|Shirt pictured is from the Surf and Sun outfit|
Do you have a thrifted dress that only needs a simple re-fashion,
or a pattern that you love but would like to make a little more flattering?
Maybe you’re just getting sick of basic kid’s clothes and want to jazz up your next sewing project.
Adjusting the shape of the neckline is a simple way to completely change the look of any top or dress!
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the regular crew, scoop, halter, square, boat, sweetheart, and v-necklines from your shopping trips to the mall. But how familiar are you with the portrait, ballet, queen anne, sabrina, decolltage, and illusion styles? The technical name is usually a personal preference since round, crew, and jewel are all names for the same look, but there are dozens of options to choose from. And with a little practice you can design your neckline to look any way you’d like!
All you’ll need is a pattern, pencil, ruler and paper to get started!
(if you’re working from an existing garment simply trace the neck and shoulders, and use this as your pattern.)
Trace an existing pattern that you would like to change.
(If you plan to make an asymmetrical neckline, be sure to draw both sides of the center fold.)
Mark any pre-existing seam allowances.
Draw a new neckline between the center front and the shoulder lines.
(Below are a few of the most common necklines, but you could make any shape you’d like.)
Once you are happy with your shape, add a new line for seam allowance.
Trim away any excess paper and match the front and back pattern pieces along the shoulder seam. If you changed the length of the front seam, the back will also need to be adjusted. Mark the new seam length and seam allowance on the back pattern piece.
I chose to change the back neckline entirely, but you could easily keep the old neckline.
Simply start at the center back and blend the old neckline into the new shoulder seam marking.
(Don’t forget to add the necessary seam allowances.)
Now the pattern is finished and we’re ready to make the facings.
Draw a center front line on a new piece of paper.
Line your adjusted pattern up with the line and trace the shoulder and neckline.
Mark the seam allowance.
Measure down the width you would like, and draw a bottom edge for your facing. I generally use between 1 1/2 – 2 inches.
(For wavy or scalloped facings, it’s much easier to make this bottom edge a straight line.)
Repeat the process with the back pattern.
(Make sure to allow a small overlap for the placement of a zipper or button placket)
Here is my final front pattern and facing…
…and the back pattern and facing.
Keep in mind that the same process can be used to make armhole facings as well, and
stop back tomorrow for a tutorial on how to sewing the facings to the actual garment.
I’ve done most of the basic necklines during all my years of sewing,
but I think I’d like to try the scalloped neckline next.
Are there any you’d like to try?