In Fitting Fashion

  • The Cowl Front Neck Drop Adjustment

    Yesterday I got a great question from Marta who recently purchased the Cool Cowl Tank pattern:

    "I just purchased your cowl neck pattern. I was so pleased that your patterns are made for a D cup. Now that the pattern is made up I have a problem. The drape is so low that the bottom band of my bra shows:-( So, I looked up one of your blogs to see what to do about it. Your solution is to fold out (or overlap) from the CF waist. But this will reduce the front bust circumference, and I can't "afford" to make it any tighter across the bust. Is there any other way to raise the drape? I can wear the top, but have to pin it together to keep the drape from revealing more than is modest."

    First I want to address that the pattern does have a low front neck drop. The depth that the cowl hangs on each individual will depend on two things;  your bust position (how high or low your bust level is) and your fabric choice.  If you choose a rather stable knit that has more structure, the cowl will not hang as low as on a finer knit fabric with less structure.  Your personal bust position and the fabric you choose are two things that I an unable to account for when designing patterns so I always suggest that you make up a "muslin" in similar fabric to test the fit.

    Second, I have two ways you can adjust the pattern for a higher front neck drop for a little more "modesty".  You will find a full tutorial on one method in the blog post:  The E-F-G Bust Adjustment but I will summarize here for your convenience.  Please see the original post for greater detail.

    1.  Draw the slash line:

    2.  Slash, Overlap, and Reshape:

    You will notice with the above adjustment, as Marta cleverly pointed out, the bust circumference will be reduced across the front.  To address Marta's question, I have another pattern adjustment technique that will keep the bust circumference as is, while still reducing the front neck drop.  The steps of the pattern adjustment are the same it is just the location of the slash lines that are different.

    1.  Draw the slash line that extends from the side seam (at a 90 degree angle) to around the bust point area.  Draw a second slash line extending from the first (at a 90 degree angle) to the cutting line of the cowl facing.  Make sure the second slash line is beyond the shoulder/neckline notch or you will reduce the shoulder width instead of the front neck drop.

    2.  Slash along the slash lines leaving a hinge at the armhole/side seam intersection.  From this point, close (overlap) the pattern sections to reduce the front neck drop. Then reshape the cutting lines of the cowl facing so they are nice and smooth.  Be sure to keep a 90 degree angle at the CF/Facing edge.

    As the illustration points out, the length of the line from the shoulder/neckline notch to the CF line is the approximate front neck drop measurement.  The shorter this line, the higher the neckline will become.

    Thank you Marta for your question, I hope this little tutorial helps more of you with your pattern fitting adjustments.

    Have a great day!

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