Today in the Sudley sewalong, we are going to go over how to make bias strips and attach them as a bias facing – getting a nice neat finish around the neckline and keyhole. This finishing method is only necessary for an unlined version, so if you are lining your Sudley, you can go ahead and skip this part.
This is method is done exactly the same whether you have attached the peter pan collar or not. And you can also opt to use store-bought bias tape if you would like, just skip the first few steps. Sound good? Let’s get started…
To make one long continuous bias tape strip, place one short bias strip at a right angle with another strip, with right sides together.
Sew diagonally across as shown above.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.
Press the seam open.
Continue the same process with the other bias strips until you have one really long bias tape strip.
Fold your long bias strip in half width ways, with wrong sides together, and press.
Now it’s time to attach it to your bodice! Lay your bodice down in front of you, open, with the right side of the fabric facing up. If you have attached a collar, that will be facing you.
Starting with the bias strip extended about 1/2″ beyond the raw edge, start pinning the bias strip along the neckline of the bodice. Line up the raw edges of the bias strip with the raw edge of the neckline. And again, you are pinning to the right side of the fabric for the bodice.
Continue pinning all the way around the neckline until you reach the other side. Extend by 1/2″ on the other side, and trim off the excess bias tape.
Note – again, this is the same method whether you are including a collar or not. If you don’t have a collar, then you will be pinning the bias tape directly to the right side of the bodice. If you do have a collar like the example in this post, you are pinning it to both the right side of the collar and bodice, so that the collar ends up being sandwiched in between.
Now sew 1/4″ from the raw edge all the way around the neckline, being careful not to catch the ties in your stitching.
You can now trim off that excess at each end.
Now take the rest of your bias tape, and start pinning it to the keyhole edge. The raw edge of the bias strip lined up with the raw edge of the keyhole, right side of the fabric again.
Keep going around the entire keyhole until you reach the other side, and trim off the excess bias tape.
Now it’s time to sew around the keyhole, and this is important. Start by sewing 1/4″ from the raw edge along one of the short ends. This short line of stitching will line up with the stitching on the neckline bias strip. Then pivot and sew 1/4″ around the edge of the keyhole. Pivot again when you reach the other short end and sew 1/4″ from the neckline (again lining straight up with the other stitching).
Clip the corners at the top of the keyhole.
Trim back the seam allowance of all bias facing seams (neckline and keyhole, to about 1/8″.
Note: if you use pinking shears, it will also clip and notch as you trim, giving you a nice even curve when you turn it to the other side.
Now turn the bias facing towards the inside of the bodice. Use a point turner or a similar tool to get a crisp point at the corner of the keyhole.
Press well. This will cover and encase the raw edges.
Pin your bias facing in place on the wrong side of the fabric (if you have a collar, move it up and out of the way. Pin the bias facing to the bodice only).
Sew just under 1/4″ from the folded edge of the bias facing. You’ll be sewing in one continuous stitch around the neckline and keyhole, pivoting at the keyhole corners.
Again, if you have a collar, make sure you flip the collar upwards and out of the way. You want to sew the bias facing to the bodice only.
This is what it looks like from the inside, once sewn, from the keyhole side…
And from the non-keyhole side.
Press very well. Especially around the keyhole to help it sit flat.
And this is what it looks like from the outside. As you can see, this method results in visible topstitching on the right side of the garment. If you have a collard version like this sample, you will see the topstitching around the keyhole, and the stitching around the neckline will be hidden under the collar. If you have a non-collar version, you will be able to see the stitching all the way around.
If you would rather not have visible topstitching from the outside, you could instead secure the bias strip to the inside of the garment with hand stitching instead of machine stitching.
LOOKING FOR MORE SUDLEY POSTS?
Here’s the full list of Sudley posts and tutorials:
- Pattern Tester Round-up
- Ties and Shoulder Seams
- Bias Facing (Views A, B, D) (this post!)
- Sleeves and Side Seams
- Bodice Lining (View C)
- Skirt (View C)
Here are a couple of posts you also might find useful:
- 5 Tips to Sewing a Perfect Rounded Collar
- How to Finish the Sudley Keyhole & Neckline with a Bias Facing