We have seen a lot questions about raising or lowering the neckline of various P4P shirts or dresses. On the blog today I show you how easy it is to alter the neckline to achieve the look you want. For this tutorial I will use the Sweet Tee pattern in a beautiful viscose rayon (dress option lengthen 3.5″) but you can apply this technique to either one of the shirt patterns.
Start by printing and cutting your pattern in the size needed. The only piece we will be altering will be the front of the shirt (or bodice).
For lowering the neckline you will need to mark on the center fold where you would like the new neckline to be. I usually lower my Sweet Tee neckline 1.5 inches. Using a French Curve (or going slowly) draw a curve similar to the original one from your mark to the inner shoulder point.
Cut your fabric using the new front pattern piece. The rest of the pattern pieces will remain the same. The only other change you will need to make is the length of the neckband or binding.
To raise the neckline you will need to grab your front bodice piece and a blank piece of paper. Align the center fold of the front pattern piece with the side of your paper and glue them together.
Mark a point 1-2 inches above the original top center depending on how high you’d like the neckline. Using the French Curve draw a curve from the center point to the inner shoulder point. Cut the new front using this modified pattern piece and the rest of the pieces as in the original pattern.
The only additional modification you will need to make is to adjust the neckband or binding length. You will need to make it longer or shorter depending on the new neckline. I like to calculate the new neckband length after I sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulder. To find out the new neckline circumference lay the neck opening along a ruler and multiple it by 2.
Your new neckband length will be 85% of this circumference plus 1 inch to accommodate the seam allowance. (C * 0.85 +1 ). Cut the new neckband/binding using the new length but keeping the width suggests in the pattern. All you have left to do now is sew the shirt or dress according to the tutorial and you have just made yourself a custom outfit. Easy peasy…right? 🙂
I can’t wait to see your creations in the Pattern for Pirates group.
Happy sewing, pirates!
Thank you for this helpful tutorial! I would imagine raising or lowering a V or square neckline would be the same? They are my preferred necklines to be honest but I’m assuming it would be the same process?
Yes, you’re right. It’s basically the same process.
Thank you. It seems so easy and logical when you explain it! I look forward to customizing a few tees.
Erica Dohring says
This dress is beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you for this, easy to understand! I have a neckline that is to low in the back and a bit too ‘open’ across the shoulders. How would you alter that type of pattern?
Such a beautiful dress and the model looks great in it.!