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Design Necklines for Knit or Woven Tops

Video: Threads Magazine

Threads author and pattern designer Pamela Leggett shares easy techniques for revamping a favorite top design by changing the neckline shape. Watch her process as she creates a modified sweetheart neckline and an asymmetrical V-neckline.

Pamela points out that many patterns are basic silhouettes with different neckline shapes. If you have a tried-and-true top pattern, you can revise a jewel neckline to a more interesting and flattering shape. Her methods can be used on knit or woven garments. You’ll learn how to draft a style that looks best on you and how to finish the necklines for a high-quality, durable result.

Modified sweetheart neckline

This neckline has gentle corners that are joined by a subtly curved front line. For this design, trace the pattern front onto pattern paper. Then hold the pattern against your body to determine the desired depth and width of the neckline. This process enables you to ensure that the neckline doesn’t reveal your undergarments when worn. At this point, you can also widen the front neckline. If you do so, you’ll eventually need to adjust the back shoulder seam length as well, so it matches the revised front shoulder seam.

With straight and curved rulers as guides, draw the new neckline shape. Be sure to make the neckline at the center front perpendicular to the center-front foldline. This prevents having a dip or a point in the center. Play around with the curved ruler to develop a graceful shape. Pamela shows how to “bend” the lines for a less angular shape. The result is a line that reads as perfectly straight, but is actually softly curved.

Pamela advocates testing the newly designed neckline by making a paper template and using it to cut and sew a truncated version of the top. Try this…


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  1. cgincolorado | | #1

    I just saw this video and it's extremely useful. I am making summer T shirts and will definitely incorporate these techniques. The facing on the modified sweetheart neckline looks so nice and professional, much nicer than most RTW. Thank you so much for this.

  2. User avater
    canei | | #2

    Thanks so much for this great information. Will be trying soon.

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