Mashing Patterns 101: Necklines

Mashing Patterns 101: Necklines

Today we are continuing our series all about mashing elements of different patterns together- Mashing Patterns 101! You can read the first article in the series, on sleeves, here. Today’s installment is all about necklines. I will be showing you how to take the neckline from one pattern, and put it on the bodice from another pattern.

For this tutorial, I am putting Winterberry’s neckline onto Azalea’s bodice. I love the beautiful shape of the Winterberry neckline, but for the dress I am making I need a fully closed back. So I decided to use the bodice from Azalea, but the neckline from Winterberry.

First, cut out the pattern pieces. You need the front and back bodice of your bodice pattern and the front bodice of your neckline pattern. If you are mashing the back neckline as well, you’d also need that. For this example I am only doing the front, as I want to keep Azalea’s back, but if you plan to mash the back neckline as well you would simply follow the instructions for both front and back. Here I have Azalea’s front and back, and Winterberry’s front. If you sew with a projector, you’ll need to trace your pattern pieces onto tracing paper.

Lay the neckline pattern piece on top of the bodice pattern piece. Line up the center fold line and the shoulder line. It is important to only alter the neck, not the bodice width or armscye. This means the center of the neckline needs to remain the same- so make sure to line up the center/fold line. For the vertical alignment, line up the inner shoulder point. This will insure that the neckline depth is consistent.

Trace the neckline you want on to the bodice you are using. You may need to put an extra piece of paper behind your pattern pieces to do this. Here I traced Winterberry’s neckline onto the Azalea pattern piece.

Set aside the neckline pattern piece. You now have your bodice pattern piece, with the new neckline traced on to it. You can see that in this case, it will change the shoulder width. That is ok, and will be addressed in a couple steps.

Cut the pattern on the new line. (Tip! Have a marked second rotary cutter you only use for paper. It is easier to cut the pattern pieces but your fabric blade will stay sharp for fabric!)

Grab your back pattern piece. Because the front bodice shoulder changed width, the back bodice shoulder needs to be adjusted to match. Lay the new front bodice piece onto the original back bodice piece. Line up the shoulders starting at the outer shoulder seam.

Cut the back bodice neckline starting at the front bodice inner shoulder seam, blending into the original back neckline.

Your pattern pieces are complete! Cut out of fabric, and sew!

Using these steps you can easily interchange various necklines and bodices, to create the pattern of your dreams! For this Azalea, I took it a step further and used the mashing sleeves blog post to put Areca’s circle sleeves onto the Azalea/Winterberry combo!

I hope you enjoyed this article of the Mashing Patterns 101 series. Next time we will be looking at skirts!

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