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Narrowing Necklines
Susan Wigley, Paragon Patterns

 By Susan Wigley Copyright 2001. All Right Reserved.

From time to time I get questions from readers that address common fitting problems and I want to share the answers with as many sewing enthusiasts as possible. This is one of those questions and I hope this will help you solve your fitting problems. 

Question: The necklines on most patterns that I buy are usually way too wide. My straps usually show and it looks like I need to narrow the neckline about an inch on each side (or bring the neckline in an inch closer to the neck on each side). What is the best way to do this? Also, when making tank tops or jumpers I have the same problem, but if I add an inch to the inside neckline area so it will cover my straps, the shoulders of the tank top or jumper look too wide. Help, please! Thanks!!!!  

Answer: This is a common fitting problem and fortunately it's very easy to fix.  Before you begin, lay a piece of butcher paper, newsprint or craft paper under your pattern and tape it in place. 


Step 1: Extend the shoulder line at least 1" toward the neck, then plot a point 1" in (or whatever measurement you need to adjust the neck width). Using a French curve, draw a new neckline by blending the existing neckline to the points you just plotted (figure A).

Step 2: To adjust the shoulder, plot a point on the shoulder line, 1" in from the existing armhole. Then draw a new armhole, by blending the existing armhole to the new point on the shoulder (figure B).  If the pattern has neck and armhole facings, don't forget to make the same changes to the facings. That's all there is to it! 



For more useful sewing tips like this, visit our website at www.paragonpatterns.com

Or, if you have questions about sewing and you need help, visit our sewing tips page and send me an e-mail at tips@paragonpatterns.com . I'll do what I can to answer your questions.

 Until next time, sew happy!

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