Learn how to raise a neckline of a dress with this simple sewing tutorial. Be able fix a low cut neckline of a prom dress or any formal dress.
It’s really hard to find a dress that is exactly what you are looking for. There’s always something a little bit wrong with the fit, style, or color. I don’t love wearing really low cut necklines, so I’ve learned a little sewing trick to raise a neckline of a dress so that I’ll love wearing it!
There are affiliate links in this post shown with a *. I only link to things I recommend. All opinions are my own.
The dress started out with this deep v-neck, and it was much to low for my comfort. I loved the navy color, the half sleeves, and the half circle skirt. It’s a really classic style that can be accessoried differently when I need it. I bought this dress. I was surprised at how well it fit my tall frame; it’s the perfect dress for tall girls!
If your dress needs more alterations so that you’ll actually wear the dress, you can also: make a dress longer, add sleeves to a dress, add back darts to a dress, raise the neckline, and line a lace dress.
When you are going to raise a low cut neckline you will need to add fabric. If you have to hem the dress you can use the fabric you cut off. If you are not hemming the dress you might be able to cut some fabric from the lining to use. If you don’t want to remove any fabric from the dress or lining you can find matching or coordinating fabric. It’s pretty hard to find fabric that matches exactly, so lace in the same color is a nice alternative.
This is similar to what I did to this wedding dress and this strapless dress. You could use this technique for a strapless dress; it would just be a lot more work and different pattern pieces. Both of these dresses I hemmed and used the extra fabric to build up the tops.
Fix a Low Cut Neckline
- Low cut dress
- Fabric cut from dress, matching fabric, or coordinating fabric
- sewing tools
- Thread and hand needle
Cut off the fabric you will be using or find matching or coordinating fabric or lace.
Cut the fabric to the shape and size of the neckline with a 1/2″ seam allowance. The finished edge or original hem needs to be the top of the new neckline.
Finish the raw edges of the inset piece.
Turn the dress right side out. Pin the inset piece into the neckline with the seam allowance ending where the dress neckline is.
Hand sew the inset piece to the lining of the dress. Use a double thread in your hand needle. Tie off your thread with a square knot.
Turn the dress right side out. Sew the edge of the neckline to the inset piece so nothing pulls open or out. Tie off your thread with a square knot.
Give your dress and new neckline a good press.
Raise a Neckline of a Dress
This is a more in depth tutorial to raise a neckline of a dress. My friend asked me to raise a neckline of her recital dress. The recital dress had a pleated overlay, fashion fabric, and lining, so I had to work with three layers of fabric. She ordered a beautiful dress online*, and because she knew it needed alterations, the company let her order an extra yard of matching fabric.
Pin muslin into the neckline, and draw in where you want the new neckline to be. Copy the original style like pleats and a v-neck.
I did the same to the back. She had a side zipper so I could raise the back just like I raised the front.
She took it off, and I perfected and drew the lines in darker before I unpinned it.
I unpinned each one and had my pattern piece.
Transfer to paper and add seam allowance.
Because I pleated the top layer to match the dress, I have three pieces each for the front and the back.
Cut out your fabric pieces and interfacing pieces.
I didn’t take pictures of the construction, but you put it together just like any other neckline with a facing or lining. This will also depend on the style of your dress and insert. Leave the bottom edge open then finish that edge.
Pin the piece in where it should go. See how my piece blends in?
Get a needle and thread to hand sew in the piece. I started in the middle and went out, so it would stay lined up.
You can use whatever stitch you want to sew it in. I used the strongest stitch where you go forward a whole step and then back a half step, forward a whole step and then back a half step, etc.
Once I got to the top, I came back down on the bottom whipstitching it to the lining. This made the whole piece very secure.
This is what it looks like finished. Don’t mind the safety pin; I hadn’t finished ironing the pleats yet.
If you make something using this tutorial about how to raise a neckline, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!