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Changing the Neckline on a Basic Blouse or Dress

A basic round neckline on your favorite blouse can easily be changed into many different neckline styles.  We'll give you step by step instructions on how to change the basic round neckline  into a square neckline.

STEP 1:  On the front neckline, measure over along the shoulder line 1 5/8".  From this shoulder-neckline point, draw a vertical line that is parallel to the armhole as shown.

STEP 2:  Measure down 1 3/8" along the center front line.  From this point draw a horizontal line to meet the vertical neck line drawn down from the shoulder.  The new vertical and horizontal lines form the square neck.

STEP 3:  At the shoulder edge of the back neckline, measure along the shoulder line 1 5/8".  Remember here that whatever change you make to the FRONT shoulder line, you have to make the same change to the BACK shoulder line in order for the front and back bodice pieces to fit together when sewing.

STEP 4:  At the center back of the neckline measure down 5/8" and draw in the new neckline curve as shown.

Because you have made a new neckline, you will need to add  5/8" seam allowance to the area that you've just changed.  The rest of the pattern, of course, already has seam allowance on it.  (NOTE:  if the pattern you're using says "1/4" seam allowance added", then you'll need to make the new neckline seam allowance 1/4" as well, so all the seam allowances are consistent).

When you change the neckline of a pattern, you obviously won't have proper facing pieces in the pattern envelope to make the facings.  The following illustration shows how to lay out the bodice in order to cut out the new blouse / top and the facings for the new neckline.

The above illustration shows how to lay the pattern on the fabric (this will also be given in your pattern envelope).  The reason we're showing it here is to let you see the areas left after the bodice pieces are cut out -- the facings will be cut from the remaining material.

In the above drawing the printed area indicates fabric and the black shaded area indicates the areas where the front and back bodice have been cut from the fabric.  The front and back bodices are the bodices previously cut out of the fabric, and positioned on the remnants to indicate how to cut out facings for the new front and back neck.  Be sure to put the center front neck on the fold and the back neck along the selvage edge, as was done with the bodices.  After cutting the neckline and down 2 3/8" along the shoulder line, flip the bodice and fabric over and cut the neck facing 2 3/8" wide, as shown in dotted lines. (The 6 you see is the number used if your pattern also has centimeter measurements in it).

You can see how easy it is to change the basic blouse/dress neckline into a completely different style.  If you would like to learn how to make EIGHT different necklines from that ONE basic pattern, jump on down to the neckline changing classes, as indicated below.  There are two neckline classes available - one for the regular S-XL size ranges, and the Full Figure class for those who are 1X - 8X size ranges.


 C1O1 - Neckline Changing Class - $9.95

CF-1O1 - Neckline Changing Class - $9.95 (Full Figure)

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