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

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.


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.

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.

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Blogger Gorgeous Things said...

Oh Pam, that turned out so beautifully!!!! I love that fabric for that top. I have to see if I can get hold of that pattern. That's a really, really nice cowl top.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Trudy Callan said...

I love your top. Thank you for sharing the technique you used to get the nice drape on the cowl by using a pleat instead of the gathers. I'll have to give that a try sometime.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous top, Pam! I bet those colors look wonderful on you.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really pretty. Thanks for telling about diagonal prints. I've always avoided them.


12:39 PM  
Blogger Les Petits Anglais said...

Pam, it's the little details in your posts that make them so useful! I've just bought some fabric to do this top, and I shall definitely be pleating instead of gathering. Thanks! Kathryn

1:42 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

Pam, thanks for sharing how you made this gorgeous blouse.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous phyllis said...

Wow that's great Pam! Diagonal print salways have me kind of scratching my head but this is perfect. Now I have a baseline for that I can use myself.

P.S. - nice dress form too!

6:44 PM  
Blogger gwensews said...

Really lovely top. Diagonals are rather difficult. Fantastic job!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Pam, gorgeous top!

Thanks for all of your tips. I learn so much from reading your blog.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Linda T said...

Love it! and thanks for the tip about the pleat towards the neckline!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Gorgeous fabric and perfect top.

P.S I just received my order(interfacing) and I am absolutely pleased. I have never seen or come across interfacing like the Pro Sheer Elegance or the Pro Tailor Deluxe. It is awesome and I am anxious to use it. I'm also looking forward to using the collar turning clamp tool :)

9:27 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Great top, Pam, you do such incredible work.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Thanks so much for all your nice comments.

..and Ann I'm glad your order arrived. You are going to LOVE the ProSheer Elegance Interfacing!

It's become so popular we can barely keep it in stock !

7:10 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I love a good cowl neck top and yours is fabulous!!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Cut the knit sleeves on the bias just to change the print? I didn't think we were allowed to do that! Thanks for letting me know it's okay. Love the top!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain how you did the shoulder pleats - and why. The top is beautiful, and changing the sleeve direction made it more so.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Sherril said...

I'm definitely borrowing that pleat idea. The last thing I need is more puff. This one is on my sewing list for winter.

9:45 AM  
Blogger j.kaori said...

Great top! And thank you for the pleat idea!

10:09 AM  
Blogger AuntieAllyn said...

Just a stunning top . . . a classic style that you can wear for years! Funny thing, this is the second garment of yours (that YOU will wear) that you've posted over the last few months that's made of the same fabric I've used for other garments (in my case, dresses) . . . it goes without saying that I think you have excellent taste in fabrics!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Sugar Pine Boutique said...

This is beautiful! Laughed when you stated you didn't follow the pattern. This always seems the case for me too. Tend to make it harder, but if you can control the results, why not? Really enjoyed this post. ; )

11:39 AM  
Anonymous kathy k said...

after looking at the ottobre magazine pic and comparing it to your top...did you add some to the front to get a longer drape?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hi Kathy K...

No, I didn't change the pattern at all. Usually with this kind of draped cowl, the amount of "drop" (depth) is significantly influenced by the type of fabric. In both versions of this pattern (this one and the gray print), both fabrics were poly/lycra knits.

I've made this pattern with a cotton knit, and the cowl has much less "drop".

1:01 PM  

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