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bateau neckline gaping

Kbrane | Posted in Fitting on

I recently made a knee length princess line sheath dress out of a cotton97% lycra3% blend (woven)with a boat/bateau/wide neckline. I didn’t remove enough ease from the pattern so I had to keep taking in seams, but I finally have it fitting pretty well. My only problem now is the neckline is gaping.
How do you alter the pattern to prevent gaping?
How do you alter an already made dress to get rid of the gaping?

Thanks in advance!


  1. Tatsy | | #1

    There's an easy trick to fix the gape. A piece of 1/4" ribbon attached to the seam allowance at each side of neckline acts like a sling and holds the neck in place. If you like, you can add a small loop of ribbon to the center front (at the hem of the facing) to act as a guide and keep the ribbon inside the boat neck so it doesn't get in your way as you're dressing.As for adjusting the pattern, the easiest way to deal with this is to shift the center front of the pattern so that part of the neckline (an inch or less)is off the fabric. This does put the pattern piece slightly off the grain but it works with the design of the garment, not against it. You don't have to cut or change the pattern at all, just the placement on the center fold. Good luck.

    1. Kbrane | | #2

      thanks! I'm having trouble visualizing the ribbon sling...can you explain a bit more? Also, if you shifted the pattern on the fabric on the center front at the neckline, wouldn't that make the hem wider since it would be slanted a bit?
      I made the pattern for this dress, so it wouldn't be hard to adjust the pattern for the future if the shape would work better a different way. I'm just feeling a bit dense about the current dress (which I love in all other ways)

      1. Tatsy | | #3

        Imagine a piece of ribbon hanging right under the fold of the bateau neck, connected at each end to take up the slack. Since the piece of ribbon is slightly shorter than the length of the neckline it has the effect of easing the extra fabric to the desired length.To visualize this more easily, use a small piece of knit fabric and a ribbon longer than the width of the fabric. Lay the ribbon lengthwise across the fabric. Pick up both ends of the ribbon and lift the fabric so that the fabric is hanging down on both sides of the ribbon. (It should look like a sheet hanging on a clothesline.) As you raise your hands or bring them closer together the fabric, the fabric gets narrower because there is less space available for it to hang from the ribbon. Lower or separate your hands and the fabric widens again.Since you're only using this trick to take out an inch or so of fabric the ease won't be noticeable. The same goes for the extra inch or two at the hemline. It probably won't show. If it does, you take the extra fabric out in a wedge at the seamline that matches the wedge that was added by shifting the pattern.

        1. Kbrane | | #4

          Thank you!

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