• By:

My friend is graduating college in music and had a senior voice recital. She wanted a recital dress that didn’t look like a bridesmaid dress and would look classic for years. She ordered a beautiful dress online, and she found it was a little too low-cut in the front and the back for her liking. Because she knew we would be doing alterations, the company let her order an extra yard of matching fabric.
1. I got some muslin and pin it in. I drew in where she wanted more coverage, copying the original style with pleats and a v-neck. (Don’t mind the other random pins, those were for fitting alterations.)

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

I did the same to the back.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial
 2. She took it off, and I perfected and drew the lines in darker before I unpinned it.
Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial
Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

3. I unpinned each one and had my pattern piece.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial
Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

4. Transfer to paper and add seam allowance.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

Because I pleated the top layer to match the dress, I have three pieces each for the front and the back.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

5. Cut out your fabric pieces and interfacing pieces.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

6. I didn’t take pictures of the construction, but you put it together just like any other neckline with a facing or lining. This will also depend on the style of your dress and insert. Leave the bottom edge open then finish that edge.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

7. Pin the piece in where it should go. See how my piece blends in?

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

8. Get a needle and thread to hand sew in the piece. I started in the middle and went out, so it would stay lined up.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

9. You can use whatever stitch you want to sew it in. I used the strongest stitch where you go forward a whole step and then back a half step, forward a whole step and then back a half step, etc.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

10. Once I got to the top, I came back down on the bottom whipstitching it to the lining. This made the whole piece very secure.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

This is what it looks like finished. (Don’t mind the safety pin; I hadn’t finished ironing the pleats yet.)

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

And the back.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

What I did to this dress is similar to what I did to this wedding dress and this strapless dress. You could use this technique for a strapless dress; it would just be a lot more work and different pattern pieces. Both of these dresses I hemmed and used the extra fabric to build up the tops.

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

My parents were able to go to my friend’s recital and take a couple pictures. She looked beautiful and sang beautifully!

Make It Modest: Build Up a Low-Cut Neckline Tutorial

Author: Heather