Sewing Tutorial | Getting Flat Bias Necklines

I often get questions asking how I get my bias faced necklines to lay flat, so I’m here today with a tutorial to help you do just that. It can be really frustrating to make a garment that looks so good only to have the neckline not lay right against the curves of the body, in fact, I’m pretty sure that was a telltale sign that I had made the garment I was wearing back in the day. So first off, if you’re wondering what a bias faced neckline is, it’s where the neckline if finished with a strip of bias fabric that is turned to the inside and stitched in place. It’s how I finished the necklines of both the Tiny Pocket Tank and the Scout Woven Tee. It’s really very easy, just a few extra steps and some pressing that are well worth it in the end. As usual with tutorials this is an image heavy post, so click the link below to view the entire tutorial.

▲ A quick note. This tutorial uses a 1″ wide bias piece with 1/4″ seam allowances to create a finished bias facing of 1/4″.

Step 01 | Preparing Your Garment

Sew and finish the side and shoulder seams and any other seams that will intersect the neckline.

Step 02 | Making Your Bias Band

Most patterns will include a pattern piece for the bias strip you will need to finish your neckline. If so, cut this out of your desired fabric and join at the center back. If you don’t have a pattern piece for whatever reason or you want to use ready made bias tape measure your neckline at the seam line and cut a bias piece about 1/8″ shorter than your measurement.

Step 03 | Attaching the Bias Band

Pin your bias band to the neckline at the center front and center back. Then pin around the sides of the neckline evenly distributing any excess you might have. Stitch around the neckline.

Step 04| Clipping and Grading

Grade the seam allowance of the bias band to 1/8″, then clip to, but not through, the seamline all the way around the neckline.

Step 05 | Understitching

Press the bias facing away from the garment so that it is now on top of the clipped and graded seam allowance.

Stitch through the seam allowance and bias facing about 1/8″ away from the seam line. Understitching will help the seam roll neatly to the inside of the garment so that no seams or binding are visible on the front of your garment.

Step 06 | Finishing the Neckline

Press the bias facing to the inside of the garment rolling the seam to the inside as well.

Fold the 1/4″ seam allowance under and press flat. I find it easiest to press the neckline on a ham during these steps since it echoes the finished curve of the neckline. Pin the bias facing in place as you work around the neckline.

Stitch the binding down with a 1/4″ seam allowance or as close to the folded edge as you feel comfortable.

Step 07 | Final Pressing

Give the neckline a final pressing all the way around to smooth out the neckline.

Step 08 | You’re Done!

Pop on your garment and admire your beautiful neckline! You might want to do a better job clipping your threads than I did here though. Too bad I’m no good at Photoshop or I could retroactively fix that. Bummer.

As usual, if you have any questions, comments or whatever leave a note below. This is of course one of many methods to finish a neckline with a bias facing, it just happens to be my preferred method. Hope you find it useful!

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129 Responses to Sewing Tutorial | Getting Flat Bias Necklines

  1. Alana says:

    Yay – thanks for the tips Jen! I seem to be finishing most things with bias tape these days so this is awesome 🙂

  2. Ahh, v. timely tute Jen – thank you for sharing 🙂
    I’ve been struggling to get my self-drafted collar to fit my Scout Woven T-Shirt, and was thinking of going with the bias binding instead (and saving the collar for a 2nd version of the Tee – this time with the neckline on the bodice adjusted to match the collar better, thus saving a beginner sewist like me from struggling with the current 2″/5cm of ease the collar has vs. the current neckline LOL!).

    But, maybe my problems with the collar etc. are because I could’ve graded my pattern up incorrectly, so maybe I’ve made my life harder? I graded from a size 12 to add in over 6cm (this was before the current patterns got your increase in size range to 18’s LOL!). Mid you the muslin/toile came out good on the neckline (without collar attached) so maybe it’s not all bad afterall.

  3. Kelli says:

    Thank you SO much. This is perfect.

  4. Lindsay says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you! Your timing could not be more perfect. I have been struggling with this problem on several of my recent sewing projects, and have had a hard time finding a simple explanation for what’s going on, and how to fix it. You’ve saved the day 🙂

    • jen | grainline says:

      It seems from a really brief google search that most tutorials are pretty lean. Hope this helps out in the future!

