How to alter a sewing pattern tee shirt or tee dress neckline to match a tee you love

Altering a tee shirt neckline for either a dress or a tee is an easy update that will let you change your tee styles from a round neck, to aVee neck to a scoop, to a deep scoop, to a bateau or boat neckline using your same favorite tee shirt pattern!

In this series of videos, we'll explore the edits needed to alter a tee shirt neckline on a tee shirt dress. We'll make both front and back neckline variations, we'll 'trace' a favorite tee shirt to get our sample neckline.

Alterning a neckline on a sewing pattern to match a favorite tee

You'll need:

  1. A French Curve ruler or a flexible curve
  2. Your favorite tee shirt
  3. Your favorite tee shirt or tee dress sewing pattern. We'll be working with the Christine Jonson digital pattern downloadable A-Line Dress which features a round neckline.

Copying a favorite tee neckline:

Fold your favorite tee shirt in half lengthwise, so the center of the tee shirt neckline is on the fold.

Lay your Flexible Curve along the neckline from the center front to the shoulder point. Make sure you have the curve smooth and even along the edge of the neckline. If it has a band, measure along the seam joining the band to the body of the tee.

Lift the curve and move it over to your paper pattern. Lay one edge of the curve on the CF of the pattern, and the other at the shoulder seam (the CF is the more important placement). Trace this curve. You now have your favorite tee's shape. Bear in mind, if your tee has a band, like a V-Neck, you'll need to cut a straight band piece on the cross grain out of your fabric and sew a band OR you can simply make a copy of the upper bodice of the tee/dress front and back and make a full-bodice facing (this is the method we discuss in the videos below.)

Front necklines can be altered, as well as back necklines!

In our example videos, I show how to create a deep scoop back neckline. This style of back is popular right now, usually worn with a crochet racer-back bra that is meant to be showcased. You can even add a trim band connecting the back shoulders (creating a triangle of open back) if you wish.

In this video, we review the basic A-line dress and what we'll be doing in our next video to create a custom neckline.