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Dream Tee - Crew Neck

Hello, all! I'm Jan, and I usually blog at Rolling Stop Creations. I'm here on the Amelia Lane Designs blog today to talk about how to add a crew neckline to your ALD Dream Tee! I absolutely love the deep V plunge and the scoop, but when my 12 year old daughter asked for one, I knew those weren't going to work for her. She said, "Mom, just put a shirt neck on it." So I did.

Hacking any shirt to a crew neckline isn't difficult. The only thing I suggest you grab that you may not already have on hand is a dinner plate. I use a paper plate, and just keep one in the drawer of my sewing table. You'll need your pattern, fabric, scissors or rotary cutting set, a tape measure, and something that is a flat circle to use as a guide for your neckline.

Image of the neck portion of the pattern with the intended cutting lines highlighted in orange.
Mark your pattern on the lines you'll be cutting for the back neckline.

The first thing you'll want to do is print and assemble your pattern. Take full advantage of the layers in the pattern to print all the sizes you need and grade your top to have a custom fit. When I end up with "line soup" because of all my layers, I like to take a highlighter and just run over where I need to cut as I blend sizes. Here, I've highlighted the back neckline that I need to use for the upper and full chest size I'm sewing for.

Go ahead and cut out your pattern pieces. I also cut out the scoop neckband piece to make things a little easier later.

Image shows the back of the pattern piece zoomed in to focus on the neckline.
For this next part, I like to flip my pattern over.

To keep from getting distracted by the pattern lines, I like to work from the back of the pattern when hacking or changing the pieces. Work with whatever makes you happy!

Image shows the back of the pattern piece with a paper plate laying on top. The edge of the paper plate is lined up with the upper (shoulder) edge of the pattern piece. There is a blue arrow pointing to where the paper plate and neck opening meet.
The arrow points to the upper edge of the neck opening.

Take your paper plate, dinner plate, or general flat round thing and line the outer rim up to the outer opening (shoulder side, not the fold side) of your pattern piece. You can rotate your plate a bit like it's on hinge until your neck opening is where you want it. For a crew neck, I usually start my plate lined up with the back cut line, then pivot the plate down about 2". This makes the front cut line about 2" lower than the back one.

Image shows the back pf the pattern piece with an orange mark drawn to show the new front neckline.
Trace the edge of your plate.

Grab a pencil, or whatever you use to mark up patterns, and trace along the edge of your plate. Pick up the plate and make sure that you've given yourself a nice smooth neckline.

Image of the pattern piece with the front neckline piece trimmed to leave a small 1/2" piece near the center still attached. That small piece is highlighted with a short red line and has a blue arrow pointing to it.
Tip: when you have a pattern piece that is used for both the front and the back, I like to cut my "front neckline" piece out and leave 1/4" to 1/2" of it still attached at the center. Then I can flip it back and forth when reusing the pattern, and not have to keep track of the little piece!

Go ahead and cut out your fabric. Be sure to cut one piece using the front neckline and one piece using the back neckline. You can go ahead and follow the sewing directions in the tutorial until you reach the point where you attach the neck band. I've done everything here up until that step.

Image shows the neck opening with completed shoulder seams. Fabric is black, so to help show the depth of the new neck opening, there is a blue rotary cutter named Lonnie tucked in between the front and back to help show the neckline due to the difficulty in photographing black on black.
My helpful helper, Lonnie, helping me show the depth of the new neckline, because black fabric is hard to see.

Next, comes the trickiest part: calculating your neckband. If you've got a tried and true method to figuring a neckband, please feel free to use it. We all have our preferred way to get things done!

Image of the same black Dream Tee with the finished shoulder seams. A hand holds a yellow tape measure up to the neck opening at the left side to begin measuring.
I usually "walk" my tape measure around the opening rather than trying to curl it to fit. I feel like it gives a more accurate measurement.

Measure around your neck opening with a tape measure to get the first number we'll need. I measured around my opening and got 23.75". The way I usually figure a band is taking that measurement and finding 85% of it, so multiply your measurement by .85 to get the length of your band. (In hindsight, I used liverpool, and the neckline on my finished top looks just fine, but to my eye, it isn't laying exactly the way I want it to. I could have probably shortened the band by another 1/2" and it would have been perfect. That's just one of those trial and error things you run into.)

So my calculation looks like this:

23.75 x .85 = 20.186

Rounding to the nearest 1/4", I'll say 20.25"

Next, I prefer to cut bands over 6" on the fold, just because I feel like I don't mess them up as much. So, we'll take half of 20.25, which is 10.125. I'll call it 10.25"just to err on the side of caution.

Take your scoop neck pattern piece and cut it to the "on the fold" length we figured above, and cut out your neckband. To finish, just pick up the directions to add the scoop neckband, and finishing up will be a breeze!

My daughter is now in LOVE with her Dream Tee. She's gone thru my ALD stash to put in an order for about 10 more! We know you're going to love your Dream Tee's as well, so be sure to keep checking back as the testing team keeps throwing hacks at you to customize yours.

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