Pattern shape for cowl drape?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Chris Stratton, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Does anyone know the general shape of the piece(s) of fabric used to make a draped cowl to add to a neckline?

    I had a pattern for a dress that featured one, but can't find it.
  2. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'll wager 2 heel protectors and a red MAC lipstick that Laura can answer this!
  3. DancingJools

    DancingJools Member

    If I understand your question, here's one way to answer it:
    The general principle is: Take a triangle, where two sides are equal, and equal to the length of the seam you want to attach the cowl to (e.g. the side seams of the torso, if you want to use the cowl drape for a front or back of the bodice). Now fold the triangle in half along the middle axis (sorry, I studied geometry in English many, many years ago and for the life of me can't remember the terminology). The middle line (the one that comes from the top of the triangle to the mid-point of the base) is now your center seam line. You will need to cut the peak of the triangle so there is a line there that fits where the cowl will be attached (e.g. the waist line), or you may not need to do that, depending on how you want to use the cowl.
    Drape the fabric and experiment. You can also think of this as a wedge in a circle, where the radius is the length of the seam you want to attach the cowl to, and the circumference part is the swingy part of the drape. Then you adjust the sharp corner of the wedge by cutting across it, to make the cowl fit where you want to place it.
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I don't know everything about sewing!

    The last time I tried a cowl I did it in sort of a somewhat flattened crescent shape. I can't remember how it worked out, though. There's some trick to making the underside of the cowl a little bigger (or is it smaller??) than the other side, so that when you sew them together they'll hang the right way. I actually just look at a pattern. I know there's a Simplicity evening gown pattern that has a cowl on it. I'm pretty sure you can get Simplicity patterns for 99 cents this weekend at JoAnne Fabrics. Sometimes I buy patterns just to see how things are generally done.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Yes, I wish I had the pattern or could just run to that sale - one of the problems of NY city is that while there are lots of speciatly fabric shops, we don't seem to have a location of "TSWLTH" and there are a few things they are good for.

    But we may be skipping the cowl anyway.
  6. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I hated fabric shopping the one time I tried it in NYC. I went to a about a dozen places in the garment district and none of them had anything even close to just basic matte lycra or jersey in interesting colors at reasonable prices (there's no way I'm paying over $20 per yard for matte lycra when I can get it online for about $8 ). And then when I tried to buy rhinestones in bulk, they laughed when I told them the prices I was paying online and said they'd never sell them that cheap. Another shop had okay prices, but refused to sell me the number of stones I wanted because I'd "clean them out." I was like WTF, I thought this was fabulous New York? I've stuck to shopping online ever since, except for occasional forays to this place in San Francisco that buys up extra designer fabric and other people's embarassingly large fabric hoardes. I get notions and patterns on sale at JoAnne. The closest one to you is out on Staten Island, which might as well be on Mars for you.
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Staten Island ins't out of the question, but we're trying to finish something for a dance tonight, so...

    I've done fairly well on lycra and similar fabrics here - the thing is to look around for the right place.

    Also rhinestones - they won't be as cheap as online, but after walking around through many stores until finding one that actually wanted to sell in bulk, I think we only ended up paying about a 10% premium.
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Found the pattern... which I don't need any more, while looking for the elastic, which I do need. Don't think the dress is making its debut tonight...
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Since I found the pattern, I'll describe what it is. Like Laura said, it's two crescents of different size. The more curved side of each crescent is hyperbolic (approaches sides of a triange) while the other side has a fairly shallow curvature. Points are logically a seam allowance or two wide.

    Upper Cowl: 27.75 inches straight line distance across points. Near side curves in and is 2.25" at center from this baseline, far side is 10.75" from it, for a central width of 8.5"

    Lower Cowl: 28.25" across points. Near side about 2.375" from that line, far side only 10.125" away, for a central width of around 7.75 inches.

    So whoever drafted this pattern thinks the lower cowl should be about a half inch longer, and 3/4 inch narrower.
  10. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Too bad you can't fondle fabric via the internet. ;)
  11. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Yeah, that's the one drawback. I've been lucky so far giving up the "touch" aspect for the various deals I've found, though. I just got 10 yards of matte lycra in "electric orchid" which is truly stunning. Including shipping it came out to just $8.72/yard for 60" wide. This stuff is as nice if not nicer than the matte lycra Chrisanne sells for $18.79/yard -- and that doesn't include shipping from the UK and possible import duty!
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Pesky customs agents! :)
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Hmm... serger makes a lot of noise on folding table. Wanted to put something together late last night, but worried about waking neighbours. How to isolate it?

    Turns out you can balance a serger on your lap!
  14. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    Ha! I just bought dance shoes from a British website, and the box arrived with a customs sticker on top that said that for customs purposes this is a "present". I wish!!!
    Made me laugh, though. :lol:
  15. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    Wow!!! Chris, you are a brave man. Sergers scare me even when placed on a solid surface that doesn't involve any of my personal body parts!

    Maybe if you put a sheet of rubber of some sort under the serger...

    Oh yeah, and fabric/supply shopping in NYC is a pain.
    Hey, if you ever need to buy leather, PM me and I'll tell you exactly where to go! *imagining a standard gown made of blood-red patent lambskin*
    :lol:
  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Those corset-top dresses are still popular...you could totally do a red corset with silk chiffon skirts!

    And Chris, get that serger out of your lap before you hurt something. I like the idea of the rubber mat. But maybe, when you can, you should invest in a sturdy table so you don't end up breaking something or maiming yourself!
  17. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I want it!!!! Chris! What do you think?
  18. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    Hee hee! I'd love love love to see it!
    It's a funny thought, but it could actually be completely gorgeous. AND you can be completely sure that no one else will have your dress! :shock:
    At least for the first season. All those knock-offs the next year will just be sad. *sigh*
  19. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    let me dream...

    black leather corset, bright red chiffon or silk skirt, and shiny chains instead of a necklace. or a black leater choker covered with red stones. or...

    black leather boots to go with it. Do they make dance boots?
    or at least black leather dance shoes.
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    let me dream...

    Supplex going through serger and coming out with a nice rolled hem... in my dreams.

    This stuff just doesn't want to keep any sort of shape - it pulls away inside the serger and the threads end up making grooves through it rather than rolling it nicely.

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