Creating a Unique Neckline

Such a lovely design deserves to be highlighted. Yes because it’s on the front upper chest it will be noticed. But the classic T-shirt neckline, which is included for PP103/104, does not really focus attention on the embridered design.  So when I cut the fabric, I also cut large facings. I don’t like 5/8″ facings. They are twiddley and fussy to work with and for me, never finish an even width. A big facing is easy to handle and adds lots of stability.  I make mine as wide as the shoulders. In the back I make them follow the armscye 3-4 inches deep and curve the bottom edge. For this front, the facing is as wide as the shoulders, follows the armscye and extends 2″ down the side seam. The bottom is curved as well. This makes it easier for me to complete my neckline process.

I stabilize the back shoulder seams and then stitch back to front of both the garment and the facing pieces. A quick press of the seams and then I start pinning the facing and garment right-sides together. Before I had a dressform I’d continue working at the ironing board. I find this to be an unexpected benefit to the dressform because at some point, I slip the garment over my dressform and smooth the pieces into place which is much easier than working at the ironing board.

I throw a pin or two into the side seams to help the process.

Then start considering, how do I want this neckline.  Well there are things I know about myself. Such as I like most necklines around 6″ deep. Measure and add a tick mark 6″ down from the shoulder.

This may not be necessary, but I like to make a horizontal line across the top so that it’s easy for me to compare what I’m doing later with that 6″ depth.

I also know that I want to cut well away from my embroidered design.  To many times, I’ve planned for a 1/4″ seam allowance and ended up stitching into my design. So now I mark 1/2″ above the design.

I do like where the Pp103/104  neckline falls on the shoulder, but today I’d like the neckline to be a little wider. I don’t want it too wide, because I have narrow shoulders. To plan my neckline, I make a tick mark 1/2″ from the neckline at the shoulder.


With these guide lines in place, I’m ready to consider, square? V-neck? Deep Scoop” Sweetheart?  I look and decide I want a deep rounded V-neck.  It’s an easy matter to align my french curve with the tick at the shoulder and the center front (which was marked when I did the embroidery) and then draw a line.

I make note of the numbers (13 at the shoulder 8 and the center front) flip the french curve and align the numbers up on the other side. I draw the neckline on the other side and then pin all the way around.

But no matter how careful I am at the dressform or ironing board, I know that I’m unlikely to create a symmetrical neckline if I trim away the excess right now. Instead, I fold the garment in half, carefully aligning shoulder seams, center front  and the neckline. At the ironing board, I carefully smooth everything into place..

.. and then cut through all layers (there are 4)  1/4″ away from the pins.

Not sure if you can see it in these photos but I make sure to cut perpendicularly to the fold on the back for the first inch and the first 1/4″ on the front fold. That gives me the rounded look I want instead of a dip in the back or sharp point in front. I press, understitch the neckline, press again and arrange the garment on the dressform. The neckline bothers me. It’s the fabric. The fabric is a soft double-knit. The neckline is not clinging to body of the dressform and won’t do so on my body.  The question for me: is this slight enough to ignore or should I do something to fix it now?  I decide to fix the neckline before I start hating it.  I pin along the neckline securing the facing to the garment. Then I stitch 3/8″ away from the neckline edge but I start 1/2″ from the center, stitch up the neckline toward the shoulder, across the back, down the other side and stop 1/2″ from the center. This creates an open casing.  I find the clear elastic in my stash. (If you sew you accumulate many stashes.)  I’d prefer 1/4″ elastic for this, but 3/8″ is all I have. I don’t cut the elastic to any specific length, rather I wind off several feet and attach a small safety-pin to the free end. IMO safety-pin = bodkin.  I pull it through and then spend 5 minutes smoothing out the neckline, making sure there is plenty of elastic inside the casing. I stitch across both ends several times and  clip the excess elastic.  The resulting neckline has a little more body and hugs the dressform.


Since the casing is open, I can adjust the elastic later on should I find this is not enough or too much elastic when the garment is on my body. I serge the side seams and cover stitch the hems. I made one goof with this pattern. I prefer a 1-1/4″ hem. Garments just hang better with a weighty hem. A 1-1/4″ hem will often prevent Velcro-butt entirely. But I goofed and didn’t add the 1-1/4″ needed.  I need to alter the pattern to add the hem (which can be folded out-of-the-way if not desired) and I need to trim the 1/4″ added to the side seams before I cut the fabric. The final garment is roomy:

Heck, I could go down a size in front. But not the back:

The back could stand a little more ease across that rear of mine. Most women as they age bemoan the loss of their rear which seemed to have traveled to their belly. I seem to have the opposite problem. My rear is spreading. My tummy, while still being able to contain large vegetable servings, is a bit smaller than it was last year.

So my plan is

add another 1/4″ to the back across the rear

trim the front to contain the Judi Jetson appearance

add 1-1/4″ for the hem.

Wear the dickens out of this coordinate set all summer long.



3 thoughts on “Creating a Unique Neckline

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