Ok, real talk – did yesterday’s post about inserting the V-insert of the Olive dress or blouse using the clean finish method scare you? I promise it’s actually not as scary as it looks, especially with practice! But knowing that it may be intimidating, we wanted to make sure you all had a second option! An easier method for achieving that V insert. So today we will go over the easier topstitching method. Its easier because you don’t actually have to worry about inserting the V piece. You just sew in the bias facing, ad then place the V-insert piece down and topstitch it in place. It won’t give you as clean of a finish on the inside, with the edges of the v-insert visible, but it is faster and easier. So take a look a both yesterday’s post and this one, and decide for yourself!
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Since we will be doing the bias facing first, you will need to start by joining the front and back bodices at the shoulder seams.
Place the front and back bodices together with right sides together, line up the shoulder seams, and sew 5/8″ from the raw edge. Finish the raw edges with your preferred method.
Press the shoulder seams either open or towards the back.
Lay your top open with the right side of the fabric facing you.
*Remember, you’ve already prepared your bias facing when we prepped the neckline.
Starting at one side of the V tip, line up the raw edge of the bias facing with the raw edge of the neckline. The beginning of the bias facing should extend beyond the V tip by about 1 5/8″ (mine is shorter here, but make yours about 1 5/8″).
Start pinning in place. I placed my first pin exactly at the V point staystitching underneath, so I will know where to start sewing.
Keep pinning until you are a few inches from reaching the V point from the other side. We’ll address those last few inches once we start sewing.
Start sewing 1/4″ from the raw edge around the entire neckline, starting at the exact spot of the V tip staystitching underneath (where I placed my first pin).
Pause sewing when you are a few inches from meeting up at the V point again. Pull the already stitched side to the side and out of the way, so you can see that V point staystitching on the top.
Continue pinning and sewing the last few inches, stopping right at the V point staystitching. So the two bias facing ends should butt up against each other, meeting right at that V point.
Trim the excess bias facing so there is 1 5/8″ beyond 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.
Optional – you may wish the understitch the bias facing to keep it form rolling towards the front of the garment.
To understitch, press the seam allowance and bias facing away from the bodice.
Stitching on the bias facing and seam allowance only, stitch close to the seam, about 1/8″ away.
Now turn and 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.
Here the bias facing is pinned around the entire neckline.
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.
Ok, now we can get that V-insert in there.
Remember, you already finished the top edge of it during our prep stage.
Now finish the two long edges with your preferred method. You can turn the edges under, use pinking shears, or a serger.
If using a serger like I did, use a larger embroidery needle to tuck in the tail ends. That way they don’t unravel.
With the wrong side of your garment facing you, place your v-insert down upside down as well, right on top of the bias facing.
When you have your placement perfect (use the notches on the pattern piece for where to place the top of the v-insert), pin in place.
Once you have it pinned in place, you may wish to carefully move the pins, one by one, to the right side of the fabric. It will be easier to topstitch form the right side since the stitching will be visible and you will want it to be neat.
Topstitch close the edge.
Technically, you only need to stitch along the V where the v-insert is…
But you may wish to topstitch around the entire length of the neckline for a more consistent look.
That’s it! What did you think? Was that easier than the clean finish method?
// 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)
- V-insert Option 2 (topstitch) (this post!)
- Bias Sleeve Finish
- Sleeve Bands
- Long Sleeves
- Pocket and Skirt
- Bonus Hack – Dress ties
- Bonus Hack – Elastic Hem Cropped Top
- Bonus Hack – Shift Dress