I love how simply sweet a gathered neckline can be, and I knew it would just be perfect on the Little Dreamer! This hack will work on any scoop neck tee/tank etc. that has the front cut on the fold. Ready? Let's do this!
It's important to note that I learned some tricks along the way, so I'll tell you not only how I did it, but how YOU should do it to make it even better. Do as I say, not as I do.
I use a projector for paperless sewing, but you can very easily follow the same steps with a printed pattern!
We're going to start with our bodice front pattern. I chose Tee length with elbow length sleeves. We're going to add and inch and a half past the fold. Fold your fabric like normal, but instead of lining it up directly with the fold line, slide it over, so the front bodice piece is a total of 3" wider.
*For more dramatic gathering, simply INCREASE this distance.
Next, we'll cut the pattern using our new fold line. Use a pin/clip to mark where the original fold line was supposed to be. You can cut out your back piece now if you'd like, but wait to cut your neckband!
Using a sewing machine, sew one or two rows of basting stitches from one pin to the next.
**Lesson learned! Next time I'll measure double the extra for where to place my pins. In this example, I added 1.5" to either side, so I would add a second set of pins additional 1.5 past the original fold line to begin my gathering.
Set your stitch length to the longest possible on your machine - mine is a 5.
TIP: I like to use contrasting thread in my bobbin so I can easily tell them apart.
Gently pull your bobbin thread to gather between the pins. The goal is to get your pins as close together as possible. Once your gathers are complete to your liking (nice and even between the pins) tie off your thread tails so the gathers don't come undone when sewing.
Now we need to determine our neckband length. I folded my bodice front in half and measured the distance from the fold to the pins. This is how much I will need to add to my neckband.
Since my front neckline is now 1" wider than before (on the fold), I'll add an additional 1" to the fold of the neckband.
From here, follow the directions from the pattern. Sew your shoulder seams, and attach the neckband just as directed. Give your gathers a good press and a shot of steam to help them sit nicely. If there are any visible basting stiches, pull them out carefully. Continue construction as directed.
Bam! Your gathered neck dolman is complete! This is just one way to spice up a simple tee.