My daughter needs to dress as Anne Boleyn for a school history report. We're basing her costume off this portrait:

1534 portrait of Anne Boleyn

We found a cheap long sleeve black shirt to modify with a lace/pearl edging to emulate Anne's dress. However, it's a v-neck shirt, deep enough that it is inappropriate to wear to school (or really anywhere) if I simply cut a rectangle down to that length.

How can I modify the shirt to pull the point of the V higher and make a rectangle neck that matches the desired look?

  • Is the shirt going to be tucked in ? Trying to lift up the V section that was cut out is going to affect the way the "belly" portion of the shirt hangs. The hem will be too high, and it will be wavy (lifting the neck will also lift the bottom of the shirt).
    – JPhi1618
    May 20, 2016 at 14:03
  • Probably tucked in. She's wearing a plain black skirt with it, and we hadn't given tucking any thought, but it will probably look cleaner (regardless of the hem) and more like a "dress" that way.
    – Erica
    May 20, 2016 at 14:04
  • I don't know enough to make an answer about this other idea right now, but if the satin doesn't work, you could create a strip of another material that's slightly wider than the satin, sew them together, and glue the pearls to that edge. The satin-side will hide the material, and you should still get a look similar to Boleyn's.
    – user24
    May 21, 2016 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


I recommend that you ignore the depth of the V in your v-neck shirt and cut the square where you want it to be (allowing for seams, obviously). Then, using the cut-out material, you can use it as a modesty panel to fill in the space where the tip of the V is to make a full square neck.

What you do with this notch is up to you. You can try to make it blend in by stitching it flat or you can use some of your embellishments to make it an accent to the center of the square.

The final result would be something similar to the neckline here:

square neck blouse with v-neck accent

Though, I'm guessing the V left over is going to be shallower than this one.

The obvious benefit here is that you don't have to muck with how the shirt fits. It's not been recut. All you've changed is the neckline.

  • I particularly love that you've taken this in a completely different direction than what I had in mind, making the project both easier and more effective! Great answer.
    – Erica
    May 21, 2016 at 3:18

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