How to Make a Cowl Neck Tank Top From Scratch (Pattern Included)

Inspired By Myah
by Inspired By Myah
8 Materials
2 Hours

There’s nothing sexier than a silky cowl neck tank top for summer or an evening event. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to make a cowl neck tank top including the pattern, or simply how to sew a cowl neck top, this DIY cowl neck tank top tutorial is perfect for you.

I’ll show you how to draft and make a cowl neck top sewing pattern, or you can simply purchase it from my Etsy shop. Let me show you how to make a cowl neck top that is sure to turn heads!

Tools and materials:

Cowl neck top sewing pattern

1. Make the cowl neck top sewing pattern

If you want to purchase the pattern, it goes from UK size 6 to 14 with a bust measurement of 32 to 36 inches (80 to 90 cm). If you want to know how I made my pattern and you wish to do the same, here’s how I did it.

Measuring the bust

Measure your bust at the fullest point.

Measuring the back width

Measure your back width from one side seam to the other.

Measuring the length

Measure the length.

Measuring the drape

Drape the fabric across your chest to determine the depth of the drape.

How to make a cowl neck top sewing pattern

Mark and measure using your tape across the fabric for the cowl draping.

Place your measurements to match my Etsy pattern or when making your own pattern to make sure the top will fit you properly. Make sure the cowl neck drape is bigger than the bust measurement. 

Divide your cowl neck drape measurement in half and add 1 inch (2.5 cm). Divide your back width in half. The rest of the measurements stay the same. I use my computer to help me draft my patterns.

Drawing the cowl neck top sewing pattern

Make a straight vertical line for the length.

Front and back pattern

Mark the front and back using your measurements, remembering to add the additional 1 inch to the front.

Creating an armhole curve

At the top of the front measure ¾ inch (2 cm) inward from the end and about 4¼ inches (11 cm) down and create an armhole curve.

DIY cowl neck top sewing pattern

From the bottom of the armhole curve, draw a straight line to the back.

Drafting a cowl neck top sewing pattern

Bring the back pattern down to match that line.

Connecting the marks

On the back, measure 2 inches (5 cm) down and mark the line for the back facing. Follow that line through to the front. 

Marking the cowl neck top sewing pattern

Start marking all your pattern information to match where the folds need to go. Where the fabric is cut on the fold there’s no seam allowance needed.

Trace around the back facing area to have a separate back piece. Mark a rectangle for the strap along the fold to measure 16 inches (40 cm) by ¾ inch (2 cm).

When unfolded, the strap should measure 32 inches long (80 cm).

Adding seam allowance to the pattern

Add ⅜ inch (1.5 cm) seam allowance all over the pattern except for the center front and center back.

Cut the pattern out. 

Cutting out the pattern in fabric

2. Cut the fabric

Laying the pattern on folded fabric

Lay the pattern on folded fabric. For the front piece where there is a dotted line for the drape, fold the fabric again.

Cutting out the pattern pieces

Make sure the pattern line and fabric line match on both sides. Trace around the pieces and then cut the fabric out.

Cutting notches and snips

Notch or make a tiny snip at the top of the fold by the armhole so you know where to fold it back to when you’re ready to sew.

Trimming unevenness

Trim any unevenness along the fabric.

How to make straps

3. Make the straps

Fold the strap in half right sides together.

Sewing the straps

Sew a straight stitch along the length.

Turning the straps right sides out

Turn the strap right sides facing out by using a loop turner, paper clip, or other thin long object by inserting it inside the strap and pulling it out.

Press the strap nice and flat. Fold it exactly in half and cut along the fold so you have 2 pieces measuring the same.

Measuring the straps to your shoulders

Measure your shoulders to get an accurate strap measurement and mark where they start and end so you know where to stitch and attach them. 

Sewing the back facing

4. Sew the back

Hem the back facing with a ⅛ inch (0.5 cm) fold. Sew into position.

Pressing the edges

Then fold again using the same measurements and sew to create a clean professional edge. Press to flatten. 

How to make a cowl neck top

Lay the back piece with the right side facing up. Lay the straps with the marking right at the edge of the back. Lay the hemmed back facing right sides together on top. Pin in place.

Sew with a straight stitch connecting them together. Press to flatten. Sew a topstitch for a smooth and professional finish.

Cowl neck top DIY

5. Sew the front

Hem the cowl drape top of the front piece with a double fold of ⅛ inch (0.5) cm repeating the sewing and pressing process you did for the back.

How to sew a cowl neck top

Fold the front drape area down. Lay the front piece so the wrong sides are facing you and lay the straps at the proper marking for your shoulders at the edge.

Pinning the strap in place

Pin and stitch the strap in place. Stitch along the armhole. (Note in the pic and the video the strap should be on top and not on the inside.) 

Finishing the armhole

The armhole finish is a French seam. This helps prevent the fabric from fraying. Here’s how to do it:

Trimming the seam allowance

Once the armhole is sewn with the wrong sides together, trim the seam allowance down by half. Press so the seam is perfectly flat. Flip it inside out and sew at ⅛ inch (0.5 cm) all around the seam.

Sewing the side seams

6. Sew the side seams

The straps should be inside the front drape and the back facing and all your seams nice and neat. You’ll do a French seam for the side seams as well.

Cowl neck top sewing tutorial

Lay them wrong sides together and stitch. Trim the seam allowance by half. Press the seam. Flip so the fabric is now right sides together. Sew at ⅛ inch (0.5 cm). 

Hemming the cowl neck top

7. Finishing touches

Hem the bottom using the double fold technique.

How to make a cowl neck tank top

How to make a cowl neck tank top

I hope this tutorial taught you how to make a cowl neck tank top that you can make and wear the same day.

DIY cowl neck tank top

Let me know in the comments what you think of my pattern and DIY cowl neck tank top. Please share photos of you wearing it!

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