December 23, 2016

How to alter the Turner Dress neckline

If you love the look of the Turner Dress, but have been thinking “hmm, I wish it was a scoop neck?” or “I wonder if i can make the neckline a bit narrower?” then fear not!  Because it’s really easy to alter the Turner Dress neckline.

In fact, it’s particularly easy because the Turner has a fully lined bodice – that means there’s no facing or neckband to alter. All you have to do is draw on the neckline of your dreams directly onto your pattern piece (you may need to add a bit of tissue paper).

The main tip I have is to keep it symmetrical – because there is negative ease through the bust, if you try to make it asymmetrical it will likely distort. I also recommend going with smooth lines – although if you want to put some crazy angles in there, make sure you interface the edges and it may just work!

Here are some Turner Dress neckline ideas for you:

Raise the V-neck

Does the V-neck dip a little too low for your comfort or workplace? Easy: draw a line from the shoulder to your desired bottom point.

alter Turner Dress neckline

Narrow the entire neckline

If you have narrow shoulders or like more coverage, you can keep the V-neck but add more coverage all around. With this alteration, because you’re changing the shoulders as well, you need to remember to do the same alteration to the back shoulder so that they match.

alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline
High V-neck

Like the V but would rather it much higher? Here’s how you draw it:
alter Turner Dress neckline

and here is how it will look!

alter Turner Dress neckline

Scoop neck

For a totally different look, try a scoop neck! Here’s how to draw a classic deep scoop (you’ll need to cut off the excess pattern piece at the neckline and add a little tissue at the center front).


alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

High scoop neck

Fancy a scoop but also more coverage? Here’s another version:

alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

Jewel neckline

If you’re looking for full coverage with a feminine dip (perfect for showing off those jewels!) then this jewel shape may work for you:
alter Turner Dress neckline

alter Turner Dress neckline

Deep dip neckline

And finally, for something different, here’s a deep dip neckline! It’s much narrower than the V but still fairly low cut:

alter Turner Dress neckline

Are you planning on playing with the neckline on your Turner Dress? Do you have any other fun ideas for different shapes? I’d love to see your modifications!

16 thoughts on “How to alter the Turner Dress neckline

  1. So helpful, thank you.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Great post. Like the drawings so you can visualize it!

  3. Rebecca says:

    How about a rounded V-neck?

  4. Suzanna says:

    You are a mind-reader, Jenny! Thanks for providing so many options, too.

  5. Michele Svedberg says:

    I lengthened the turner skirt. I’m confused about which line I should adjust to on the side seam. Draw line from original side seam to where side seam now ends which is in further(narrower)? Or continue original side down and add to curve on bottom to meet this side seam. I’m choosing the narrower skirt because my daughter prefers less flow in her skirts. I have pictures if you want to see what I’m taking about. I could hashtag you on an instagram post. I also modified the neck line to a tank top scoop. I added to the inside shoulder seam to make sure her bra straps are covered. She will wear this on our first cruise in January.

    1. Either would work, it jus depends on whether you want a fuller or less full skirt. Just make sure you start at the same point on the waist.

  6. Pat Rose Thompson says:

    Jenny, this is wonderful! I’ve been lusting Turner everytime I see one, but know my narrow, sloping shoulders just would not work. Guess what my next dress will be?

    1. Liz T says:

      What she said. Thank you for providing this information. After realizing my narrow shoulders were a problem for my Concord t-shirt, I am so relieved to see that issue addressed here!

  7. Bel says:

    Fantastic. You’ve helped me make my Turner even more versatile. I do have two questions:

    1.Exactly which modification, among the ones you’ve listed, have you applied to the checkered (let’s just call it that) dress you’re wearing in the first picture?
    2. Could you please measure the width of the neckline at the highest point of the dress in the picture, while you’re wearing it?

    Thank you so much in advance. 🙂

    1. Bel says:

      The reason I ask is although I have broad shoulders, I don’t really have the boobs to do the original V-neck in Turner any justice, it’d just look…weird. So I would like to alter the neckline, most likely to scooped but I am unsure if the I should also narrow the neckline at the top. If you also have broad shoulders and have not narrowed the width of the neckline on the checkered dress then yeah, if your shoulders are considered normal, then no. Saves me some alteration work which I’m still crap at. I’m hoping you have normal shoulders.

    2. The neckline has been turned into a scoop neckline. I don’t have this dress any more, so I’m afraid I can’t send you measurements.

  8. Jan Shaw says:

    Is it possible to change the full skirt into a straight style? I do like the original but would like other options.
    Jan Victoria Australia

    1. michele8243 says:

      Do you have the Rivermont Dress? That has a straight skirt. You need to make sure the Rivermont and Turner waistlines are the same circumference.

  9. Terri Miller says:

    I really like a boat neckline. I think from what I’ve seen that you could do this, too, similar to the jewel neckline, but am I right that you would extend it into the shoulder seam a little more?

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Terri, yes, a boat neckline is similar to the jewel neckline but wider towards the shoulders. I recommend testing this out on a muslin first (using similar weight/stretch fabric to your final fabric) to make sure you don’t accidentally extend it beyond what’s comfortable for you.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

  10. Terri Miller says:

    Thank you. I have learned to make toile before cutting into more expensive fabric. Terri

Let me know what you think!