  5. katie says:

    thank you! I found this via pinterest 🙂
    I look forward to try this. it’s been a stickler for me and I hope the under stitching will help

  6. Sarah says:

    This is great, thank you so much! Just a couple extra steps really make a perfect finished look! Will definitely be doing this from now on!

  7. oonaballoona says:

    this is so clear and helpful!

    on step 6, i always try to machine stitch from the right side of the garment, then end up hating how it looks on the inside. riiiiiip, hand sew. which side do you stitch on in this step? are the insides pretty?

    • jen | grainline says:

      I always sew this step wrong side up because that way you can gauge your width from the edge as you would from the front but also from the folded edge of the bias tape. I’m going to add a few extra photos for this up top, thanks!

  8. anja says:

    For me it isn’t exactly the sewing of bias trim that is the problem, but CUTTING the dang stuff perfectly is so hard. I’m always making life harder for myself by using silk or slinky rayon, and cutting out the bias trim is so, so hard… the only way I can think to fix it is trying to trim it evenly once the first sewing step is done. Got any cool tips for cutting bias pieces on slinky fabrics?

    • I think (not tried it myself) some people use masking / decorators tapes placed along the diagonal and cut between the piece of tape (at the gaps) ? You’d need to check the tape doesn’t leave a residue on your fabric though!!

    • jen | grainline says:

      I would recommend (and this is what I do) is either cut with the fabric between paper or use a rotary cutter. I usually weight my ruler down when I do this because I am literally the worlds worst at using a rotary cutter.

      • anja says:

        Using weights is a good idea. I usually have my ruler and try to move it along but it makes things so irregular, I think I might need to invest in a big yardstick ruler as well. Haven’t tried using paper yet. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  9. Ginger says:

    Yay, thanks for sharing! I’m working on the tiny pocket tank today, so your timing couldn’t be more perfect! Thanks a million!

  10. Kristen says:

    Oooh! great tute! I love how clean and finished this neckline looks.

  11. puu says:

    great, simple, common-sense well spelled out. i can already tell this will be life-changing with my bias necklines–all the things i knew i should be doing but didn’t think through.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for this super clear tutorial! I’m curious to know which of these steps is crucial to keeping the neckline flat. Back in the day, which of these steps did you used to omit?

    • jen | grainline says:

      It’s actually the combination of all the steps, not just one single part, that results in your neckline laying the way you want it to. I think the steps that most people leave out is some variation of the clipping, grading and understitching and that’s what I used to leave out because I didn’t know I should be doing those things. The grading reduces the bulk at the neckline, the clipping is important because the cut line is smaller than the seam line so in order to bridge that gap you need to clip to allow the fabric to spread, and finally the understitching makes sure that your seam rolls to the inside of the garment. Hope that explains a bit.

  13. love this! i’ve been trying to figure out how this is done. book marked! 😉

  14. Thank you for this tutorial. I am totally going to try that!

  15. anna says:

    this is really a beautiful tutorial. I’m making your tank this week, I’ve been meaning to make it for ages. Just curious, is there a program you use to draft your patterns? I love how professional yours are, and still very detailed.

  16. Marilyn says:

    This is so great! It looks so clean and professional, I’ll have to try it on my next version of the Tiny Pocket Tank (which I love)!
    I’m a complete sewing newbie and was wondering if this would work on knits? I don’t quite understand how to finish the neckline of a knit. And while I’m here might as well ask one more- Anyone make a dress version of the Tank? What sort of variations did you do?
    Thanks for a wonderful blog!! <3

  17. Kelli says:

    I tried this tonight and it worked perfectly. thanks so much.

  18. Amy says:

    This is such a good tutorial! I don’t think I’ve seen one about using a folded bias facing before. But I’ve got a couple of silk tanks (and even knit tops) that use this treatment and have been wondering how to copy it. So very helpful!

  19. Amy says:

    Thank you for the tutorial! The extra details and photos you’ve added are so helpful. I just finished my first project (a tank) and couldn’t figure out why the neckline wasn’t laying flat. Some googling helped me figure out WHY (pulled the bias fabric too tight), but then the muslin I just made ended up puckered… so I tried a different method, and then a different – each turned out badly, each for a different reason. Now, thanks to you, I know why each problem happened, and hopefully how to avoid it! One sleeve on my muslin is left and I’m going to follow your instructions to the T. And I dug through some of your other tutorials and they are the most clear and detailed that I’ve found yet. So, thank you again!

