How to reduce the neckline of a dress | An easy clothes alteration tutorial

how to reduce the neckline of a dress

How to reduce a neckline. Reduce gaping. Increase modesty.

In this upcycled clothing sewing tutorial, i reduced the neckline of this long dress so it doesn’t gape and offers more modesty.

I bought the dress second-hand from my local thrift shop for $5 (Australian). It fits well everywhere else, it’s just the neckline that needed altering.

This is an easy upcycle project that is suitable for beginners and doesn’t require a sewing machine (although it will be easier if you have one).

How to reduce the neckline of a dress sewing tutorial.

Step 1 – Remove any buttons.

The first step was to remove the buttons. These will be added back in once I have finished the alteration.

Step 2 – Pin the new front seam.

Then to reduce the gaping, I simply took in the front seam. The top seam of the neckline must be even so I pin this in place.

Then I just pin down to the elastic waistband and it’s over the sewing machine.

Step 3 – Sew new seam on the sewing machine (or hand sew)

If you don’t have a sewing machine, hand stitching would achieve the same result.

Starting at the top, I slowly stitch down, all the way to the waistband.

It’s not difficult, you just want to make sure you’ve got a nice, even stitch.

It’s important to backstitch at the top to make sure that it doesn’t come away in time.

While this wasn’t a dramatic transformation, it’s a handy alteration that I do to a lot of the clothes I buy second hand thrifting.

Thanks for watching,


benefits of learning to sew

The benefits of altering, mending and sewing your own clothes.

In an era of environmental consciousness, learning to sew and make your own clothes is more relevant and beneficial than ever.

Sewing skills not only mean saving money (more important in times of high cost of living) but play a significant role in reducing your environmental footprint.

Below are how learning to sew and utilising your existing sewing skills can make a positive impact on your life and the planet.

Learning to sew can be cost effective

Learning to sew and mend your clothes can lead to substantial savings now and in the long term.

Instead of discarding garments due to minor damages you can easily repair them yourself. Upcycling clothes gives them a new life, keeping then in the circular economy rather than going to landfill.

Making your own clothes means you can create custom pieces tailored to your style and fit.  Best of all, you’ll have the satisfaction of wearing something unique, knowing you made it yourself.

Sewing reduces your environmental impact

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions and environmental polluters. By learning to sew, mend, and upcycle, you actively participate in reducing this impact through waste reduction, resource conservation, and by reducing your carbon footprint.

Evolve your personal style and expression

Homemade and upcycled clothes offer a unique opportunity for personal expression where you can tailor clothes to your preference, size and design.

Sewing means you can enjoy a more meaningful wardrobe that’s filled with items that you love and cherish.

Sewing enhances creativity

Sewing fosters creativity and skill development.

Upcycling encouraging you to think creatively about how to repurpose and rejuvenate old items. Sewing your own clothes allows you to experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and designs. There are no rules!

Making something with your own hands or bringing a beloved items back to life cultivates a sense resourcefulness.

Making ethical fashion choices

By making and mending your own clothes, you align with ethical fashion principles.

Fast fashion often involves exploitative labour practices and poor working conditions. By creating your own garments or repurposing second hand clothing, you know exactly where and how they were made, promoting fair labour practices and ethical production.

Sewing is less wasteful

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, millions of tons of textile waste are generated each year.

Repairing and upcycling clothes keeps them out of landfills and often being shipped overseas and burned.

By extending the life of your garments, you contribute to lowering the environmental impact of clothing waste across the world.