Gaping necklines

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I have been using the formula outlined by Nancy Zieman in "Fitting
Your Figure" - a Taunton Press publication, with a number of excerpts
on this subject from Threads.   I have just altered a pattern using
the pivot method she uses after previously measuring all the necessary
bits on the chart in the book.

The formula and the fitting works very well except for my necklines -
all of which gape to a greater or lesser extent depending on the type
of neckline.  (No gaping with V-neck of course!)   I like a reasonably
high round neckline - I think it is called a jewel neckline.    I
never have any problems with necklines when using knit fabrics.

My shoulders are square and NOT broad - and most patterns seem to be
of the right shoulder width.  I am high-busted and I allow for that in
the pattern alteration.  I am wondering if my short neck and narrowish
width across the upper chest area are the problems.   I am also rather
fleshy in the upper back (not a hump - well not yet anyway!) and most
back bodice patterns for me are a size 12.    I can sometimes adjust
the gape at the neckline by lifting the front shoulder seam up at the
neck edge.  But I don't think this is the correct thing to do.

According to Nancy's formula my correct pattern size should be 14.
Since I am a 37 inch bust, I have to enlarge 3 inches from a size 14
to cope with this.   I am also short-waisted, but this is easily

Does anyone know which step I should take next please to help with
these ill-fitting necklines?   I'd appreciate it.


Re: Gaping necklines
Threads has had several articles on this, and they do have some info online:

While I don't see your specific problem addressed here, you might try doing a
search on the site, as well. There are several articles there,

It seems to me that what you want is to slash and spread for the bust in front,
but it's too early in the day for me to try to explain it, especially without
the aid of pictures.  ;->   Is there a professional in your area that you could
go to for an hour's fitting help? That might be a very instructive hour for

Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati

Re: Gaping necklines
On 25 Oct 2003 13:44:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comspamless (SewStorm)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thank you Karen.  I have the Threads book Fitting Your Figure, but it
doesn't cope with this particular problem.  I have done the spreading
and slashing to get the bust fit right and this has worked well, but
the gaping neckline remains.   Susan Wright on her New Mexico State
University website suggests folding out excess fullness to make an
area smaller - and has some good graphics to illustrate this.  Her
advice on gaping necklines assumes a waist dart - which the patterns I
am using does not have because they are semi-fitted or loose.

My first inclination is to pinch out the excess in the neckline in two
small darts on the pattern itself.   I figured these tiny darts should
be in line with the armhole.  

The site yielded info. on how to fix gaping necklines on
knits - I guess the same principle would apply?

Thanks for your input.


Re: Gaping necklines
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It should. In the future, you might want to incorporate a neckline dart, or a
princess seaming detail that allows you more places to close that gap.

Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati

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