Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gaping Neckline Adjustment

A gaping neckline can be a real pain in your finished dress.  So here is how you can fix it:

Before you start sewing your pattern you must do this important step -

MAKE A TOILE/MUSLIN FIRST of the bodice or dress to nut out any fitting problems.  That way there will be no tears at the end and another outfit thrown in the corner because it doesn't fit.

Ok, so you've made your Toile - now is the time to try it on and see what fitting problems you have with your pattern.

The problem I see for this Toile is the gaping front neckline and also the fitting at the bust.  But for this lesson I'll just address the gaping front neckline.

All a gaping neckline means is that the across chest is too big for you.  So the across chest needs to be taken in.

Step 1 
  • pin in the excess fabric at the neckline making sure that you continue this down to nothing.  It will end up looking like a dart and it should finish around just above the bust.  If it goes lower than the bust almost to the waist - then your problem is that you have chosen a size too big for you.
Step 2
  • Now to transfer that amount of excess to your pattern.
  • Measure down to the point where the excess fabric dart finishes.
  • Mark that on your pattern and square a line out to finish at the seam.

Step 3
  • Now draw a line up to the neckline - say half way between the CF and the shoulder.
  • Measure how much needs to be taken out of the pattern and halve it.
  • Mark that amount on the pattern to the right of the first line at the neckline and draw a line back down to the first point.

Step 4
  • Now fold the dart in and secure with tape.  This is the time now to redraw the neckline if it needs it.
  • The same amount of excess needs to also be taken out of the front neck facing.

And that's it ladies - I hope this has helped one aspect of making an outfit fit your properly.  And now you are ready to make a gorgeous new outfit for yourself.


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am making Phoebe by Colette Patterns and I couldn't figure out how to fix that gaping neckline on a princess seam dress. I'm giving this a shot. My princess seam goes up onto the shoulder, but hopefully, I can figure that out with your guidelines. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you, this makes perfect sense! I've had this problem with almost every dress I've made. At first I thought I was making a mistake because I was inexperienced.

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  4. That's the best solution I've seen for this. It eliminates adjusting the armsyce or going off-grain in the middle. Many thanks.