Refine My Line: Asymmetrical Wrap Dress pt.2

Everyone posted great suggestions to yesterday’s challenge; it’s obvious I’m not the only one who has fiddled with these necklines a time or three. Less obvious was Myrrhia’s comment with respect to slippery fabric. Fabrications like this are an even greater challenge to manage effectively.

First we’ll go over the two biggest and most likely solutions. Contributors mentioned two basic strategies one could use to repair the blousing. These were:

  1. Tightening (shortening the line of asymmetrical closure) one way or another.
  2. Changing the grainline.

By way of illustration of #1 is the sketch labeled Option 1. I took a dart out of the bottom but others mentioned taking it out of the upper neck at the shoulder line. I suppose that could work just as well but I’m of the school to try to take it out (first) from the area the problem seems manifest. Anyway, you’d take out some fullness and redraw the line to match.

asymmetrical option 1asymmetrical option 2

The sketch labeled Option 2 should be clear, the grainline has been changed to follow the closure. It will certainly be easier to sew but may not work for everyone if you have an obvious print. Then again, you could use a stripe to great effect if you chose to but a stripe wouldn’t work if you did the recommended curvature of that line (below). Isn’t fashion design fun? I’m sure it looks so easy to consumers.

curving asymmetrical necklineJennifer mentions that the neckline going down the front should not be a straight line but curved. I would agree. A straight line doesn’t look straight on the body, it would bow outward into the neckline and get in the way of the opposing breast. It should be a long shallow curve, the deepest portion of it at the upper chest (see the black arrow). A hip curve is dandy for long gradual curves like this.

As far as working with that edge, there were a few additional ideas. Sarah suggested using swimwear elastic along that edge. I wonder how that would work. There are interesting lightweight clear elastics that might work and not bulk up the finished edge. Harper suggested twill tape. Paul and Kay suggested using negative ease which once pulled, would stretch to proper length upon completion. Any of these may be viable options that will work with given fabrications. There is no way to know which is best until you try it. Like I said in yesterday’s entry, these necklines are tricky. It requires a process of iteration to resolve the problem.

Again, thanks everyone for your great contributions!

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  1. Seth Meyerink-Griffin says:

    If you look at older photos (about 1862 – pre-WWII) or paintings/prints or Japanese clothing you will see very similar gapping an draping over the obi. Japanese garments were constructed almost exclusively with rectangular pieces of fabric, which means that very little shaping could be done. Without the ability to, say, slash a dart out of the overlapping panels, you would always end up with some draping.

    This doesn’t happen as much with modern kimono, but not because the garment has been reshaped; the obi has gotten both wider and higher for women (so the gapping/drooping can be stuffed under the edge of the obi), and women now have padded and constricting garments that they wear under the innermost layers to turn their figures into perfect cylinders. In other words, women are now shaped to fit the garment rather than the garment being shaped to the woman.

    Just an interesting historical note.

  2. Loretta Dian says:

    In order for a kimono type garment to hang on the body correctly one must cut the back neck scoop deep enough to accommodate the wearer’s body. This is frequently not even considered by the maker & it is not considered by the pattern companies. If this scoop is too shallow the garment will always pull forward & the wearer will always be tugging on it to get it back straight. The pulling forward also shortens the back hemline. If you have the garment hanging properly on the body then some of the gaping in the front will automatically be eliminated. I also agree that the line down the front should have a gentle curve.

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