Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Make a Keyhole Neckline

This tutorial can be adapted in a number of ways and can be used with a number of different projects.  It just gives your tops/dresses a bit more of an interesting look.  Here are a couple of adaptations I've done recently:
Wide open
Tied up with a bow
Both of these tops were made using the basic peasant top tutorial, but the sizing has been modified to give each one a different look.

Here is what you will need:
  • A top that is already pieced together
  • Corresponding bias tape
  • 1/4 inch elastic (optional)
  • Pins
  • Thread

So, assuming you have your top already pieced together, the first step is to determine how deep you want your neckline.  Fold the front of the top in half lengthwise and cut out a scoop.
The next step is to cut out the keyhole.  You can do this in a couple of ways.  If you want the hole to be slight, then just make one vertical cut in the fabric...nothing more.  But, I would recommend that you cut a little bit more away.  With your top still folded in half vertically, cut out a basic keyhole shape.
Open it up and make sure that you are happy with it.  It should look something like this:
Now, you will need to take out your bias tape and lay it on the edge of the keyhole with the right sides facing eachother.  Pin it all the way around (honestly, this is a step that I almost always skip unless I absolutely have to).  I like to put the wider side of the bias tape right up against the edge, so that when I flip it, it will be easier to sew down (you'll notice that one edge overlaps the other when the bias tape is folded over).  Sew it down close to the crease of the bias tape.
Once you have sewn all the way around, flip the bias tape to the inside of your top.  Sew it down all the way around.

When your top is right side out, it should look like this:
Now finsih off your neckline according to the peasant top tutorial or your other pattern.

Once that is done, there are a couple of ways you can finish this.  You can either thread bias tape or ribbon through (using a safety pin) and tie it off with a pretty bow as I did here:

or you can thread elastic through and sew the ends in at the edge of the keyhole as I did here:
This dress just had such wide shoulders, I thought that this option looked better than trying to cinch the neckline too much.  I just thread the elastic all the way through.  Once the pin made it to the other side, I pinned it to the edge and made sure I had the right amount of elastic for the cinching that I wanted.  Then I sewed dowbn the OTHER end of the elastic first (follow the seam that is already there).  Once that was secured, I sewed down the side with the pin.  WARNING:  do not remove the pin until this is complete...or you will likely lose your elastic inside the shirt and will have to start all over again (not that I learned this by experience or anything).  Trim off any excess elastic.

One thing that I love about this option is that you can change it later if you want to, simply by removing a few stitches.

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