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Make more with your patterns - The Drawstring-neck Dress
14th December 2016

Asymetric neckline

Back in the summer I started playing around with asymmetric necklines on the Drawstring-neck Dress.

Some of the ideas I tried were more successful than others ………….

Asymetric neckline

My first experiment was taking an existing Drawstring-neck Dress I had made and modifying it. This dress is made from a slinky synthetic jersey with lots of drape.

Asymetric neckline

I added an additional buttonhole for the necktie, 10cm down from the shoulder seam – following the same original instructions for placement from the neck edge.  Then instead of inserting the drawstring all the way round the neck, I simply threaded a slim elasticated cord through the original buttonhole and the additional new one. I then tied this as tightly as possible, knotted it, trimmed the ends and pushed the knot inside the gather channel. I tried the dress on and was happy with the neckline but I didn’t like the idea of belting this new shape in anyway. But there was too much fabric to wear it loose – it was just too sack-like.  So to balance out the gathers on one side of the neck I added a buttonhole 45cm down from the opposite side. My idea was to feed a drawstring through here to the side seam. But once I started playing around I thought it looked better with just a knot – see the next variation for how to do this.

Asymetric neckline

Following on from the success of my first variation, I had some very fluid viscose jersey that I thought I’d develop the knot idea on.

create an Asymetric neckline

So instead of buttonholes I marked the position of my two knots as shown above with a slipstitch. I made up my dress with just a turned edge at the neckline. Then I replaced the slipstitch with some top stitching thread for strength, leaving two long ends. Then I knotted the fabric, pulling the knot as close to the edge without it unravelling – then used the topstitching thread to anchor the knot in place with a couple of stitches.

Asymetric neckline

The finished result is a bit Grecian in feel, but it worked well enough, worn with some Greek sandals and a tan. But not a look that’s so easy to ‘pull-off’ everyday!

Asymetric neckline

My next attempt was a simpler solution. Instead of a drawstring through buttonholes idea, I inserted flat elastic. This I stitched down at the centre neck, gathered to one side and stitched down again, to hold the gathers in place. This is a thicker jersey fabric, so I think this works well.

Asymetric neckline

Finally I thought a version might work in silk velvet. I kept the original buttonhole at the centre neck and an additional one 50cm down from the side neck.

Asymetric neckline

I used a bias binding to create the channels for gathering leaving these open on the shoulder and side seam. I threaded a doubled-over ribbon through the buttonhole till it reached the seam and stitched it in place. I then gathered the velvet and pulling the ribbon flat, stitched the ribbon to the binding – this secures the gathers. Then I tied the ribbon in a blow and trimmed the ends.

Velvet dress pattern

It creates a very pretty effect in this pastel pink but could look dramatic in a stronger colour – scarlet, midnight or black. An ideal make for Christmas or New Year parties!