Are you all ready for this one? Today is the day we insert the v-insert into the neckline of the Olive dress or blouse – the clean-finish method, where all the raw edges are enclosed. I know that this step is the most intimidating aspect of this pattern, but I’m going to tell you that there is no need to be scared! After completing both methods of insertion, this one and an the easier topstitched method (I’ll show you that one tomorrow), I actually completely prefer this method for the nice clean finish! It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and can breeze though it with practice. So take a look at both methods and decide for yourself.
Now, this post is going to be pretty photo and info heavy to cover every aspect of this process. So don’t let that scare you off – it’s worth it! And remember – you already prepped the neckline and made your bias tape!
Ready to get started?
Lay your front top right side up. Make sure you transfer the notches from the pattern.
Place your v-insert down upside down, so right sides are together.
Align one raw edge of the v-insert with the raw edge of the neckline.
Match up the top edge of v-insert with the notch on the neckline…
…and the bottom tip of the v-insert stitching should line up with the v-neckline stitching.
Try to get this exact as possible! The more accurate, the easier it is to get that perfect finished V.
Make sure it is well pinned along that one side.
Now sew in place, 1/4″ from the raw edge (should be right over top of the staystitching). Start at the top of the v-insert, working your way to the V point.
When you reach the tip of the V, try to stop at the exact V point. Lower the needle at the exact V point, and lift the presser foot.
Pivot the top around so that the other side of the neckline is now lined up with the needle for sewing.
Holding the top in place, gently pull over the v-insert as well. Pivoting it until the other raw edge lines up with the edge of the neckline.
Take your time and be careful, making sure the top isn’t folded or bunched at the point. The clip you made into the V will help this.
The top will basically be folded in half right side together at this point.
Line up the raw edges, again making sure that the top of the v-insert aligns with the notch. Pin this side in place.
Now stitch down the second side 1/4″ from the edge, using the staystitching again as your guide. Stop and backstitch at the end of the v-insert.
It’s in! Press the seam allowance away from the V-insert, towards the top.
This is what The V tip underside looks like.
If any of the staystitching is visible from the right side of the garment, use your seam ripper to remove them.
Now place your front and back top pieces together, right sides together.
Align the raw edges of the two shoulder seams and pin in place.
Sew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, and finish the raw edges with your preferred method.
Press the seam allowance either open or towards the back.
Keep your garment open and flat like this, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you.
Now we are going to start attaching the bias facing finish to hid the raw edges.
Starting at one side of the v-insert tip, line up the raw edge of the bias facing with the raw edge of the neckline/v-insert seam (the fold of the bias facing will be facing towards the v-insert). The beginning of the bias facing should extend beyond the V tip by about 1 5/8″.
Start pinning in place. I placed my first pin exactly at the V point stitching underneath, so I will know where to start sewing.
Also, note – with the garment laying flat here, it may look like I’m pinning to bodice, but you’re actually pinning to the raw edge only.
Continue pinning the bias facing around the neckline. Once you get beyond the v-insert, you will actually be pinning to the right side of the garment.
Keep pinning until you reach the V point again.
Again, on the other side of the v-insert, you pin to the raw edge only (not the rest of the top).
Trim the excess so that, again, there is 1 5/8″ extended beyond the V point.
Now to make sewing a bit easier, unpin a couple inches on one side of the V-point for now.
Fold the garment in half with the raw edge facing out, so it’s easier to sew. You’re going to stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge, starting at the exact V-point (this is why i put a pin at this exact point, so I knew where to start).
Note – I sewed with the bias facing side up. But if it helps, you could instead sew from the other side (the bias facing underneath), so that you can use the stitching from the v-insert as a guide.
Sew 1/4″ from the raw edge around the entire neckline.
As you approach the the other side of the V point, stop a couple inches away from the end. Push the already stitched side to the side and out of the way.
With the other side pulled out of the way, now line up and pin the last couple of inches, making sure to mark with a pin where the exact spot of the V tip is. Finish stitching in place, stopping right at that exact V-point.
If everything lined up correctly, the beginning and end of your stitches on either side should be at the same point, with the two sides of the bias facing butted up against each other in between, if this makes sense.
Optional – you may wish the understitch the bias facing to keep it form rolling towards the fron of the garment. I’m going to show you in the next few steps. But if you don’t wish to do it, skip ahead a few photos to where we finish the v-point.
To understitch, press the seam allowance towards the bias facing, away form the bodice.
Here is what it looks like form the right side, with the seam allowance and bias facing pressed away from the top.
Stitching on the bias facing and seam allowance only, stitch close to the seam, about 1/8″ away.
Do this understitching around the entire bias facing/neckline.
Ok, now lets continue finishing the V point. Here you can see again how the stitching on either side line up right next to each other right at the V point.
Fold the garment in half, and line up the two extended edges of the bias facing. Line up the folded edges together, and the raw edges together.
Sew a diagonal line, starting exactly at the V-point, to the opposite corner of the bias facing. Be careful near the V point, making sure you are sewing on the bias facing only, and not catching any of the top in your stitches.
Trim off the excess.
And press the seam open.
Now press the bias facing towards the inside of the garment, enclosing the raw edges of the seam allowance, pinning in place as you go.
At the tip, tuck the point of the bias facing under so that the tip of the bias facing almost touches the tip of the v-insert underneath.
Pin this bottom edge flat, creating a horizontal straight edge at the bottom of the facing.
Stitch close to the edge of the bias facing around the entire neckline, pivoting at the straight flat end.
This will create visible topstitching form the outside.
Alternatively, you could also use an invisible slipstitch by hand to secure to bias facing on the inside, so that no topstitch is visible form the outside.
And that’s it! You did it!
Still intimidated? Tomorrow I’ll show you a slightly easier method where you do the bias facing first, and then just topstich the v-insert in place.
// Looking for more Olive posts? //
- Sewalong Intro Post
- Inspiration and Ideas
- Tester Round-Up
- FBA with dart added
- Neckline Prep
- Patch Pocket
- V-Insert Option 1 (clean finish) (this post!)
- V-insert Option 2 (topstitch)
- Bias Sleeve Finish
- Sleeve Bands
- Long Sleeves
- Pocket and Skirt
- Bonus Hack – Dress ties
- Bonus Hack – Elastic Hem Cropped Top
- Bonus Hack – Shift Dress