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How to Raise, Lower, or Change the Neckline on a Pattern

8 Lessons taught by Haley


709 Seamwork members have watched this class.
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Neckline Finishing

While the steps to adjust a neckline’s shape, width, and depth are the same for knit and woven fabric, the neckbands themselves require different finishing methods. Let’s take a look at the differences between knit and woven necklines.

Knit Neckbands

Knit neckbands are drafted to be smaller than the opening that they are finishing. This ensures a couple of things. 1). That the neckband is flat against the body instead of flipping up and away and 2.) The neckline itself hugs the body and does not gape. Drafting a knit neckband is simply a matter of measuring your neckline a doing a little bit of math.

Step 01: Start by measuring the front and back neckline of your pattern. Using a flexible tape measure makes this a bit easier.

Step 02: Take this measurement and multiply it by .70. This will give you a neckline ratio of 70%, which I find works pretty well for most projects. This measurement is your neckband length.

Step 03: Then decide on your desired neckband width. A width of between 1/2” and 1” is pretty common. Multiply this number by 2, and this is your neckband width.

Step 04: Draw a rectangle that is your neckband length by your neckband width.

Step 05: Add 3/8” seam allowance along all edges and cut.

Facings

A facing is a great way to finish woven garments, but it also can work for more stable knits.

Step 01: Using a tracing wheel, trace along the stitch lines of the front neckline, shoulder seam, and center front of your front pattern piece.

Step 02: Use your rulers to draw out the traced lines.

Step 03: Using a clear ruler, reduce the entire neckline by 1/8”. This is going to help encourage the neckline to roll towards the inside so you don’t see the facing peeking out.

Step 04: Draw a line parallel to and below the neckline. The distance between this line and the neckline should be your desired facing width. I like a facing that is 1 1/2”-2” wide.

If you are working with a facing for a V-neck, you can square off the bottom of your facing so it won’t be pointed. Then, add seam allowance to the shoulder and neckline, and cut.

Step 05: Repeat along the back neckline to create the back facing.

Bias Finish

A single-fold bias tape finish is great for woven projects. This finish is super easy to draft, and it requires very little math. It’s simply a matter of measuring and drawing a rectangle.

Step 01: Start by measuring the front and back neckline of your pattern. Using a flexible tape measure makes this a bit easier. This measurement is your bias tape length.

Here’s a tip for if you’re taking a measurement on the fold, and you need to double it, but you don’t want to do math. After you measure it the front with a soft tape measure, fold the tape measure in half to easily and math-lessly calculate double!

Step 02: Then decide on your desired bias width. 1/2” is pretty common. Multiply this number by 2. This is the bias tape width.

Note: If you want to use double-fold bias tape, just multiply the finished width by 4 instead.

Step 03: Draw a rectangle that is your neckband length by your neckband width.

Step 04: D Add 3/8” seam allowance along the short edge and cut.

With these simple neckline adjustments, you can make any pattern work for your style. Once again, don’t skip a pattern just because you don’t like the neckline. Instead, draft your dream neckline!

If you need any help, be sure to share in the Community.

How to Raise, Lower, or Change the Neckline on a Pattern

In addition to your regular sewing kit, here’s what you’ll need for this class:


  • Rulers: A clear ruler and curved rulers of your choice

  • Flexible tape measure

  • Pattern paper (a roll or large sheets)

  • A sharp pencil and an eraser

  • Clear tape

Have questions? Ask over in the Community.

Community

Work alongside other sewists by participating in the Seamwork community. Ask and answer questions, share your progress, get inspired by real-life sewists, and post your finished projects.

Join Seamwork