When scanning my syllabus at the start of the pattern making course I took last semester, I was most excited about learning how to draft cowl neck tops. When we finally got to it toward the end of the course, I was surprised how simple they actually were! Using a basic bodice sloper, it’s just a matter of lowering the neckline and slash and spreading to create fullness. The self-facing in the front keeps it pretty no matter how the cowl falls! Clearly, putting my new knowledge to use was in the forefront of my mind when I had the opportunity to use one of the fabrics from the Novelty category at Britex. This unusual ruby and black sheer viscose fabric seemed like a fun and modern choice for a fairly classic cowl shape.
This fabric isn’t an obvious choice for a cowl shape; while lightweight, it isn’t particularly drapey, behaving more like a voile. Nor could I cut on the bias (common for cowls) because of the obvious horizontal stripe. However, I kind of love how the neckline is more “origami folds” than draped.
The viscose is sheer–in these photos, I’m wearing a nude-colored tank top under this for modesty, but for cocktails or dancing, it would probably be fine without.
The self-drafted top is a basic pull-over shape, with no closures or darts. It isn’t as fitted as I normally like my tops, but it’s light and airy (especially with the sheer fabric!) and adds a different silhouette to my wardrobe. For the construction, I used French seams throughout since the fabric is a loose weave. There is a back neck facing, which attaches to the front cowl facing, and bias tape for the armholes–simple and elegant!