How to Drape a Cowl Neck Dress on a Dress Form

Draping on a dress form can seem a bit daunting, but in reality it is much easier than you think.  The video below shows you how to drape a cowl neck dress on a dress form.  This video was originally filmed several years ago, but the technique is the same.

The video above goes into more detail than the following does, but it gives you a good idea of what to do, but I would highly suggest you watch the video.

Your Fabric

The first thing you need to do is cut out a length of fabric much larger than what you think you will need.  In most instances, you need to drape with the fabric on grain.  Though, to create a cowl neck dress on the dress form, you need to have the fabric on the bias so you can achieve that great swag effect given from a cowl neckline.

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Start Pinning to the Dress Form

For this particular dress, I like to begin by pinning the shoulders where I would like them to lie. I then come in to pin the cowl neckline in place, as I would like it.

Once the cowl neckline of the dress is secured to the dress form, as you would like it, begin to pin along the sides of the dress form to create a tight-fitting bodice with the draped fabric.  Place your pins along the side seam into your dress form.  As you pin the sides smooth out the fabric.  The pins will be where you will be stitching. 

Repeat for the back of dress. 

Back of dress that was draped on the dress form

Mark the Seam Lines

Along your pin lines, draw on your fabric (with a water soluble pen, if you are using your final fabric, though you really should use something like an old bedsheet).

Prep to Sew the Cowl Neck Dress

Cut away the excess fabric, being sure leave more than the seam allowance.  Once it is off the dress form you can true up any lines with your ruler and French curve.  Then ensure it is a mirror image on the other side (unless you are not the same on your left and right side). Though in this particular instance, when making a cowl neck dress you do want it to be symmetrical.

Once the lines are all marked out correctly, go ahead, and cut along where your seam allowance will be.

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The get to sewing up your cowl dress!

beaded back on a draped dress