I love the simplicity of the Adley shirt neckline which is finished with a pretty self fabric bias binding. To get this clean look follow along with this tutorial as I will guide you through the process to get a smooth curve. Sometimes the simplest looking details can be the most difficult to achieve only because mistakes may show more easily. If you follow along with this tutorial I promise you will love the final finish.
Please be sure that you have cut your bias binding on the ‘true bias’ to allow the binding to curve beautifully around the curve of the neckline.
To ensure that the binding is evenly distributed around the neckline, find the center of the binding by folding it in half and marking the fold with a pin. Do the same for the shirt neckline by matching the seams of the yoke then folding the back in half and marking the fold with a pin.
With right sides together, begin by placing pins at each neckline edge, leaving 3/4″ (1.9 cm) of binding beyond the edges of neckline, and matching the pins at center back.
Pin along the neckline, evenly distributing and easing the bias binding onto the neckline of the shirt.
NOTE: Every fabric is a little different therefore if you follow along the next few steps and feel you need a little more ease from the bias binding you can take 1/4″ from each end, leaving 1/2″ (1.3 cm) beyond the edge of the shirt.
Sew the bias binding onto the shirt using a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.
Trim 1/8″ (3 mm) from the neckline seam as evenly as possible so the seam allowance is now 3/8″ (1 cm) wide. This will give you a crisp edge to fold your bias binding over. Do not grade this seam. The bulk will actually help in turning the binding to the inside.
Using a tailors ham press the bias binding up towards the seam allowance. The curve of the tailors ham is really helpful in getting a smooth curve and fits nicely around the curve of the neckline seam.
I have left 3/4″ (1.9 cm) of binding from the edge of the seam allowance. If you needed more ease in the binding as noted above, it is okay to have 1/2″ (1.3 cm) from the edge. You can trim the 3/4″ (1.9 cm) down to 1/2″ (1.3 cm) to make turning it under a little easier in the next steps that follow.
Begin folding the bias binding over the trimmed neckline seam. I recommend that you start at the center back and work your way to the front of the neckline. Fold under a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) of the long raw edge as you pin so it is encased inside the finished neckline.
Note that I am pinning the bias binding from the front, folding the raw edge under as I go, making sure that the edge of the bias binding will be caught when I ‘stitch in the ditch’ from the right side. NOTE: You can opt to top stitch the bias binding from the right side as well, but I think it is a cleaner more professional look to “stitch in the ditch!” This is obviously a personal preference.
I continue to work my way around the neckline pinning as I fold over the bias binding. Notice my pins are on the outside, and I pin into the ‘ditch’ created by my neckline seam being sure to catch the edge of the bias tape on the underside or inside of the neckline.
This is what it looks like on the inside. My pins are catching the edge of the bias binding on the inside of the garment.
I also work in sections. I will place a pin a couple of inches away from the others, and work my way back. This helps to distribute the fabric evenly.
Stop pinning at the beginning of the placket. This will leave room enough to turn the ends under.
When folding the bias binding end at the edge of the neckline, it is important to keep the finished edge of the placket straight or square. However, this poses a challenge because of the curve of the neckline. You can see this in the photo below. The bias binding will overlap the stitching line and you do not want this to happen.
To address this you will have to make a very small fold in the fabric like below.
I recommend placing a pin to hold the fold in place.
Finish folding the bias tape over the edge of the neckline. Pin in place.
You will notice in the photos further below, the bias end is folded inside at a slight angle. This is necessary in order to keep the finished edge square.
It is time to stitch the bias binding into place. Do not ‘back stitch’ at either end of the neckline. You will secure the threads by hand a little later. Leave the threads long enough to use for hand stitching the very end of the bias binding closed. ‘Stitch in the ditch’ from the right side, being sure to catch the edge of the bias binding on the inside.
Continue to ‘stitch in the ditch’ from the right side being sure to catch the edge of the binding on the wrong side.
Notice that the bias binding is folded at a very slight angle on the inside. This is necessary to keep the finished edge square.
After sewing the edge of the bias binding down use the thread ends to stitch the folded edge that is slightly angled on the inside down securely, and bury the ends using a sewing needle.
After burying the threads clip off the ends.
Using the curve of the tailors ham press the bias binding.
And voila! The bias binding is complete on your Adley shirt!!