Hello friends! I have another cute Dove hack to share with you today. I’ll be showing you how to change the neckline from a v-neck to a higher, rounded neck. Cute, right?! And as a bonus, I’ll also quickly show you how I did a straight hem instead of the curved hem.
The rounded neck is a pretty simple change, but does involve some pattern manipulation. In addition to changing the shape of the neckline, we will also need to alter the back so that it still fits over your head, as well as change which pieces are cut on the fold/not cut on the fold. But one way we will keep it simple is to not worry about altering the neckline facing too. Instead, I’ll show you how you will now be able to use a simple bias strip facing to finish the facing. I’m always trying to think how we can keep these hack tutorials as simple as possible so that its easy for all sewing levels! I hope that is helpful.
But anyway, I am going to keep the two hacks separate – first showing you the rounded neck from start to finish, pattern changes to sewing. And then show you the straight hem, pattern changes and sewing. So let’s just get to it!
To start, we are going to need to alter the pattern.
Let’s start with the back. We no longer are going to want the back cut on the fold, but rather cut 2 separate pieces. So we need to add 5/8″ to the center back seam.
Place paper underneath the pattern, draw a line parallel to the center back, 5/8″ away, and cut out.
Again – this will no longer be cut on the fold. Cut two back pieces.
On the front we are going to be doing the exact opposite – removing the seam allowance so that it can be cut on the fold.
Draw a straight line down, connecting the notch in the top v shape down to the notch at the bottom. This should be 5/8″ from the pattern edge.
Cut off that seam allowance, now to be cut on the fold.
But wait! Before we get to the fabric, we need to change the neckline too.
Place a piece of paper underneath the pattern that has a two straight edges at a 90 degree angle (I just used a sheet of computer paper).
Place the paper so that the straight edge of the paper lines up with the straight edge of the center front of the pattern.
You also want to make sure the corner of the shoulder seam touches the top straight edge of the paper (the circle above).
Tape the pattern down.
Along the center front straight edge, measure down 3.5″ from the top of the paper, and make a mark about 1/2″ long.
**Note: this measurement will result in the neckline that you’ll see below in my final product. If you want an even higher neck or lower scoop neck, you can change this measurement.
Using a curved tool, connect that 1/2″ mark with the edge of the original neckline, near the shoulder.
Cut off the excess, and here is your new neckline!
One more time – your front bodice piece should now be cut on the fold.
Now its time to sew!
Start by finishing the raw center back edges of your two Back pieces, separately. Use your preferred method. If using a serger/overlock, make sure you just finish the raw edge and not trim off too much.
On each side of the center back edges, measure down 4″ and mark.
Place the two Back pieces together with right sides together. Line up the center back edges and pin in place.
Sew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, from the notch down to the hem. Backstitch. Above the notch will be left open.
Press the seam open.
That opening above the notches will be a slit opening that will allow you to get this now higher-neckline over your head.
Now place the front and back bodice pieces together with right sides together.
Sew together at the shoulder seams and side seams, 5/8″ from the raw edges.
Finish the raw edges with your preferred method.
Now we are going to finish the neckline with bias tape! I’m just going to use store bought bias tape, but you can also cut your own. If you need help with bias tape, we have a post here about it. There are three ways to sew it, and I’m going to be sewing method one in that post using single fold bias tape, but you could also use one of the other methods.
Ok, to start – have your bodice the right side out, so the right side of the fabric is facing you. Have the back facing you, and temporarily open up the left side of the open slit so that the seam allowance lays flat.
Open up one edge of your single fold bias tape and place the bias strip on the bodice with right sides together, lining up the edge of the bias strip with the raw edge of the neckline. Match up the short end of the bias tape with the straight edge of the center back seam allowance.
Begin pinning the bias strip to the neckline, easing the strip as you go.
Continue around the entire neckline. When you reach the other side, flip open the other side of the center back seam allowance and again pin right up to the edge. Trim off the excess bias tape.
Sew 1/4″ from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.
Trim back the seam allowance if necessary.
Press the bias facing and seam allowance upwards away from the bodice.
Understitch on the bias facing a scant 1/8″ away from the seam (you’ll be stitching through the bias facing and seam allowance, not the bodice. This helps keeps the bias facing rolled towards the inside of the garment.)
Now flip your garment inside out, and have the inside of the back facing you.
Fold the center back seam allowance back over…
…and then fold the bias facing down to the inside.
Continue folding down the bias tape to the inside along the entire neckline, repeating the same process at the other side of the center back slit. Press, and pin in place. Stitch close to the inner folded edge of the bias facing.
To finish it off, sew a hook and eye closure to the top of the slit.
That’s it! Now you can sew on your sleeves and finish your hem as written in the instructions.
On the front bodice, you see that corner along the side seam where the curve of the hem starts? Draw a straight line from that point over to the center front, making sure that the line is perpendicular/at a 90 degree angle to center front.
From there, draw a parallel line 1″ away for seam allowance (you can see I had to add a small piece of scrap paper at the curve to accommodate).
Cut out along this second line.
Repeat the same process for the back, making sure that the side seams match up (with the front dart closed).
When it’s time to sew, there is no need for a hem facing since its a straight edge.
Just turn the bottom edge in by 1/2″ and press…
then turn under again by another 1/2″ to enclose the raw edge. Press.
Sew close to the edge.
Looking For More Dove Posts?
Here’s the full list of Dove tutorials:
- Inspiration and Ideas
- How to sew French darts
- 4 ways to sew beautiful centre front seams
- How to sew Neckline facings
- 3 ways to sew finish the raw edges of a facing
- How to sew flared cuffs
- How to set sleeves
- How to hem flared sleeves
- How to make a Dove dress
Don’t have the Dove sewing pattern yet? Get it in store here! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdove and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on social media.