Adobe Illustrator screen displaying the drafting of a cross-over collar pattern on a bodice block.

How to: Draft a Cross-Over Collar Pattern with Adobe Illustrator

Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Enter into the world of pattern making in Adobe Illustrator with our Cross-over collar pattern making project. This pattern making tutorial will walk you through the steps of transforming a bodice basic block into a finished pattern with sophisticated cross-over collar pattern. It’s perfect for adding a refined touch to any garment. With Adobe Illustrator and a basic bodice block, you’ll find the process not only manageable but enjoyable.

The Foundation of a Cross-Over Collar: At the heart of this pattern making project is the innovative manipulation of the side neck dart. Instead of serving its usual purpose, the dart becomes a pleat that adds complexity to the collar’s structure. The adaptability of a cross-over collar makes it a beloved choice for designers, offering fluidity and style to pieces like the two-piece dress.

Getting Started with Your Basic Block: Open up your bodice block in Adobe Illustrator and locate the side neck dart. This dart is about to become the cornerstone of your cross-over collar pattern. You’ll extend these lines towards the center front to shape the edge of your collar, setting the stage for the cross-over effect.

Crafting the Collar: With the dart lines extended, it’s time to play with the dimensions. Decide on the height of your collar and the depth of the cross-over for a range of aesthetic outcomes. Whether you’re aiming for a modest coverage or a bold statement with a deep V, these choices will dictate the final look of your design.

Bringing the Design to Life: The cross-over collar is as functional as it is fashionable. It can act as a front opening on a chic blouse or be sewn closed and attached to a skirt waistband as an ornamental flourish.

Exploring Design Options: Embrace the variety of styles by experimenting with the collar height and cross-over depth. Each variation offers a new opportunity to customize the design to your liking, catering to different occasions and preferences.

Your Pattern Making Journey: By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have transformed a basic bodice block into a dynamic and stylish cross-over collar pattern. This project will not only broaden your pattern making skillset but also inspire you to

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. Ralph Pink

    Hi Abi. Thanks for your question.
    The new bodice block should be cut with the grainline of the fabric running parallel to the center front and center back lines. The back of the collar will have a bias which should ease the curve of the collar and neckline. Does this answer your question?

    • Abi

      Thanks so much! That’s helpful as a guide in case I want to change the style slightly on mine.

      • Ralph Pink

        Great! Glad to be of help 🙂

  2. Abi

    Hi, such a pretty bodice! How do you know where to place the grainline on the new front bodice piece, or more generally, how do you choose which edges of the fabric will be cut on the bias versus on a grain? Thanks so much for creating this lovely tutorial!


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