Hi there! My name is Stephanie of SewWithStephanie, and as a sewist for over eight years, my ultimate goal has been to help others sew successfully, by advising tips and tricks to make the sewing process a little easier. After trying out the Pauline Dress pattern for myself, I thought it would be helpful to provide a step by step tutorial on how to perfectly sew the neckline, as I discovered that it can be a bit tricky. So let’s get into it!
PREP THE BODICE
Prepare the bodice as instructed by the pattern instructions until you get to the section labeled: Attach Front Facing to Bodice. Since I will not be adding lining to my dress, I finished the bottom of my front and back facings with my serger as advised.
Your front and back facing pieces should look like this:
ATTACH FRONT FACING TO BODICE
Before continuing, make sure that you have transferred all of your pattern markings to your fabric. This is where your fabric marking pen will be essential. Make sure that you use a marking pen that is visible and precise, as these markings are probably the most important ones to transfer accurately.
With right sides together, match the front facing (pattern piece D) to the front bodice (pattern piece A) at the neckline. Pin by matching the circles on the darts with the circles on the corners of the facing.
When pinning your facing to the bodice, I found it helpful to make sure that each side of the square neckline and dart was laid completely flat before sewing. Keeping this section as flat as possible when pinning, will help you when pivoting at the darts while sewing in the next step.
SEW THE NECKLINE
Sew the neckline starting from the wrong side of the bodice. Begin sewing at the left shoulder, down until you get to the dart. When you reach the dart, fold it over towards the center front to keep it out of the way, and stop precisely at the circle marking where the dart begins. Make a backstitch to secure the stitch.
Raise the needle and machine foot, then pivot the neckline 90 degrees. Fold the seam allowance of the dart out of the way again, and drop the needle right where the dart begins at the circle mark.
Backstitch and continue sewing along the neckline until you get to the second dart at the right shoulder. Backstitch again, and as you did before, raise the needle and machine foot, fold the dart out of the way, pivot another 90 degrees and sew until you get to the end of the right shoulder. Below is how your sewing should look:
Snip into each corner of the neckline making sure not to cut into your stitch lines. When snipping, try to clip as close to the dart as possible.
Trim the seams, and turn the bodice right side out. In this step, using duckbill scissors will help to ensure that you only cut the seam allowance intended.
UNDERSTITCH THE NECKLINE
To make sure that the facing remains on the wrong side of your bodice, and that your neckline stays in place, understitch the seam allowance to the facing, leaving the shoulder seams free.
Turn the bodice right side out, iron the neckline, and do a happy dance for successfully sewing your Pauline neckline!
Share your Pauline neckline with us in the comments below, and let us know if this tutorial helped. If you have any extra tips/tricks that you discovered while sewing yours, feel free to comment them as well.