One of our perennial favorite posts is our guide to getting flat bias facings. In the original post we called them bias necklines, which I think is limiting. You can easily use this technique for necklines, armholes, keyhole openings, and more! We’ve also updated the post with new images taken from the Willow Tank so that you can see it applied to one of our current patterns. You can still see the original post here, or enjoy this updated version. Keep in mind that although we’re showing a neckline here you can easily apply this to other parts of the garment!
Begin by taking your neckline binding piece and sewing the two shorter edges together, with right sides facing each other, to create a circle.
Press the seam allowance open.
Align the binding piece around the neckline and pin in place. I like to put the seam of the binding at the center back of the garment, but that’s just my personal preference.
Head over to your machine and stitch the neckline and binding together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Grade the seam by trimming the seam allowance of the binding in half all the way around the neckline. This will reduce bulk and create a better looking neckline.
After grading, clip around the neckline through all layers of the seam allowance approximately every inch or so. This will allow the smaller cut edge to turn back smoothly onto the wider neckline.
Press the seam allowance and the binding up away from the garment.
Understitch around the neckline through the binding and seam allowance as close to the seam line as you feel comfortable. In this sample I’m at about 1/16″ but anywhere between there and 1/8″ works just fine. The point of this stitching line is that it will help to force the seam line to the wrong side of the garment so that you can’t see it from the right side.
Press the binding to the wrong side of the garment making sure the seam line just barely rolls to that side as well.
Now tuck the raw edge of the binding under to meet the fold line, then pin the binding in place. Continue this around the circumference of the neckline, pinning as you go.
Head over to your machine and stitch the neckline binding down. I again stitch about 1/16″ from the loose edge, but wherever you feel comfortable works just fine.
Give your neckline a good press and you’re done! I really think that each step shown here is integral to getting a flat neckline finish, so try not to take shortcuts on this technique. If you have any questions, just let us know in the comments below!