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neckline question!

carobanano | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Before I ask my question, you’ll need to know a little backstory…..

I designed and sewed my prom dress this year. It has a low back and a V-neck. Originally, I had planned to sew a small fabric tube along the neckline, lace a self-fabric cord through it, and stitch together the ends of the cord, thus creating a halter neckline. In my haste to finish the dress, though, I abandoned that idea and just haphazardly sewed a strip of fabric to the tops of the V. (Which is still a halter, now that I think about it.)

I ripped that strip off in my quest to improve the dress for the “Inspired by Threads” challenge. But now I’m not so sure about my first idea. I think that if I did that, there would be wrinkles at the center of the V and the dress would hang oddly. The V is pretty much a right angle, and the cord would, I think, be the one thing holding the dress up. (There’s elastic around the back and sides, to pull it close to the body, but that’s it.)

Am I right in assuming that center of the V would wrinkle? If so, do you have any suggestions for a clean, sophisticated neckline?


  1. MelissaB | | #1

    Dear Caro,

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the situation, but why couldn't you attach the self-fabric tube to each end of the "neckline" instead of running it through a drawstring casing? A facing( would replace the casing.

    It seems to me you are right to be concerned about the garment gathering along the casing for the self-fabric tube, though the problem at the "V" to worry about is distortion of the neckline because of the stress of the weight of the garment hanging from the "V"'s point. Unless the garment is fitted to the body below the bust and the body is providing support for the garment through the waist and hips. In that situation the weight hanging from the "V" is basically just the bodice and not the whole garment.

    If the garment won't hang right with the self-fabric tube going up and around the neck for a halter look, why not have two (or more) self-fabric tubes attached to the ends of the "neckline" and go up over the shoulder, then down to join the fabric at the edge of the back of the dress. This would add quite an eye-catching, dramatic embelishment.

    Good luck on your project,


    1. carobanano | | #2

      Hi Melissa,

      What you suggested is definitely an option! I originally was concerned with how I would attach spaghetti straps to the tops of the V, like you said- but now I realize that I would just have to reduce the seam allowances in order to flatten it out, and hand-stitch it to the facing. (Does that make ANY sense?) I wanted a really clean look, so I avoided having straps at the back. In any case, I'll keep your suggestions in mind and play around some more! Thanks!

      (PS- Perhaps I was phrasing it wrong- what you said about the weight of the dress hanging from the point of the "V" is exactly what I was worried about. The dress is, at best, "body-skimming;" at worst, "loose"!)

      1. mem1 | | #3

        This sounds very like a dress I made in the 1970s when I was about your age!It was made out of a soft jersey fabric and I felt like one of "Charlies Angels" when wearing it. It worked because of the fabric . It had a deep V neck and a drawstring which went around the neck and tied at the back . As I remember it was possible to cross the drawsring at the front and create a keyhole  effct at the front.This meant that I had to rearrange the gathers of the neckline edge .The skirt of the dress fell from just below the bustand was gathered onto the two triangular bust pieces with elastic. ,the back dipped down and was also controlled by elastic.It was a very simple dress and very easy to make .

        1. carobanano | | #4

          Ooooh, that sounds like a fun dress. The drawstring-keyhole neckline you described seems really cool- I wouldn't do it with this dress, but I like it! It could pop up somewhere else. :D Thanks for the idea!

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