Sunday, 26 August 2018

A Simple Pattern Hack - Adjusting a Neckline

The original pattern.
I've been sewing up a storm. I've made three dresses this month! Having left my sewing machine in its box for nearly a year, this is amazing.
Three things have motivated me: One is that I have been watching The Sewing Quarter on freeview in England on channel 73. It's brilliant. So many tips for sewing. Hubby laughs whenever he come in the room as it is on again. Two is that I am feeling very guilty about the enormous stash of fabrics I have been hoarding. Three is probably the very hot weather in London. I have been able to hide in the sitting room - the coolest room in the house and sew. Also, I have been able to produce things to wear in the heat.
This dress is an example. It is very easy to make. It has a back zip and just a few darts for shaping. The blogger 'Handmade Jane' ( showcased this dress some time ago.   Having made tops from another , very similar New Look pattern two or three years ago, I decided that although I liked the dress shape, the neckline would be too sloppy on me.  The necklines on the tops don't stay in place. They move from side to side when I move. Wearing a crossover bag is a disaster as it pulls the neckline right out of shape. Although they are cool, I just feel untidy. The simple solution was to make the neckline narrower on the dress.  I didn't make a toile this time; I just cut the pattern carefully, raising the waist and allowing for my less than hour glass figure.
The New Look Top which drifts around when I wear it.

As for the neckline I made it smaller by one inch on each side, front and back  (See photo.) and then just traced around it for make the facings. I knew I could make the neckline larger if I didn't like it. However,  the result was a very pretty and flattering neckline - one that would not slip around.

I made the pattern adjustment by adding one inch to the front and back necklines and then using a French curve to blend in the cutting line. The dark lines are the neckline on the original pattern.

I used this Japanese fabric  which has been in my stash for two years. I'm very pleased with the result as the neckline is flattering and it stays in place. It's amusing how much the dress reflects the 1960's.  It would look great with 60's accessories, like pointy shoes and a Biba hat.

The new neckline. Note the Japanese fabric. 

The finished dress. Just add a hat and a large straw bag, perhaps the one in the pattern.

N.B. Most of my friends will not wear sleeveless dresses any more, but to quote Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats, 'I'm fearless that way'.

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