For my final collaboration post with Craftsy, I took one more techniques class, Patternmaking + Design: Creative Necklines, with Suzy Furrer. I actually started off with the intention of taking another dressmaking class, but I’ve come to realize that at this point in my sewing adventures, I’m really more interested in learning techniques, tips and drafting advice than following through an entire pattern!
I know I’ve said this before about one or two other classes, but whoa this is a meaty one. No joke. Suzy is a details person of the first order, which I love! The class covers a wide variety of necklines: boat, v, sweetheart, cornered, strapless, halter, grecian, funnel, and opera. That’s a ton on its own, but each section goes through little details you may not have even considered, such as:
- changing the spread distance between a front and back neckline
- understanding the radius around the bust and how that affects the neckline
- where to raise or lower the neckline at the shoulder
- adding neckline darts
- fixing a gaping front neckline
Like I said… detailed!
Suzy also goes through drafting several great dress examples, using the techniques she shows in the earlier sections of the class. She covers an unlined v-neck surplise dress with chevron stripes, a lined and underlined (she discusses the difference) boat neck dress with a tulip skirt, a strapless dress with a pencil skirt, and even a ponte knit dress with an asymmetrical neckline.
One thing that’s helpful to note if you plan to recreate one of the dresses in those sections: she starts off with a bodice and skirt sloper as a starting point. Suzy actually teaches the bodice sloper and skirt sloper classes on Craftsy, so this could be a really nice class to take if you were planning to take the sloper classes. That being said, I don’t have my own true sloper, but I could easily see how to use my favorite Emery bodice in lieu of a sloper for that section. And there’s still a ton of useful information to take away from those sections, even if you don’t plan to follow along. And don’t worry, you don’t need a sloper for all of the neckline-specific sections, you can do it on any pattern you’d like to alter! And that’s what I did.
I used Suzy’s techniques to modify the neckline on my latest dress project, the popular By Hand London Elisalex. Initially, my plan was to give it a v-neck instead of the original scoop, and to raise the scooped and slightly v neckline in the back a bit. I followed along Suzy’s instructions for my muslin, but then ironically decided I didn’t really like the pattern with a v-neck in the front. The drafting was good, but once I was wearing the muslin, I felt like I really wanted a scoop neck after all!
Sorry I couldn’t get these muslins on my dress form since I only did the bodice with a shorter zipper, but on the left below is the v-neck I drafted from the class, and then on the right is the neckline I went with on the final dress.
So in the end, I went back to close to the original front neckline, but kept my alterations for the back neckline. Below you can see a peek of the final dress, both front and back!
I’ve taken away a lot of valuable information from this class, but with so much covered, I’ve honestly probably already forgotten a large part of it. So I expect I’ll refer back to it frequently, especially since I’m often tweaking necklines. And I’m excited for some of those drafting techniques to seep into my (somewhat) permanent sewing memory banks. (p.s. This is also why I keep a sewing notebook… take notes, notes, notes!)
50% off this class for a week!
For the next week, Craftsy is offering my readers a 50% discount on the Patternmaking + Design: Creative Necklines class. All you need to do is purchase the class through that link, and for the next 7 days, it’ll be 50% off. That’s it! If you were thinking about getting this class, now’s a good time to do it.
Soon I’ll be showing off the finished Elisalex dress you got a sneak peek of in this post… stay tuned!
(This is a sponsored post with Craftsy, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)