Today we're going to prepare the bias strip neck binding and apply it to the neck edge. There are a lot of steps and it's a little bit harder than yesterday but you can totally do it. I have photos of all the steps so you'll be able to see every detail. Click on any photo to enlarge it. Let's get started!
Step 1: Place ends of neck binding right sides together at a 90 degree angle. I like to place pins along the seam line then open the fabric, just to make sure I have it lined up correctly.
Stitch from one inside corner to the other. I find it hard to backstitch while doing this so I usually don't.
Trim excess and press seam open.
Step 2: Fold neck binding in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Be careful not to stretch the fabric as you press.
With raw edges of binding matching raw edge of neckline, pin binding to right side of neckline with end of bias strip extending .5 inch beyond back neck edge. Be careful not to stretch the binding as you pin.
Using a .25 inch seam allowance, slowly stitch binding to neck opening. Trim all but .5 inch past back opening. Press seam allowance towards binding. Clip the seam allowance every .25 to .5 inch. You want to cut close to the stitching but not all the way through it. This will help the curves lay flat. If possible, grade the seam allowance, trimming the seam allowance closer to the binding shorter than the seam allowance from the body of the top.
Next you need to understitch. I think this sounds harder than it actually is. It's also really helpful in keeping the binding tucked onto the wrong side and invisible. Push the seam allowance towards the binding and stitch in place. This stitching is only visible from the wrong side. I like to stitch with the seam allowance on top and the binding on bottom so that I know I'm catching the seam allowance in the stitching.
Fold binding to wrong side. Press binding to wrong side and fold in ends to create a clean finish. If the fabric is bulky, trim away a little bit from the inside corners.
Topstitch or handstitch binding in place. Press. Using a hand needle and thread, attach button to right side of back neck edge.
I want to make a quick side note/general query about finishing necklines. When I first started sewing (20 years ago!) I only worked with wovens and every neckline was finished with either lining or a separate facing piece. In the last 8 years or so, I've noticed the trend of finishing a neckline with strips of bias fabric. (Is that just me or did you notice too?) Why it changed, I'm not really sure. Perhaps because with the bias binding, the inside of the garment will look more polished, you don't need to use interfacing or because there won't be a bump where the facing ends under the garment. Also, if you are sewing a sheer fabric, the bias binding looks much better. I honestly think that sewing with a facing is much easier and less fussy. With bias binding, it can be tricky to find the right length and to piece the strips on the diagonal. And then sometimes, when the bias binding is top stitched in place it pulls the neckline outward. This doesn't happen all the time for me, just with some fabrics. I think it might have to do with the bias binding not stretching enough around a curve. In this instance, it would probably be better to hand stitch the binding in place. (If you have any tips for this scenario, please share in the comments.) So, my question for you is: Do you prefer facings or bias bindings? What is your experience sewing with them? Thank you! And Happy Sewing!
Tomorrow we are going to finish the top! We will add the pocket and make the hem. Meanwhile check out the earlier posts in the series: