One of the most common pattern fitting issues is having to fix a gaping neckline. There are lots of reasons why you might have a gaping neckline, including having a hollow chest or narrow shoulders, but it’s a fairly easy fix! In this tutorial, we’ll be using the Springfield Top, but the technique would work on any darted woven top. If your top doesn’t have a dart, this approach will end up adding one. As always, trace your pattern before you start adjusting so you can make revisions in the future if needed.
- To calculate how much you need to remove from the neckline, the best approach is to first make a muslin. Pinch out the excess at the neckline, and measure the length of the excess neckline. Divide this number by two, and you’ll be making that reduction to the pattern piece.
- Draw a line through the center of your dart, to the bust apex (about 2 inches beyond the end of the dart in the case of the Springfield), and then continue the line up to the neckline, as shown. The exact angle doesn’t matter – just make it look roughly like this!
2. Cut along the line, separating the two pieces.
3. Keeping the inner corners of the two pieces together, pivot the top piece, overlapping the two pieces at the neckline by the amount that you need to remove. This will add additional space in the dart, too.
4. Place a fresh piece of tracing paper on top of the pattern piece. Trace the new piece, including the new, bigger dart.
And you’re done! As you can see, the new piece has a shorter neckline and slightly narrower-set shoulders, but the armhole and side seam have remained unaltered.
I hope this helps you to fix a gaping neckline! Let me know if you have any other tips or techniques you like to use.