Necklines – How to draft different necklines for your dresses

How to Draft different necklines

When it comes to dressing one of the most important factors that can make or break your looks is the neckline. A good neckline can enhance your looks and flatter your body. But a bad one can totally wreck the whole outfit. You have to decide on which neckline will compliment your body. Below you will find a list of necklines and the method to draft a pattern for them. 

Other than suitability other factors also influence the neckline you choose for your dresses like the type of dress you are designing , the occasion, cloth etc. At times you also may wish to go against the fashion diktats and choose a neckline which you have never tried. 

Checkout this post on suitability of different necklines

Make a Facing

Checkout this post on making a facing for the neckline and assembling it, for the correct way to  sew the neckline you have drafted. 

Behind every nice looking neckline is  a facing.  Without facing the necklines will turn out shabby and unprofessional looking.

Take a square piece of cloth  10 inches into 10 inches. Iron the interfacing on to the wrong side of this square piece of clothing. Mark the  Neckline on the right side of this cloth. After marking  leave one and half inches margin and  and cut along the edges of the neck. Finish the fabric edges of the facing before sewing it to the neckline. 

Assembling the neckline

For all the necklines the breadth  of the neckline and the depth  is first marked on the folded cloth (I mark on the wrong side of the facing cloth)

I use the following  convenient chart to determine how much breadth and depth of neck I should mark according to the bust measurement. The chart gives the measurement for a neck which is very close to the neck. If you want to you can fold a favourite top or dress bodice and measure the neckline for neck width from the center fold line and the neck depth and go from there . 

Bust Measurement Neck width ( inches)Neck depth (inches)
2024
2224
242 1/44
262 1/44 1/2
282 1/25
302 1/25 1/2
322 1/26
342 3/46 1/2
362 3/47
3837
4037
4237
  •  Round neckline

how to make a round neck pattern

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer the table)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3   Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

2-4 Mark a staright line inside such that 4 is marked 1 inches inside. Join 1 -4-3 in a nice round shape.

Checkout the tutorial to make a tank top to see how this neckline is assembled with the facing turned outside as an embroidered yoke

tank top pattern

  •  U neck line

This neckline can be drafted the same way round neckline is drafted above. U is  a variation of round, the difference being that this one is narrower and deeper.

  •  V neckline

how to make a v neck pattern

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3   Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

2-4 Mark a straight line inside such that 4 is marked 2 inches inside. Join 1 -4-3 in a straight line with just a hint of a curve -so that the v neck can be stitched nicely and lies beautifully on the body.

  • Scoop neckline 

scoop

This is a round neckline lying somewhat low on the bust.

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3   Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

B         midpoint of 1-2

C         Take one inch upwards and mark C

A         Take one inch downward and mark

D-E    Mark 3/4 inches from D to E

2-3     From corner 2 Mark 3/4 inches upwards to 3

1-E-A-3-4. Draw the neckline in a nice shape. Mark facing line alongside

  • Sweetheart neckline

PENTAGONAL neckline

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3  Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

B  – midpoint of 1-2

C  Take one inch upwards and mark

A  Take one inch downward and mark

C- D  Mark D so that C-D is I inch

Join 10 – D- A -3 in a nice shape

The red line indicates facing cutting line

  • Leaf shaped neck

how to make a neckline

0-1   Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 -4    ¼ inch inside

1-3      Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2      Mark straight down

2-3      Join to 3 in a straight line

C          midpoint of 1-2

C – D  Take half inch outward from C

2 – 5  Take 1 ½  inches inside

4 – D-5 – 3 Join in a curved line

  • Keyhole / Kurta style slit opening

neckline designs

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3  Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

Mark up 2 1/2 inches from 3 to the point 4

Join in a soft curve from 1 -4

Make a slit from 4 to 3

Checkout  the Kaftan tutorial with this type of opening

  •  Arch neckline or scalloped neck

draft necklineThis neckline is best suited for both back and front necklines

0 -1                       Take neck width as per chest measurement

1- A                       Take 3/4 inches outside from 1 to A

A – 2                      Take neck depth from 8 -9 inches

Join in a straight line

Divide this line into 4 parts and mark B . Take the center of each part and mark as C

C- D Mark 1/2 inches upwards. Make an arch along these measurements. except on the last one which should be marked as in the diagram

  • Basket neck line

Basket neckline drafting

0-1   Mark neck width as per the bust measurement

1-3 Neck depth as desired

0-1-2-3 Form a nice rectangle with all right angles

2-A Mark 1 or 1 1/2 inches inside from 2 to A

Join 1 – A – 3 to form the neck shape

  • Square neckline

  • Jewel neckline 

This neckline lies very close to the neck. It is not broad or deep. This is usually seen in Kids’ clothes

  • Boat neckline

This neckline is a variation of Jewel neckline. It is broader than jewel neckline and looks like a boat hence the name

  • Cowl  necklines

Checkout the tutorial to sew a Cowl neck top for drafting this neckline

  •  Straight pentagonal neckline

neck designs

0-1   Mark neck width as per the bust measurement

1-3 Neck depth as desired

0-1-2-3 Form a nice rectangle with all right angles

1- A Mark A as 1/2 inch inside from point 1

B – Midpoint of 1-2

C Mark C as 1 inch downwards from B

D Mark D i/2 inch outside from C

Join A – D – 3

  • Star neck

HOW to draw a neckline for a kurti

0-1   Mark neck width as per the bust measurement (refer the table)

1-3 Neck depth as desired

Divide the line 1 -3 into equal parts and mark these points as A & B  Mark the midpoint of A-B as C.

D  Mark D as midpoint of 1 -2

Mark the star point from A & B to D . Join the two lines.

  •  Steps neck

steps

0-1 Mark the neck width as per your bust measurement ( as seen in the table)

1 – 3 Mark the depth of the neckline ( as you need it or refer here)

1-2 Mark straight down

2 -3  Join 2 to 3 in a straight line

Divide the line 1 -2 into 4 equal parts ;Make a straight lines to 0-3 from all these 4 points

Divide the line 2 -4 into 4 equal parts;Make a straight lines to 0-1 from all these 4 points

Mark points  A B C D E such that they intersects the  lines as shown in the diagram. Draw the steps.

  • High neck line

  • Strapless neckline

  • Off shoulder neckline

  • Halter neckline

Checkout the tutorial to draft a Halter neck top pattern for instructions to make this neckline

  • Asymmetrical

One factor you have to consider when deciding on the neckline is whether you want a similar neckline on the back also or whether you want a closed neck in the back . If the back neck is to be a closed one then you have to take care that the depth should start from atleast 6 inches for the smallest of bust sizes, other wise it will not look good. For bust sizes of 38 inches and above it should be 7 to 7.5 inches.

When you draft a neck pattern you should make a muslin first  before trying it out on an expensive cloth, if it is a neck design you have not tried before.