Neck Hole
Key Hole
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Neck Hole
The pattern you are looking for is a circle or egg shape with one third of its circumference behind your neck and the other two thirds in front. This works our great if you are making a yoked shirt or jacket, because they usually have three parts coming together around the neck, each is a third

The biggest problem people have with the neck of a shirt were to put and how big it needs to be. well I find that the best way to look at this is to see the body as a cylinder and your neck as a cylinder that comes out of the top of the body. However the neck is not centered on the top of the body, part of the price we pay for walking on two legs. so the big trick is to know how far forward to put the hole for your neck.

Making a pattern for the hole

Did you know that the circumference of any circle can be divided six times by its radius, this is really handy because six divides by three and that's what we need. So take the compass and place the point on the circle and draw an arc through the whole circle, were it crosses the circumference is one third of the circle.

Since your neck is pretty much round you can think of it as a circle, though it is often more ovoid like an egg because the trachea sticks out a bit. However round is generally good. measure your neck around it's base and calculate the radius ( the radius is half the diameter, which is the circumference divided by pie) So divide the neck measurement by 3.14 and that will give you the diameter, then divide that by 2. Set a compass to that length and draw a circle. In the drawing to the right the little red cross is meant to indicate the center of the arc (were the compass point goes)

Now to mark it so it will fit your body right, you will need to mark out the thirds of the circumference witch will show the back of the neck hole. So select a point on the circumference of the circle which will become the center back point. Place the point of the compass on that point (the redd cross on this diagram to the right) and marc the two places were this "first arc" crosses the circle, this has marked one third of the circle, and the back part of the neck-hole.

Now place the point of the compass on those intersections were the first arc crosses the circumference and draw a couple of arcs further around the circle. Again the compass point should go were the red crosses are in this drawing to the right. all that needs to be drawn is enough to mark the intersections we'll need next.

Use these two new intersections as new center points for your compass. draw two arcs from the center of the circle to the bottom edge these arcs should intersect at the same place on the circle. That is the bottom or center front of the neck hole.

In this drawing we can see how three of the little red crosses are dividing the circumference in thirds with the forth and top red cross marking the center back, and the one in the center too. At this stage you can cut the rest of the paper away from the circle, which is your pattern.

Fold the circle in half through the center line (center of the back, center of circle and center of front) this is will go on the center line of your shirt. Then fold through the points where the first arc crossed the circle circumferences, this is the shoulder line. Now this cross is the center of the cylinder that is the top of your body

Now you have all the PATTERN you need to make a shirt or T-Tunic. To use it just pin it to the garment and cut it out . . .

this is a general guideline to make a general purpose neck-hole that will generally fit just fine, though necks don't come in any kind of standardized shape this should fit you fine every time. Warning some people are even more forward than this pattern, so try it a couple times.

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2006 March 28