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Gaping neckline

sewcrazed | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m trying to draft a surplice bodice and the neckline gapes.  I know that I should be able to pull some of it in with twill tape when I sew the seams, but does anyone have hints for drafting some of it out? 


  1. mem | | #1

    What is a surplice bodice? Is it for a church garment?If that what it is I imagine that it is too wide and you need to take some out of the centre .

  2. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #2

    Excess in the neckline can be dealt with easily if you think of it as a "dart" (which it is) and transfer the excess to another location, such as below the bust. If it is just a tiny amount, sometimes you can fold out the excess on your paper pattern to nothing before it reaches the bust point and redraw your neckline in that shape.

    1. sewcrazed | | #3

      Thanks I'll give it a try.

  3. Teaf5 | | #4

    Have you tried taking the excess out at the shoulder seam? I have an ample bust but a relatively shallow chest area, so necklines often gape.

    I adjust the shoulder seamline of the fronts, making them a little more horizontal than the original tapered line; getting rid of that 1/2" or so makes the neckline lie flat against my upper chest area without making the bustline too snug.

    To determine how much you need to remove, try on the top (a surplice is a wrap front) and try pinching the shoulder seams where they end at your neckline. You can see the immediate improvement in fit and can mark where your optimal new shoulder line will be. If you try on the top inside out, you can pin in the new fit and new seam and can take it directly to the machine to sew.

  4. alotofstitches | | #5

    As a rule I always take off 1/4" on the FRONT only at the neckline seam.  Trim away 1/4 at the neckline seam and taper out to original seam at the shoulder.  I do this on all square necklines, V-necklines and I just did on a surplice too.  On the surplice I also used a "stay tape" (actually was selvage of lining) in the front facing seam and eased out 1/4" of the length by cutting the stay 1/4" shorter than the actual seam and easing in the fullness.  That neckline hugged her body with absolutely no gaping!  You really need to try the lining selvage as a stay--it has no give at all.  I use it in wasitlines, etc.  I never discard selvage of linings!

    1. SewNancy | | #6

      I cut off the selvedge of any thin silk or lining and put it away in a plastic bag.

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