve in the front and back armholes.
  5. The front length is approximately 6-7cm (2 ⅜-2 ¾”) below the hip line with side seam splits from the hem to the hip level.
  6. The back length curves from the split notch, to a length 20cm (8″) below the hip line.  
  7. Mark in the back yoke curve from the centre back to the armhole.
  8. Finally mark the drape lines in the back pattern, int he locations you would like the cowl to fall.
  1. The front and yoke patterns are fairly straight forward to lift from the pattern plan.  Cut both patterns out as full patterns, adding seam & hem allowances.
  2. For the back pattern, cut along the drape lines from the centre back to the yoke line and side seam.
  3. Keeping the yoke line and side seams together, open up the space between the drape lines to add extra fabric for the cowl.
  4. Draw in a clean curve from the centre back under the yoke, through to the hemline.  It is this shape we use to make the final pattern for both back views in this #PatternPuzzle.
In the diagram below you can see how the one pattern development is used to make the patten pieces for both back views.  More than anything this post is an exercise in understanding the making of #CowlDrape.  For better fabric usage you might consider a full back seam from below the yoke line.  Cutting these back pieces on the straight grain will locate the bias fabric very much where the cowl falls.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about this post.  Always happy to help.  If you’d like to buy a copy of these pattern making notes for your own personal use at home you’ll find them here:  Cowl Back Tee – Pattern Making Instructions.
Enjoy 🙂
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Anita McAdam
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