Change the Neckline of a Sewing Pattern With This Easy Technique

by Sally
1 Material
15 Minutes

One of the joys of making your own clothes is being able to make them exactly as you’d like them! Whether getting the fit of the pattern spot on or just tweaking the style to your preferences, it’s a lovely way to express your personal style.

This tutorial teaches you how to adjust the neckline of a sewing pattern. Here I’m using the Hughes Dress by Friday Pattern Company as an example. The pattern has a scoop neck, but I’d prefer it to be a V. Let’s get hacking!

Firstly, decide how you want the new neckline to look. This is the original dress with a scoop neck. After trying it on, I’d like to lower the centre neckline by 6cm for a deeper plunge and change it to a V

Now time to make the changes on your paper pattern. You will need tracing paper, a pencil and ruler. I’m using a smaller scale print version as an example here!

Mark on the pattern the lower neckline by measuring down from the centre front (in my case 6cm)

Trace around the pattern piece stopping at the lower neckline point (blue lines here)

Using your ruler, draw a smooth line between the new centre front point and the neckline. I wanted the neckline to be 1cm wider as well so have adjusted the line!

Cut out and you have your new pattern piece. Tip: remember to write on the pattern pieces the detail of the adjustment so that you remember it for next time.

When you change the neckline of a bodice you may also need to create a new facing (if the pattern has one) as the original will not match the new piece.

lay a piece of tracing paper over your new pattern piece.

Trace over the neckline

Using your ruler, mark points evenly in from the edge of the pattern piece to the width of your facing. I usually make mine 6-8 cm in width.

Using your ruler join these lines. On this pattern there is a corner point - on the facing we want to make this smoother

Either free hand or using a French curve, draw a smooth curve

You now have your new pattern pieces and are ready to sew!

Here is the same pattern, but with a new V neckline! This is a straightforward technique but makes a huge difference to the look of a dress.

Suggested materials:
  • Viscose   (Stoff & Still)

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