How to do Neck Alterations on Sewing Patterns
Hey y’all, today we’re going to talk about how to change necklines on dresses, t-shirts and tops. I’m kicking off a month of sewing hacks to my Esma Top pattern. Though we’re focusing on Esma, these hacks can be applied generally to any pattern.
The Esma Top has a V-neckline, as shown below.
But I changed this one to a squared neckline, and I love how it looks. Note that while the corners of the neckline are square, the sides are slightly slanted. This is generally both more flattering and lays better on the not flat surface of the chest.
So let’s answer the question of how to alter a neckline. If you’re new to pattern hacking, this type of hack is one of the simplest ones to do. It’s almost as easy as just drawing a new neckline (though I’ll get into a few tips to keep in mind). I made a video about neckline alterations that you can watch below, or on YouTube here.
How to Change Necklines
- Draw your new desired neckline shape.
- Make sure the bodice or shirt front still matches the pattern back at the shoulder seams.
- If the neckline is finished with a facing, draw a new facing. (See this post on how to sew beautiful neck facings)
- If the neckline is finished with a band, measure the new neckline and adjust the length of the band. A good rule of thumb is to make the band about 80-90% of the neckline. For all my best tips on sewing neckbands, see this post.
- Be careful when cutting a neckline that is more open than the original – cut less than you think you need and hold the front up to check the neckline before committing. Don’t forget seam allowances!
So have fun changing your necklines to suit your mood!