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Mermaid dress with cowl neckline

4.5/5

Style analysis: long dress with draped neckline - darts are manipulated into the cowl neck - open back and mermaid skirt.

Pick a light to medium weight fabric as cady, crepe, satin in silk, silk/poly blend, viscose/poly blend and make sure to have staytape handy as it will be needed for back neckline and shoulder straps.
If you don't have any, do it yourself by cutting a thin strip (0,5cm wide) of lightweight non-stretch fabric (lining works great for this).

Step 1

Draw your contoured block (= block with no ease added) with darts and full length.
Our method for drafting perfectly made to measure basic blocks is included in our basic blocks course/module 1.

Trace back and front separate, then taper 2 to 3cm at knee line (or, better, 5 to 10cm above it), blending at hips. Flare at least 15cm from sides at hemline, connect to new point at knee, then redraw hemline starting at right angle (90°) from side seams.

Step 2

Merge back and front in a temporary way from waist to armpit and draw the new neckline:

  • start in center back 5cm below waist
  • meet back darts approx at waist level
  • curve upwards and meet side seam approx 10 to 12cm below armpit
  • continue on front with a steep line, the corner is 3 to 5cm away from armhole line and 10 to 12cm above bust level
  • square across to center front (still 10 to 12cm above bust level).

Widen shoulder dart by 1cm at new neckline.

Step 3

Cut through the new neckline and eliminate upper part.

Erase waist dart and discard a matching amount from side seams, redrawing them.

Step 8

Trace a mirrored copy of front upper part (the one you just drew). Copy the last 8 to 12cm to create a built-in facing.

A built-in facing is usually created for cowl necklines as it is an extension of front that folds inside the neckline itself and prevents wrong side of fabric from showing + has no seamline at neckline, making the drape more beautiful.

Your new pattern is ready! Make sure to cut both back and front on bias (grainline at 45° angle).

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