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Designing a Neckline: 3 Variations

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How can it be….are we into August already? With a string of high heat weeks, I just want something light and simple to wear. So I am living in a collection of River Tunics and shifts. The River Tunic Pattern is truly a blank canvas. A garment starts at the top, so here are 3 neckline variations on the same pattern.

Japanese Cotton- The sheer version is a Japanese cotton, light as a feather (fabric from A sheer knit is the unexpected fabric used for the neck and sleeve finish: a single layer with a raw edge…just right for this lightweight version.

Neckline #1: Hand-stitching holds the pleat shaping the neckline and is the perfect accent at the sleeves. 

Hand-stitching was used to tuck the sleeve fronts up, leaving more coverage on the back.

Grey Linen- This garment, with printed binding, will make the transition into my fall wardrobe. Love the zipper! Hand-stitched on as surface design AND zipped to nip in the design.

NeckLine #2: I cut a wider neck hole, so there is fabric to pleat the fronts over the zipper, which brings the neckline into an interesting asymmetrical shape. To place the zipper, I started with it zipped part way open, then folded the fabric over it  to enclose the zipper in the pleats at the top. To determine the shape the rest of the way down the front. The accent hand stitching thread color is found in the printed binding fabric.

Pink Shirting- My son, Miles Frode, painted this fabric…no holds barred…just lots of fabric paint and water, brushed, blobbed, rubbed and dabbed! Folding and playing with what parts to use was a big challenge. I cut and fused a piece (with the green paint) to the front, and used decorative stitches to re-connect various pieces before I cut out my River Tunic.

Neckline #3: I included a small piece of the stripe print at this neckline. Once the garment was folded and the neck edge took shape, the necklines were cut and several facing pieces added on the front and back edges. The finishing on this tunic is a subtle, white hand-stitching thread, so the painted fabric and collage would be the focus. 

Focusing on creating different necklines with one pattern, can challenge  your construction skills and build your design library.

I hope you're enjoying your love of sewing this month, Diane



  • CR: August 31, 2020

    This my favorite pattern! Your ideas inspires me to be bolder in my designs and have more fun!

  • August 31, 2020

    Gorgeous ideas with oodles of food for thought gets me going ever time!

  • Darlene Griffin: August 15, 2018

    Such a lovely sheer Tunic. Love the gentle colors! 🦋

  • cynthia: August 10, 2018

    love seeing how i can expand my copy of the river tunic. thanks!

  • Julie: August 10, 2018

    Really enjoy seeing your creations on you!

  • Tammy: August 10, 2018

    The ideas you share of how you improvise with your tunic design is inspirational to me. Thanks.

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