Adobe Illustrator workspace displaying the process of drafting a cowl neck pattern on a bodice block.

How to: Create a Cowl Neck Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Welcome to our cowl neck pattern making tutorial, where we unveil the secrets to adding a touch of modern elegance to your wardrobe staples. The cowl neck is a versatile design that drapes delicately, offering a contemporary twist to the classic neckline. Perfect for beginners, this tutorial will guide you through the process of drafting a cowl neck using Adobe Illustrator. 

The Charm of the Cowl Neck

A cowl neck is not only aesthetically pleasing but also relatively simple to draft, making it an ideal project for those new to pattern making. This design is distinguished by its bias cut, which allows the fabric to drape softly and create an alluring silhouette. It’s a feature that can elevate dresses and tops alike, lending an air of sophistication to any piece.

Your Digital Pattern Making Journey Begins

To start, you’ll need your bodice basic block ready in Adobe Illustrator. This tutorial will walk you through each step, from manipulating the block to employing the specific tools within Illustrator, ensuring you understand the foundations of creating a cowl neck.

Step-by-Step: Drafting the Cowl Neckline

We’ll demonstrate how to adjust your bodice basic block to accommodate the cowl neck, exploring various styles from subtle drapes to deeper, more dramatic cowls. Throughout this pattern making project, you’ll gain insights into the nuances of neckline design and the effects of different draping techniques.

By experimenting with the depth and breadth of the drape, you’ll learn how to produce a range of cowl neck designs, each with its unique charm. This tutorial is designed to spark your creativity, allowing you to tailor your cowl neck pattern to different garments and occasions.

Once you’ve completed this tutorial, you’ll be equipped with the skills to incorporate a cowl neck into any bodice basic block, enhancing your pattern making projects. So, let’s get started and bring this beautiful element to life in Adobe Illustrator.

New to pattern making in Adobe Illustrator? Learn the fundamental pattern making techniques with our comprehensive online course. Read more…

Essentials for Following Along

Before we dive in, you’ll need a bodice basic block to keep up with this pattern-making project. We offer two types of basic blocks for your selection. Standardized basic blocks are ready for immediate use, allowing you to start drafting right away, though they might not match your measurements perfectly. On the other hand, a bespoke basic block, tailored to your specific measurements, offers a precise fit but requires time to create, as we’ll need 28 of your body measurements. Choose the one that best suits your needs!

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Standardized Basic Block

Start pattern making immediately

Visit our partner site, DesignLab.London, for a variety of bodice basic blocks available in multiple sizes. These serve as an ideal starting point or base pattern for your pattern-making project. Explore the collection, select your preferred style and size, and download it to proceed with your project.

Master Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator with our Free course Adapt basic blocks into finished patterns

Bespoke Basic Blocks

Craft a personalized basic block designed for your unique measurements

Looking for a tailor-made basic block for this project? You’re in the right place. Construct your personalised basic block in the Lab by providing your measurements. Simply create a profile, input your measurements, and utilise this profile to design a range of basic block styles. You’ll need the bodice basic block for this project.

What’s Next?

You’re not done there though! If you want to share it online or print it off at home, you’ll need to add seam allowance and transform it into a PDF sewing pattern. Check out the projects below to find out how.

Screenshot of Adobe Illustrator showing the 'Offset Path' function being used to add seam allowance to a basic block of a halter-neck swimsuit pattern.

Learn How to Add Seam Allowance to Your Patterns

Learn how to add seam allowance, to your basic blocks and finished patterns, in Adobe Illustrator, using our simple pattern making tutorial.

Computer screen with a digital pattern making program, Adobe Illustrator open, showing a dress basic block pattern, on a desk with modern design tools.

Master Pattern Making Techniques in Adobe Illustrator

Transform Basic Blocks into Precision Finished Patterns

Learn the fundamental techiques of pattern making with our Free comprehensive pattern making in Adobe Illustrator course

Screenshot of a dress basic block layout in Adobe Illustrator, showcasing the process to create PDF sewing patterns.

Learn How to Create PDF Sewing Patterns

Transform your finished patterns into multi-page PDF sewing patterns in a range of paper sizes. Then save, print from home, or share and sell your PDF sewing patterns online.


  1. Maria

    I happened to stumble upon your website and I thought wow!!! what a genius concept. Thank you! X

    • Ralph Pink

      Thanks for the lovely comment! We’re glad you love the site!

  2. pursuring perfect

    Fantasitc block, Ralph! It has been working perfectly for me! Your tutorials are top shelf. How could I draft this cowl neck, but keep the bust darts for a gather design element?

  3. Gulistan Kavvasoglu


    I am very happy to discover you, and still cant believe .

    Thank you


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