The weather has turned decidedly chilly, so my latest project is a dress to suit the weather. This dress is from McCalls M2401 and is made with a really interesting ribbed sweater knit from Goldhawk Road. It was a really quick make, in large part to simplifying an already simple pattern. As the ribs went up and down on the fabric, I removed the bust, front and back darts – making a roomier dress overall. I also adjusted the pattern to cut the back piece on the fold, omitting the zipper and back vent. The whole thing was cut and finished in a few hours over the weekend.
It wasn’t a completely simple make, however. Lately I’ve found several of my garments have a gaping back neckline. I think this is caused by cutting a size suitable for my bust, which ends up being too large in the shoulders. I may have to go down a size and try to do an even larger FBA than I already do. In any case, on this dress, the result was that the square neckline was too wide on the front and back, with the shoulders threatening to drop down my arm at the slightest shift in posture.
I measured and realised I needed to take in about 4 inches. I still didn’t want a seam down the centre back, although that would have been one option. Instead, I created a series of 1/2 inch inverted pleats at the top neckline. Most of the flow of the fabric on the back is undisturbed, and I think the pleats at the top are interesting and don’t look too out of place.
Anyone have any advice for reducing a gaping back neckline?