The Notched Neckline and V-Neck

There are few details easier than a notched neckline (or a V-neck), but both are nice variations from the basic rounded opening.  I find that a V or small vent is more flattering than a rounded neck treatment. It draws the eye upward, toward your lovely face, while still offering modesty - and, of course, a bit of style!

pink tunic top with notched neckline and bell sleeves

Notched neckline

This simple detail transforms the basic blouse or top into a fashion statement, without fussiness (in the drafting, sewing or wearing).  It reveals a tiny pendant on a chain, or, with a really great button to close the very top of the notch, it's a statement in itself.

Drafting the little vent couldn't be easier.

The vent looks best at about 2 1/2" to 3" in length. Make a mark at that point, down from the center front neck.

For an open vent, make another mark 3/4" to 1" from the center front, along the neckline. Draw a line between the two marks - easy!  That's it!

If you want a slightly larger and wider neckline, like the one shown above (to pull over the head more easily), just "scoop out" the neck a bit.

pattern draft for the notched neckline

I like it a bit wider, so I'd widen the neck about 3/4" to 1" on each side, and lower it about 1/2" at the front (following the BLUE dashed lines). 

Widen the back the same as the front, but I usually lower the back neck only about 1/4 - 1/2".

If you want to close the vent at the top with a cool button or brooch, just cut the vent along the center front line; don't angle it like the sketch. The corners must meet at the top for the button or pin, so you really just need a slit at the front neck.

This neckline is best finished with a facing.

top with V-neck


The V-neck is another easy variation on the basic neckline, and one I find especially flattering. It looks great filled in with a necklace.

Drafting this neckline is even easier than the notch.

Your center front mark is just a bit lower (for balance with the width) - go about 3" to 3 1/2" down from the center front neckline.

Then just draw a line from that mark to the shoulder point.  You could make that line a gentle curve if you prefer, but the straight line will work just fine.  That's it!!

Again, the back neck needs no modification.

drafting the V-neck

This neckline can be finished with a facing, bias tape, or, if made in a knit, use a ribbed band.

And, of course, you can make it deeper or wider if you prefer.

Could anything be easier?

This is a great way to get your feet wet if you're new to pattern design and uncomfortable with collars.

You'll find MUCH more information about collars and necklines in the in-depth tutorial, A Beginner's Guide to Necklines and Collars.  Learn to draft cowl necklines, shawl collars, stand collars, shirt collars, scoop necklines, squared necklines - and variations of all of these! 

Check out the Beginner's Guide to Necklines and Collars now!

More Collars and Necklines

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