How to change the neckline on a dress

Next up on my how to series of Rediscovering my Wardrobe is changing the neckline of a dress – this could also be applied to a standard top as well, so stick with me if you’d like to know how to change it up!

Here’s the dress that I’m working on today, it fits perfectly but I’m not happy with how the neckline sits on me and I wanted to turn it down to give it a slightly different look. For this tutorial you’ll need;

  1. A top or dress you want to revamp
  2. A sewing machine
  3. Pins
  4. Thread
  5. Scissors

First up, you’ll need to notch your neckline (notch basically means snip) – what this does is release the fabric so it can sit flush against your neckline. In dressmaking we normally use notches to either ease the fabric on a curve (e.g. neckline or armhole) or to mark where our seam allowance is. You’ll need to notch on both shoulders, the centre front and centre back.

You’ll then need to pin down your fabric inside out so the old neckline is turned on the inside.

Once everything is pinned down, you can sew.

I’ve done a video to go alongside this post which also talks you through; how to thread up your machine, what kind of stitch you’ll need to use and basic use of a sewing machine – make sure to check it out if you haven’t used a sewing machine before.

Finally, you’ll need to tidy up any loose threads and iron down what you’ve just sewn – this gives it a more polished/finished look and makes it look a lot neater. And here is the finished look!

Although a small change, this gives the dress a different look, overall I’m a lot happier with it and think I’ll likely get a lot more wear out of something I was going to just throw away! Make sure to stay tuned for some more how to posts on revamping clothes you already have, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know how to do in the comments and if you enjoyed!