If you’ve ever found yourself swearing at your machine trying to finish the neckline of a silk garment, here’s a tip for you. Use lightweight interfacing to help the neckline hold its shape and add strength to keep things looking good wear after wear, extending the life of your garment. This is one of my favorite tips for working on necklines with garments that are made from delicate fabrics such as silk crepe de chine or silk chiffon, which is what I am using in this tutorial.
*note : I am only recommending this for necklines, I’ve never done this to any other seam, though that’s not to say you can’t give it a try. I definitely do not recommend doing this before you roll hem, I’m pretty sure you will not be happy with that result!
Step 1. For the first part of this tutorial you will need :
▲ a rotary cutter, mat and ruler
▲ ultra-lightweight woven fusible interfacing
You will want to choose your fusible interfacing based on the weight of the fabric you are using. Ultra-lightweight allows for virtually no change in the drape of most lightweight silks, though obviously it will make sheer fabrics more opaque if you allow it to show.
Using your rotary cutting supplies, make a bias cut through your fusible. Utilizing the bias will allow the interfacing strip to round your neckline quite nicely. Cut strips of bias fusible the width of your neckline seam allowance (mine was 1/4″). You will be stretching the bias slightly to help it round the curve so it won’t end up showing, don’t worry!
Step 2. For the second part of this tutorial you will need:
▲ an iron [I like to use my mini-iron for this but any iron will work]
▲ the fabric piece you will be interfacing
▲ your fusible bias strips
▲ an old ironing board cover or scrap fabric [you don’t want to ruin your nice cover!]
note : I like to leave my fabric pieces on the layer of paper I cut them through to be sure to maintain the intended neckline shape.
First off you will want to make sure you are fusing to the wrong side of your fabric. Starting at whichever end of the neckline that feels most comfortable to you, tack down the end of the fusible strip and hold the iron in place until the fusible is bonded to the fabric.
You are going to need to slightly stretch the interfacing strip so that it smoothly rounds the neckline, remember, you don’t want to pull tightly and create puckering, that’s no good, just gently. The easiest way to do this is while you are bonding one piece, pull slightly on the bias strip and align the next section in place, then bond that section and repeat working around the neckline.
Once you are have all your neckline pieces fused, you can go ahead and finish your neckline according to your pattern instructions, but don’t forget to clean your iron’s soleplate first to remove any glue it may have picked up during the process.