Drape Drape Three Piece Deep Cowl Neck Dress

23Aug14

Drape Drape 2 No 6 front view

This is yet another make from the Drape Drape books. This one’s number six from book two, the so-called three-piece deep cowl neck dress. Every version of this I’ve seen made up has been done in stripes to show off the grain changes, and since I found this unusual grey and brown striped knit mine was not going to be the exception.

I thought I’d got my sizing sussed with Drape Drape, but this make has come up too small for me. You can see the tell-tale creases across my stomach in all the pictures. I normally make one size smaller than the size chart indicates, but this time I should have used my true size. My fabric only has cross-grain stretch so I might have got away with it in a two-way stretch fabric. However if I ever make this again I’ll trace it again in the next size up; the pattern pieces are very unusual and I can’t quite see how to adjust the front piece to get extra width without producing a knock-on effect on the cowl.

It’s also astonishingly short. I added two inches to the skirt length before cutting out and haven’t hemmed it.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 side front view

When photographed directly from the front it looks pretty close to the version in the book. When viewed more from the side, as above, there’s a slightly pointy bit where the cowl attaches that I wasn’t expecting. However I’ve seen this in a few other people’s versions around the web so I guess it’s meant to be like that.

This is a slightly tricky pattern to sew. The diagrams are excellent, but the way the cowl is attached is sufficiently unusual that it took me a bit of head-scratching before I worked out which edges to sew to which. Around the back of the neck you sew the wrong side of the cowl to the right side of the dress, which had me confused for a bit, but the cowl part folds in such a way you don’t see the wrong side of it in the finished dress. It helps when attaching the cowl to have a fabric where you can tell the right side from the wrong side in the first place. It would have been even more confusing in a solid.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 back view

The back view is about as plain as you can get. The unhemmed edge is curling up pretty badly in the picture above. The fabric is a single knit so it’s not really a surprise. I don’t want to lose any length by hemming this though, so it’s just going to have to stay like that.

The photos above are how I’ll actually wear the dress, although with boots rather than wedges. However I did have a go with it as styled in the books, below. I won’t be trying this outside the house, even with the help of tape. It might make a nice photo when properly arranged but the cowl doesn’t stay put.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 indoors

So not my most successful Drape Drape make. It will probably get some wear when the weather gets colder.



10 Responses to “Drape Drape Three Piece Deep Cowl Neck Dress”

  1. This one was tricky to put together. I was so glad I had a dressmaking dummy to put it on! I worn mine a few times – and yes… always with a cami underneath!

  2. I love the drape drape look and how they are a bit of a puzzle, but do wish they were slightly more wearable. Just slightly. Your “dress” looks great and I think your winter styling will be fantastic!

  3. 3 Ann T.

    While acknowledging that your sewing skills are far superior to my own, I wonder if you might hem the skirt edge with a bias binding. If you matched the stripes, you might not even notice it.

    • That’s a great idea, thanks! I hope I still have the scraps from this project; I could make a binding or facing from those.

  4. 5 scruffybadger

    Your drape drape makes are stunning, and you look so glamorous! And the styling indoors with just * the dress* looks incredible! but I can completely understand why it’s an indoors for the blog shot. But still. Catwalk.

  5. This is fabulous! Are there very plain seams down each side? I can’t quite work out all the different grain changes but the simple back implies they just happen on the front.

    • Thanks! Yes, the side seams are straight. Apart from the stage where the cowl is attached the construction is very simple but the cowl more than makes up for this!

  6. Stunning dress.

  7. I love how you can wear these edgy designs. The fabric choice is so perfect for this one, I think it looks great on you!

  8. 10 Kristin

    So glamorous! As always. I love your style.



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