Sewing Snit:The Back Neckline Sticks Out Way Far From My Neck

Apparently sewing projects are like thawing frozen food-wait too long to use and you have a stinky situation.

Several weeks ago I cut out this t-shirt pattern, Kwik Sew  3242, and then left it in the basket waiting until I began sewing a skirt in the same bright pink color so I didn’t have to rethread my serger for just one project.  (I know-lazy!  I tell myself it doesn’t really take that long to change up serger thread, but still I resist.)

Well, either the sewing machine I am using on loan, since mine needs repair,

is stretching the necklines as it sews,

As you can see, it's from awhile back. It is a workhorse of a machine and I am grateful for the loan, yet it has its quirks and I am beginning to greatly admire home sewers who in the past managed to be precisionists using these old machines.


and I am a bit skeptical here,

but it could be that the weave of those edges like necklines and armholes that end up as bias edges when you cut them, that the threads now loosened from their moorings, begin to relax away from each other.  That is how we get fringe right?


 Either way the end result is that I have narrowed this neckline in back and front several times and it is AlWAYS too large on the finished piece.

I have made tees before and I could not imagine that I could be bested by this simple little thing.  Hence I persisted in now what appears to be folly.  After two fitting muslins, several paper pattern alterations, and already testy because my topstitching was off, I tried on my finished top and I got this:

What did I do?  First, I explored the most sensible avenue. I complained to my husband. 

He would have been more sympathetic had he understood what the hell I was carrying on about.

Anger unappeased I grabbed a pair of shears and did it!  I slashed a giant dart down the back of the shirt taking out a good three inches at top. 

When that shorter dart left a bulge between my shoulders blade I continued the dart all the way to my waistline.

And you know what?  That shirt now fits

And the back dart is barely noticeable.  It looks like a back seam and most viewers will not notice that the seam does not continue down the full length.

The finished tee. I gathered the front neckline though that isn't part of the pattern.

The fit is now the best it has ever been and the top will hold up for this spring and summer wearing.  Sometimes it pays to just get a little mad.

Next Post: Tuesday, May 4, 2010: Summer Tops-Sewing Challenges


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gwen
    May 01, 2010 @ 06:56:57

    Good save! The neckline on the pattern is quite wide, front and back to begin with. I would suggest stabilizing the seamlines on the neck before sewing.


  2. Ellen
    May 01, 2010 @ 16:40:57

    Yes, like Gwen says, use something like stay-tape. But your end result looks great, only you will know the trouble you had, and I love the color! And don’t kid yourself, changing serger thread takes FOREVER. If you’re me at least.


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