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Make a V-Neck Carpe Diem

Over the course of the summer, Carrie has shared pics of two new makes featuring a V-shaped neckline on a Carpe Diem dress and top.  It seems high time to explain how to substitute a V-neck for the scoop neckline on the Carpe Diem pattern. Read on to learn how to draft and sew the V-neck.

Draft a V-Neck Front Template

The first step is to draft yourself a V-neck Front Carpe Diem template.  Begin by tracing off the upper portion (above the bust line HBL) of your personalized Carpe Diem Front pattern onto tissue, using a pencil to trace the current scoop neck cutting line so you can erase it later.  Be sure to include all the markings, grainline and HBLs.  Next pencil in the scoop seam line 5/8” inside the scoop neck cutting line.

Along the center front, measure and mark a dot ¾” below the intersection of the scoop neck seam line.  Place another dot at the intersection of the scoop neck seam and the shoulder cutting line.  Now you are going to connect the 2 dots to draft the V-neck seam line.  Carrie has learned, through trial and error, that a straight line between the dots results in the V-neck being too confining.  You can see how much of the open neck area gets covered when drawn with a straight edge.  Instead, use a curved ruler to draw a V-neck seam line that curves slightly outward, as seen below.  Finally, draw in the new V-neck cutting line 5/8” outside the new seam line.

You may, of course, exercise your discretion in shaping your V-Neck.  For the two garments pictured above, Carrie’s pattern lowered the V-neck point only ½” and used a straighter connecting line.  After wearing the dress, she decided that she‘d like the V-neck more open, hence the dimensions recommended here. Rae’s pattern for her V-neck Carpe Diems is consistent with the measurements indicated in these instructions.  Don’t hesitate to fiddle with the proportions to find the V-neck shape comfortable for you!

Draft a V-Neck Front Facing

When you are satisfied with the shape of the V-neck Front, draft a new Front Facing to match it.  Begin by tracing off the cutting lines of the new Front along the V-neck, shoulder, armseye, and center front, including the markings and grainline as before.  Place this new V-Neck Facing tissue on top of the scoop neck Front Facing pattern to transfer the lower cutting line to your new pattern.  If you trace the lower cutting line onto your new facing pattern as is, the finished front facing will be only about 2” deep at center front.  To maintain a 3” deep finished facing at center front, measure and mark a dot ¾” below the lower cutting line of the facing.  Use a curved ruler to merge the lower cutting line at lowered center front into the existing line at the armseye.  This example shows the View 1 front facing, but the process is the same for the View 2 & 3 front facings.

Sewing the V-neck

Constructing a Carpe Diem with a V-Neckline follows the same steps as the Scoop Neck, with a few small changes.  Interface the V-Neck front facing just as you would the Scoop Neck facing.  In addition, fuse a piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the Front to reinforce the point of the V; it should be at least ¾” wide (so it will be caught in the seam) and should extend 1” below and 1½” above the point along each side of the V.  Sew a line of staystitching along the seam line on both the Front and Front Facing. 

Proceed with construction as directed in the Carpe Diem instruction book.  After sewing the Front Facing to the Front along the neckline, clip into the point of the V ending just shy of the stitching line.  Grade and clip the seam allowances. Press the seam allowances toward the facing.  To prevent the facing from rolling to the outside, understitch the clipped and graded seam allowances to the facing to the extent possible. Turn and press the facing to the wrong side of the garment.

We’d love to hear from you if you make a V-neck Carpe Diem.  Were you happy with the way the recommended changes fit?  If you did some more finessing, what changes worked for you?  

Happy Sewing! Carrie

3 thoughts on “Make a V-Neck Carpe Diem

  1. It’s a lovely and flattering dress.

  2. Thank you for sharing the steps on how to change out the neckline. V-necks are so much more flattering for my body shape.

    1. Looking forward to seeing your V-Necks Robyn!

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