Finishing a neckline - Clean finish binding

How-toCoralie Grillet

Who doesn’t love when some things can be simplified? 
When you only have a short amount of time to spare, complicated techniques and stressful seam finishes can take the fun out of garment making.
Finishing a neckline is usually one of these headache inducing tasks and are most of the time rushed, leaving your garment looking sloppy and unprofessional. And you certainly don’t want your face framed by a poor looking neckline!
That’s when the clean finish binding comes in! 

To finish the neckline using this technique, you’ll have joined the front and back bodice together along only one shoulder seam and can also have the side seams sewn.

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By leaving the second shoulder seam open, you will have an easy and stress free finish. It’s the technique that is used for our stretch garments like the Nivis or Prism patterns and the great thing is that it can be easily adapted for binding any other neckline.
Before starting, you should have folded and pressed in half lengthwise your neckline binding. 

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Then, pin the binding all around the neckline.

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You want to work on the right side, with the fold of the binding facing down. This also means that the raw edge of the binding will align with the raw edge of the bodice. 
Note that the pattern piece was made to have some ease in length, so don’t panic if you have some binding left after pinning it.

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Also, to have a nice looking neckline, pin your binding very slightly stretched. There’s no need to pull on it to extend it to its maximum capacity, just a light stretch will do the job.
Next comes the fun part, the sewing part! Here you have a choice either to overlock the seam or to use a narrow zigzag stitch with a 0.8 mm seam allowance. Bare in mind that if you're using a thick fabric, overlocking will bring some bulk to the binding so just a narrow zigzag will be enough. In any case, it'll be hidden into the binding.

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When this is done, press the binding open towards the top of the garment. Give it a good press so it’ll stay in place for the next step.

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Pin the second shoulder seam with the binding open and stitch it. At this stage, you can now trim the binding along the seam allowance or let your overlocker do the job for you.

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The shoulder seam can be quite thick and sometimes it can be hard for your overlocker to start sewing especially at the beginning of the seam. To help it, put a bit of fabric under the pressing foot to help level it and make it easier for it to start overlocking.

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The last step to finish the neckline is to top stitch the binding in place. To do so, first fold and press it toward the inside of the garment.
Pin all around the neckline to make sure it stays folded.

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My preferred method to topstitch the neckline is to use a double needle, but if you want to do it with two narrow zigzag stitched side by side, you’re welcome to.

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Congratulations, your neckline is now done and beautiful! 


No more sloppy necklines! From now on, all your makes will be beautifully finished, all that’s left to do is to wear them with pride!