The Seamed Cowl Dress

The Seamed Cowl Dress

Another great turnout on Saturday with loads of new fans having a go at the #PatternPuzzle.  And in the end, it was the simplest of design features that generated the most creative answers.  This bias cut dress has a more generous cowl that is made possible by that tricky centre front seam

Using my fitted dress block, the first pattern development is to turn the fitted shape into a well-balanced shift:
  1. Reduce the back length of the dress by approx. 2cm (3/4″) between the waist and the underarm point.
  2. This has the knock-on effect of having to reduce the front side seam by the same amount.
  3. Turn that reduction into a dart connected to the bust point.
  4. This additional darting is included, with the bust dart, to make up most of the cowl neckline.
  5. Decide how low the cowl will be in your dress and make a notch on the centre front line.
  6. Adjust the neckline and armhole to suit your personal preferences for a sleeveless dress.
  7. Reshape the side seams to develop a slight cocoon shape in the dress.
  8. Taper the side seams towards the hem to emphasise that shape.
For the pattern development:
  1. Transfer the side seam dart and bust dart into the bust line, then continue to open the pattern up (to the side seam) for additional drape in the cowl neckline.
  2. Square (90 degrees) from the centre front line back to the shoulder line.
  3. Add 4-5cm onto the top half of the centre front line for extra drape.
  4. Then shape back to the original centre front line, with a curve, for your seam.
  5. Add a 5cm turn-back facing on the top edge of the neckline for the cowl finish.
The grainline on both pattern pieces is placed on the bias.  The back neckline and armholes can be finished with an inside bind.  Bias garments always hang better with open seams of 1.25cm (1/2″).   A hem allowance of 4-5cm will add a nice weight and behaviour to the hemline.
Let me know if you have any questions through the comments section below.  Happy to help out as you work your way through any of our #PatternPuzzles.
Enjoy 🙂
Anita McAdam
enquiries@studiofaro.com
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