Working with Diagonal Prints...The "Waterfall" Drape Cowl Top

Thursday, September 17, 2009
I made this top for myself last night, and I am very pleased with the way it turned out!   It is the "Waterfall" top from Ottobre Woman, 2/2009 Style #5.  Fabric is Poly/Lycra Jersey purchased several months ago from Gorgeous Fabrics.  You can see that the print is diagonal, but after draping it on my dress form, I knew it would work well for this style.

OttobreDrapeCowlTop

However, a little diagonal print goes a long way. So after some thought I decided to cut the front and back on the straight grain, utilizing the diagonal "stripes" for the main body pieces.  That left the sleeves. Cutting the sleeves on the straight grain would have made for a dizzying garment...all those diagonal "stripes"...oy!  So, I cut the sleeves on the bias. That changed the orientation of the print...the "stripes" now straight, not angled. This gives the garment balance....I won't look as if I am leaning to one side, LOL!

Of course, me being me,  I couldn't just sew this pattern as directed.  The instructions have you gather the front shoulder to meet the back shoulder.  In my experience, this tends to make the front shoulder look "puffy" after it is sewn. So instead of gathers, I formed a pleat in the front shoulder seam, placing it close to the neck edge...as you can see in the photo, below.

NecklinePleatDetail-CowlTop
The way you orient this pleat affects the way the cowl will drape. Placing it close to the neck edge with the pleat folded towards the neck, encourages the cowl to drape into a soft "V".   Placing the pleat in the center of the seam and folding it towards the shoulder will encourage the cowl to drape in a more rounded shape.

So, don't be afraid of diagonal prints!  Changing the grain layout can produce a stylish and flattering garment.