Binding a neckline with bias tape is a very good way to finish the neckline.
Here are easy step by step ways to bind the neckline edge of different types of neckline openings.
Method 1 Binding a neckline with a clean finish for a dress with front or back opening.
The opening can be a zippered opening or an open slash opening, or a slash opening with hook and eye on top. In this method, the binding is folded to the back and stitched in place. No binding visible on the front at all.
You should have finished attaching the fastener – be it the zipper or the slit opening, or placket for buttons.
To sew this or any binding, Measure along the neckline opening. Do not stretch the bias tape or the necklines as you are doing the measuring. You can add a stay stitch along the neckline to prevent stretching.
Add 1″ extra to this measurement, for folding to the inside.
This measurement is the length of the bias tape you should cut
As for the width , cut it 1 1/2″ (3.2 cms) wide.
Fold the short edges to the inside 1/2 inches for both sides. Press this also in place. Now fold this bias tape by the middle and press in place – with the side edges together.
Keep your clothing in front of you, right sides out. Start attaching the bias tape from the edge of the opening.
Keep the folded bias tape along the neckline so that the cut edges of the neckline and the bias tape are together. The edges flush against each other.
Start pinning the bias tape to the neckline.
Sew the bias tape and the neckline together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
As you stitch, ensure that you are not at all stretching the neckline at all. You may stretch the bias tape a bit to ensure that it does not gape.
After sewing make small cuts along the seam allowance at 1/2 inch interval. This is to get the curve to lie flat.
Now Under stitch. Press the seam allowance and the bias tape together and stitch along the seam allowance. This is called under stitching and this is done so that the bias tape will turn to the back of the opening without any glitches.
Use an iron to press the bias tape to the back of the neckline. You can add button loops inside the fold at this point.
You can hand sew the bias tape with hand sewing stitches or use your sewing machine to stitch the bias tape in place. If you machine stitch you will have a visible stitching line on the right side of the neckline.
If you hand sew, you can take just one or two threads and this will almost be invisible, especially if you use the same color thread as the clothing. If you have lining for the bodice, you can hand sew the bias binding to the lining and the stitching would truly be invisible from the front.
Method 2 Binding a neckline with a clean finish for thicker fabrics
The earlier method has two layers of bias binding tape along the edge. In this case, you may have too much bulk if you have thick fabric. To avoid this you can use this method – it is the same as the earlier method, you just stitch one edge of the bias tape at first.
Cut bias tape 1 1/2 inch wide. As for length, add 1/2 inch extra to the neckline edge measurement.
Keep the bias tape open on top of your neckline right-side up. Sew the bias tape to the neckline edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, joining the neckline and the bias tape. Now under stitch the seam allowance and bias tape. Clip the seam allowance. Fold the bias tape fully to the back, and stitch in place.
Method 3 Binding the edge for closed neckline
For a closed neckline, you can join the bias tape edges beforehand forming a loop and then bind. Here is how.
Measure around the neckline. Add 1 1/2 inch extra.
Do not start joining the bias tape from the start. Leave 1 inch or so at the start unstitched as in the picture below.
When you reach the end, before joining till the end, Hold the short edges together and then sew across joining them together.
Now finish the stitching. Turn the bias tape to the back and stitch in place.
Method 4 Binding for closed neckline (variation)
You can join the ends on the diagonal as well – this will eliminate bulk. For this, you will have to use a 1 1/4 inch wide bias tape and for the length add 1 1/4 inch extra to the neckline circumference. Fold press the bias tape by the middle.
Now open the bias tape, Hold the bias tape short edges together, right sides together and stitch diagonally as in the picture below joining the strips together.
Cut off the extra.
Fold the bias tape again by the middle.
This tube can be used to bind the neckline as usual.
Method 5 Binding for closed neckline (variation)
In case you do not want to make the loop, ( it needs some exact stitching) you can simply sew the binding edge and then fold the edged and then hand sew.
Remember to fold the bias tape short edge to the inside as you start.
At the end, you will be over lapping the bias tape edges; you do not have to fold the ending edge to the inside.
This way the folded edge will be at the bottom and it will look finished as you turn it to the back and stitch.
Method 5 Enclosed binding
This is double folded binding.
Here you will be using a double folded bias tape to enclose the raw edges of the neckline. It is usually used with a contrasting colored bias tape.
You can stitch in the ditch along the seam line to prevent there being a visible seam alone on the front of the garment.
A 1 1/2 inch double folded bias tape is used here. First fold the bias strip by the middle, but not by the middle – I mean so that one side is 7/8 inch, ie slightly wider on one side. Fold the edges 1/4 inches to the inside.
To sew this binding, open the bias tape, keep the shorter edge of the bias tape along the neckline, right sides together. Sew along the first fold. Now fold the bias tape over the edge. Press the whole binding in place.
Now if you stitch along the previous stitching line in the seam or ditch, you will catch the folded bias tape in the back.