Hi everyone, with the Eucalypt tank & dress re-release last month, we thought it was a good time to go over how to sew the bias neckline facing since it is applied a little differently than in some other Megan Nielsen patterns (Banksia, Darling Ranges, and Crescent). But we’re not going to stop there! We’re also going to show you other bias-facing methods, as well as a bonus bias-binding option. All use bias strips, all slightly different construction, and all methods are interchangeable. So you can choose which application you like best and substitute one out for another (in Eucalypt, or any pattern that uses bias facing, really!).
I’m going to show you all three methods on a Eucalypt tank so that you can easily compare them. Some of the steps in each method are the same, so I’m sorry if it gets a bit repetitive. But I wanted to make sure you had step-by-step instructions for each method!
First of all – the width of the bias strips varies for each method. Before cutting your bias strips, look at the methods below and pay attention to how wide your bias strips need to be for the method you choose. If you need help with how to cut your own bias strips, check out this post for help.
For any of the methods, if you are unable to cut long bias strips, you can join multiple strips together to create the length you need.
Place the short ends perpendicular to each other, the right sides together, and sew diagonally across.
Trim the seam allowance back to 1/4″.
Press open. Keep going with more strips until you create the length you need.
BIAS FACING, METHOD 1
This is the method used in the Eucalypt pattern and instructions, but of course, could be substituted in other patterns that use other methods of bias facings. It uses a thinner bias strip, 1″ wide, and is good for lighter-weight fabrics because it is slightly less bulky than the second method.
Start with your top right side out.
Fold the bias strip in by 1/4″ at one end and press.
Starting with the folded end, place the bias strip on the bodice with the right sides together, lining up the edge of the bias strip with the raw edge of the neckline. Begin pinning the bias strip to the neckline, easing the strip as you go.
Continue around the entire neckline. When you reach the folded edge where you started, overlap by an inch and cut off the excess bias strip.
Sew 1/4″ from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.
Trim back the seam allowance to a scant 1/8″.
Press the bias facing and seam allowance upwards away from the bodice.
Understitch on the bias facing a scant 1/8″ away from the seam (you’ll be stitching through the bias facing and seam allowance. This helps keeps the bias facing rolled towards the inside of the garment.)
Fold the bias facing to the inside and press.
Turn your garment inside out so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing you.
Use your fingers to carefully fold under the raw edge of the bias strip by 1/4″.
** You could also choose to press this edge under 1/4″ before you even attach it to the neckline. So it’s pre-turned under 1/4″ Leaving it to do it by hand at this point means you can eye it and get it neat and even.
Pin in place as you go, and continue around the entire neckline.
Stitch close to the inner folded edge of the bias facing. This should result in stitching just about 1/2″ from the neckline edge.
Alternatively, you could instead choose to use an invisible slipstitch to hand sew the facing down instead of topstitching so that no stitching is visible from the outside.
If you are sewing Eucalypt or another sleeveless garment, repeat the same process for the armscyes.
This is the result from the right side of the fabric!
BIAS FACING, METHOD 2
This method is what is used in the Banksia, Crescent, and Darling Ranges patterns. It uses a wider bias strip which is then folded in half before being applied to the neckline. With this method, you don’t have to carefully fold under the raw edge of the facing by hand. Construction-wise, it’s a little easier, but also a little bulkier. Again, this can easily be used in Eucalypt or another pattern instead of method 1!
Just make sure to widen your bias strip pattern piece to about 1 1/2″ – 2″. Banksia uses a 2″ wide bias strip for example, but I suggest a 1 1/2″ wide strip for Eucalypt, which should result in facing just under 1/2″.
Fold the strip in half-width ways along the long edge, with wrong sides together / right sides facing outwards. Press well.
Fold the bias strip in by 1/4” at one end and press
Starting with the folded end, line up the raw edges of the folded bias strip with the raw edge of the neckline, and begin pinning around the neckline, easing the strip as you go.
When you reach the folded edge of the bias strip where you started, overlap it by an inch, and then cut off the remaining bias strip.
Sew ¼” from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.
Trim back the seam allowance to a scant ?”.
For this example, I used pinking shears to trim back the seam allowances which helps get a nice even curve.
Press the facing and seam allowance away from the bodice.
Understitch along the facing close to the seamline (securing the facing to the seam allowance only). This ensures that your facing will roll towards the inside of the garment.
Turn the facing towards the inside of the top, press, and pin in place.
Stitch close to the outer edge of the facing to enclose the raw edges.
Alternatively, you could instead choose to use an invisible slipstitch to hand sew the facing down instead of machine stitching so that no stitching is visible from the outside.
This is what it will look like from the outside! Similar looking to method one, with just a different construction.
If you are making Eucalypt or another sleeveless garment, repeat the same process for the armscyes.
METHOD 3 – BIAS BINDING
This method is slightly different. It is a binding instead of a facing. Instead of the bias strip being hidden on the inside of the garment like the bias facing, it will actually be seen from the outside – binding the raw edge instead of turning it to the inside. This method is used in the River pattern, but can also easily be substituted for a bias-facing method in Eucalypt, Banksia, or Crescent. I’m showing it here on Eucalypt just like with the other examples! **For this one, make your bias strips 1 1/2″ wide.**
Fold in ¼” along one long edge of the Bias Binding strip and press.
Fold in ¼” at one short edge of the bias strip and press.
Beginning with a folded short edge, place the bias strip right side together with the neckline. Line up the raw edge of the bias strip with the raw edge of the neckline, and begin pinning around the neckline, easing the strip as you go.
When you reach the folded edge of the bias strip where you started, overlap it by 1” and then cut off the remaining bias strip.
Sew ¼” from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.
Press the bias binding and seam allowance upwards and away from the dress/top.
Note: You do not need to grade back the seam allowance for this method, as we will be binding the seam allowance.
Fold the bias strip over the neckline to encase the raw edges.
Note: DO NOT fold the seam allowance itself over, use the bias strip to encase the raw edges.
Make sure the folded edge overlaps the neckline seam stitching just a smidge, and pin it in place.
Continue around the entire neckline.
From the right side of the garment, stitch in the ditch of the neckline seam, making sure to catch the inner edge of the binding on the inside of the garment.
Here’s a look from the inside.
Repeat for the armscyes, if needed.
You can see here the difference between this binding method and the facing methods. For the binding – the bias strip is visible from the outside and creates a wider strap. The bias strip on the facing is only visible on the inside, with only the stitching seen from the outside (if you choose to topstitch. slip-stitching by hand would create an invisible look from the outside).
LOOKING FOR MORE EUCALYPT POSTS?
Here’s the full list of posts and tutorials that will be included in the Eucalypt Sewalong:
- Useful Eucalypt Tutorials
- Raising the Eucalypt armscye
- Three ways to sew a bias-facing neckline
- How to make bias tape
- How to add faux shoulder ties
- How to sew a gathered waist Eucalypt
- How to make a jersey maxi dress
- Button front Eucalypt
- Zip front Eucalypt
- Cottesloe & Eucalypt Maker Round-Up
- Inspiration & Ideas for the Eucalypt Top & Dress