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Boat neck question

mem | Posted in Fitting on

hello all I am wondering if you can help . I have sloping shoulders and I love Boat necks . They arent great on sloping shoulders and I am wondering if I insert a triangle into the neck corners where front and back meet whether this will help my problem . I am thinking that I can the insert a small shoulder pad to lift the end of my shoulder point a little . Has anyone done this and how would i handle the facing on the neckline and the insert?


  1. mygaley | | #1

    Dear Mem:  I have a rtw knit shirt made with the insets as you mention.  I'll try to describe it:  You mentioned the neckline facing and this method finished it completely.  The front and back are finished identically.

    Cut fabric the entire upper front width (from armhole seam to armhole seam) 5" wide.  Fold in half the long way and this becomes your front neckline and facing.  Pin raw edges together.  Do the same for the back from armhole to armhole.  Cut two pieces each 5X10" fold in half and pin edges.  Now place small rectangles folded edges toward neck, raw edges Center touching shoulder seam dot.  These become triangles when the facings are added to fit.

    Take the two long folded pieces, folded edge facing up, and place over small pieces with each folded edge touching shoulder seam dot and front and back folded edges touching each other.  Spread increasing opening to reveal triangle shaped piece on each side.  You will have to decide how much of this seam you want open.  This is your neckline/facing.  Serge across raw edges, taking in small rectangle raw edge, across front, over shoulder, across back, over shoulder.  My rtw shirt has a separate front and back included in this seam, but I think you could cut the fronts/backs/facings as one when you get the hang of it.

    If you have added the front/back now you are ready to put in the sleeve.  On my shirt the entire armhole edges were serged with the sleeve (Match that dot)and on down the sides. 

    This is very wordy, but basically you are making a folded front binding 2 1/2 inches wide, a folded back binding 2 1/2 in wide, and two self faced pieces to fill in the triangle area under the binding.  I don't see why you couldn't try a narrow binding, maybe satin with satin triangles. 

    Some fabrics will require some light support in the binding/facing, especially if you are cutting the front/front binding as one, etc.  Sewing all into the armscye helps anchor it all.  My experience with boat necks has been the same as yours, and I love them, also, so I always try to do something to keep them on my shoulders.  God bless you.  Galey

    1. mem | | #2

      Hello and thankyou for all your trouble . I do understand this BUT when you talk about the facing being 5 inches wide do you mean that it forms a band across the front and back  with the fold along the neckline edge? I am not sure how the facing in your description relates to the front and back of the T shirt.

      1. mygaley | | #3

        Yes, that's exactly what I meant.  This facing can be any width, actually, I was just describing my rtw one.  I also still think the front and backs could be cut with an extended facing 2.5" and just fold it over to the wrong side.  Where you sew the shoulder seams over the little V's and include the facing in the armscye seam would hold it in place enough, I think.  Gale

        1. mem | | #4

          Thanks . That is quite clear and I a m grateful that you took the time to discribe it.

        2. Josefly | | #5

          Gale, I also love boat necklines and have narrow shoulders, so your solution will be useful to me. I'm having trouble visualizing how the folded facings are sewn to the front and back neck-lines. Can you help me on this? (Suddenly I'm realizing how dependent I am on drawings in pattern instructions!) Is the line across the neck and shoulder one continuous straight line? Is the rectangle, which forms the triangle when all is sewn, pinned to the wrong sides of the front and back before sewing the shoulder seam? You can see how much trouble I'm having.Joan

          1. mygaley | | #6

            Here goes:  cut out paper pattern of all pieces as described, including sleeves.  Mark shoulder DOT on sleeves.  Fold long rectangles in half wst and mark centers.  Fold small rectangles wst into a square and mark centers from folded edge to raw edges. 

            Place your pieces on work surface like this:  right sleeve rsu, dot toward center; square center cut edge on dot and folded edge toward center; leave space of about 6"; square, center cut edge on dot and folded edge toward center; left sleeve with dot touching center cut edge and dot toward center.

            Take one long piece, folded edge facing you, and place end on square, matching cut edges and fold overlapping center mark by 3/8".  Repeat with other end on other square.  Take second long piece (this is the front) fold facing away, and place end on square, matching cut edges and fold overlapping center mark 3/8".  Leave sleeves for now.  Pin all layers together at shoulder (dot), 2" from shoulder and 3" from shoulder. 

            On my rtw garment, the center mark is stitched a few inches through all layers and then the long folded edges are allowed to spread somewhat (perhaps 1" total) to form a V with the pointed end toward the stitching and the wider end at the square folded edge. The stitching path is divided to reach the end of the V. 

            Now you will have a rectangle, more or less, in your hands.  Adjust the front and back width to fit you. If you are satisfied with your paper pattern, you can probably begin with fabric now.  You will be able to see that the bodice front and back can be serged on now. Pin on the sleeves and continuously serge all layers around the sleeves.  This finishes the yoke/binding and completely inserts the sleeves.  If you don't have a serger, use three-step zz to finish those edges.  Sew underarm sleeves and bodice.  Hem sleeves and bottom. 

            Please see my earlier message about not having binding effect and also about using satin.  That was 1000 words to describe a small 6 piece picture!  Let me know how this comes out.  Galey

          2. Josefly | | #7

            Gale, that seems like a complete description. I'm going to lay the pieces out just as you've said. Thank you for your help. Joan

        3. mem | | #8

          Hi, I am back again.I just thought Iwould tell you how I went. I draped a top on my dress form and tried it on . YUCK! Then realized that the problem was with the hieght of the back neck. I raised that by about an inch and the result was great. There are little triangles in the corners and I draped the front neckline edge quite a way into the back of the top of the sleeve  and the opposite for the back of the top. I am very encouraged to continue . I have been mulling on this for years and your suggestion and description of how your top was made was definitely the key  so THANK YOU!!!!!! I think that with boat necks the problem is that the lower back neck emphasises the forward curve of the neck and shoulder . This tends to be more common in someone who has the sloping shoulder problem. In the 20s it was fashionable to have sloping shoulders!

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