Colette back cowl neck mini dress – Free PDF sewing pattern

colette back cowl neck dress free PDF sewing pattern

Are you looking for a last minute party dress? Try the Colette back cowl neck dress which is so simple and can be done in a free weekend afternoon.

Let’s have a closer look at the design:

Tiana’s Closet sewing patterns are made in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL so you may find a suitable size for yourself. If you are not sure which size suits you, take a look at the measurement table before doing anything here: SIZE GUIDE.

The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the printing instruction in this post: PRINTING GUIDE.

My patterns are now made in both A4/Letter paper and A0 paper format so you can print at home or at any print shop!

For home printers, you can print this using your home printer and either A4 or Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!

Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit. I was informed by a reader that you can also print the pdf as image to get the right scale, however I never tested it on my computer.


You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice. This pattern is intended for woven fabric. If you use knit fabric, size down 1 size.
  • Some 1cm (3/8in) elastic for sleeve opening
  • Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
  • Sewing machine/Serger or needle and thread
  • Printed pattern

How much fabric do you need for this piece of garment? To be precise, you may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.

Cutting instruction:

After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this:

All my patterns already include 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance. Just cut the pattern pieces as is and use a 1cm seam allowance when you sew.

The fabric will be cut into following pieces:

  • Front: cut 1 piece on the fold
  • Back: cut 1 piece on the fold
  • Sleeve: cut 2 mirrored pieces
  • Front Neck Binding: cut 1 piece on bias
  • Back Tie Strap: cut 2 pieces on bias

Place the pattern pieces on the fabric, pin the pattern pieces to the fabric to secure them in place. Using sharp scissors, carefully cut out the fabric pieces along the outer lines of the pattern. Take your time to ensure precise and clean cuts, as this will affect the fit and overall appearance of your garment.

Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as darts, pleats, draw marks etc. from the pattern pieces onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.

Sewing instruction:

1. Serger/zic sag stitch the raw edge of fabric to prevent unwanted unravelling.

2. Use bias binding to finish the front neck. You can refer to a video tutorial on how to do it here:

3. Fold the hem of the cowl neck at the back and topstitch to secure.

4. Place Front and Back right sides facing. Match the shoulder of the Back with the shoulder of the right, then fold the self facing part of the cowl neck to cover the front shoulder seam. Pin and sew the shoulder seam and turn the fabric over. Repeat with the other side.

5. Match the side seam of the dress and sew.

6. Fold the Sleeve lengthwise, right sides facing, match the underarm and sew the underarm seam.

7. Fold the seam allowance of the Sleeve cuff in about 1.5cm (5/8in) and sew the sleeve hem, leaving 2.5cm (1in) opening to insert elastic. Thread in elastic, make sure it doesn’t twist and sew two ends together. Push elastic into the casing and sew to close the Sleeve hem.

8. Set in the Sleeve. You can refer to a video on how to set in sleeve here:

9. Make spaghetti straps and attach it to the back neck, about 5cm (2inch) from the shoulder seam. You can refer to this post for tutorial on how to sew spaghetti straps:

10. Fold and sew the hem of the dress to finish.

And here is the download link:



To download just click on the link above and choose “Save link as”. The PDF file will be downloaded to your device. An advertisement may pop up, just close it and continue with your download. In case some ads attempt to make you enter your personal info, just ignore and close it. I do NOT require any kind of information to download my pattern files.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Because of many cases of copyright infringement, I have restricted permission on my patterns from now on and you will not be able to open it using pdf editing software like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw etc. Please use PDF readers to open and view the files – there are many free PDF readers that offer layer viewing and printing, like Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader…

Happy sewing! And don’t forget to share your project on my Facebook page: Tiana’s Closet Sewing Patterns or tag me on Instagram #tianasclosetsewingpatterns, I will be thrilled to see the garment in real life!

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