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Three Ways to Sew a Bias Facing Neckline

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 that other bias facing method, as well as a bonus bias binding option. All using bias strips, all slightly different construction, all methods 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!

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFirst of all – the width of the bias strips vary 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, right sides together, and sew diagonally across.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialTrim the seam allowance back to 1/4″.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialPress open. Keep going with more strips until you create the length you need.

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// 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialStart with your top right side out.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold the bias strip in by 1/4″ at one end and press.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialStarting with the folded end, place the bias strip on the bodice with 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialContinue around the entire neckline. When you reach the folded edge where you started, overlap by an inch and cut off the excess bias strip.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialSew 1/4″ from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialTrim back the seam allowance to a scant 1/8″.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial 3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialPress 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.)

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold the bias facing to the inside and press.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialTurn your garment inside out so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing you.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialUse 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialPin in place as you go, and continue around the entire neckline.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialStitch 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialIf you are sewing Eucalypt or another sleeveless garment, repeat the same process for the armsyces.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialThis is the result from the right side of the fabric!

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// 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, Its 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″.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial 3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold the strip in half width ways along the long edge, with wrong sides together / right sides facing outwards. Press well.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold the bias strip in by 1/4” at one end and press

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialStarting 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial 3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialWhen 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialSew ¼” from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialTrim 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial 3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialPress 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialTurn the facing towards the inside of the top, press, and pin in place.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialStitch 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialThis is what it will look like from the outside! Similar looking to method one, with just a different construction.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialIf you are making Eucalypt or another sleeveless garment, repeat the same process for the armsyces.

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// 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, Bankisa, 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.**

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold in ¼” along one long edge of the Bias Binding strip and press.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold in ¼” at one short edge of the bias strip and press.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialBeginning with folded short edge, place the bias strip right sides together on 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialWhen you reach the folded edge of the bias strip where you started, overlap it by 1” and then cut off the remaining bias strip.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialSew ¼” from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialPress 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial 3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFold 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialMake sure the folded edge overlaps the neckline seam stitching just a smidge, and pin in place.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialContinue around the entire neckline.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialFrom 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.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialHere’s a look from the inside.

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorial

3 ways to sew a bias facing neckline // a Megan Nielsen Patterns tutorialRepeat for the armsyces, 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. slipstitching by hand would create an invisible look from the outside).

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About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Dee
Dee
3 years ago

Please write a book. Your pics alone are so much better than many books where you cant even tell RS and WS!

michelle linhoff
michelle linhoff
2 years ago

Thank you for such crystal clear directions and great photos to illustrate your words.
So well done ;)

Claire
Claire
2 years ago

Your tutorial really helped me solve a problem that I couldn’t quite figure out on my own. Thank you.

Emma
Emma
1 year ago

Thank you for method #3. I followed the directions but unfortunately the neckline turned out wavy and wonky. It seems harder to get to lay flat than the other two methods.

Sara
Sara
6 months ago

Hi Megan. I am working on the Eucalypt and just finished the bias neck binding. It turned out great. However, even after I pressed the neck the front of the neck is slightly turned out. Is this normal? I’m wondering if I use spray starch if it will lay more flat. Thank you for any advise on this.

Meg
Admin
Meg
6 months ago
Reply to  Sara

Hi Sara!
This can happen if your bias tape wasn’t closely conformed to the neckline shape whilst attaching – so the there isn’t enough give in the tape to sit flat when sewn. The other time i’ve seen this happen is if the neckline was stretched slightly when the bias tape was attached. Having said that, steam can do wonders, and you might find that you can fix it with a good steaming. If you don’t have a steam iron you can spray water on the neckline and then iron. I hope that helps!