  20. Beth says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you!!

  21. shivani says:

    thanks so much for this tutorial! I’ve made a few tanks with a bias binding neckline, and there’s always a bit of puckering, which I was totally stumped by. I’m going to follow your tute next time – it’s so clear. thanks again!

  22. caroline says:

    thank you a million! i literally kept running back and forth from my table to my laptop (no room to put laptop on table) to make sure i did it right and i’m so happy i have a flat lying neckline. you are amazing!

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  24. Dana Adams says:

    You are awesome! Your tutorial saved my life!…well it saved the outcome of my next 2 sewing jobs:) Thanks so much!

  25. Allison says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this tutorial! I followed it exactly and I ended up with a much prettier garment. I’m curious however, I’m trying to adjust the neckline of something. You said to cut the bias facing 1/8 of an inch shorter than the actually neckline. Does that include the 1/4 of an inch seam allowance? In other words, once the facing is connected, should it be 5/8 of an inch shorter than the actual length of the neckline? I’m asking because I think mine was a tiny bit too long. It looks much better, but it still faces outward a tiny bit.

    Thanks so much for your help in advance! – Allison

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  29. Emily says:

    Fantastic tutorial. I cannot wait to try this. It looks so clean and polished. Thank you!

  30. Toni-Maree says:

    I have a RTW Tank that I love and have some fabric ready to copy the style. I was examining the way they finished the neckline and had the basic process in my head ready to go. And now I have it explained so wonderfully in this post. This is the exact method they used 🙂 Thanks for a great tutorial!

  31. LauraKate says:

    This is my new fav. Especially since I bought a roll of bias cut silk from Dharma Trading Company, so simple, so thin and nice against my skin 🙂

  32. stitchknits says:

    Thanks so much. Great tips! Good to remember the iron & ironing board are some of the best sewing room tools!

  33. Freya says:

    I’ve been sewing for a while & never knew any of that–thanks very much that was SUPER helpful & easy to understand!

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  38. Oh brilliant little tip! Thank you 🙂

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  42. sbucha004 says:

    This tutorial has changed EVERYTHING! Thanks!

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  45. Amy says:

    Hey Jen, I’m revisiting this tutorial (I just knew it’d come in handy some day!). A pattern I’m making calls for a similar neckline facing. And I’m curious–what would be the difference between this type of bias strip facing and a traditional facing that is cut the shape of the neckline? Is it that this allows for a narrower finish than a traditional facing? I know you need to topstitch to get the bias facing down… I’m using an ivory blouseweight silk so I think a narrow facing would look better (not as much show-through) but I also like the clean finish of a traditional facing… hmmm maybe I’m answering my own questions out loud? I’d love to hear what you think, though!

  46. Compagnie M. says:

    Hi Jen,
    I would like to thank you for this nice tutorial. I’ve used it to finish the neck line and armholes of my peplum bubble dress: check it out at

  47. Julia says:

    I am struggling with a pattern where the main garment is lace and the facing is cotton; unfortunately the raw edges show through to the front when the facing is turned under. Does anybody have a clever solution for this? I’m at wit’s end.

  48. Ashleigh says:

    Ugg, I have such and irrational fear of using bias tape. This post is so helpful! Thank you sooo much!

  49. Becca says:

    Thanks for the great photos and instructions! This tutorial helped me successfully apply bias tape for the first time! It puffs up a little bit but that might be because I forgot to clip the seam allowance. Oops… I’ll definitely remember next time.

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  52. what if the fabric is slightly stretchy and slightly thicker? what would be the best way to make the neckline ? would this method be alright or result in a bulky finish ?

  53. LM says:

    Thank you so much for posting many pictures which illustrate what you’re doing. This is so rare – seeing detail like this. It’s incredibly helpful. I wish everyone could post this level of detail. I’d be a better seamstress for it! 🙂

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  55. Mariah says:

    Thanks for this–I think I’m going to try to redo a neckline on a dress I just made (6th try is a charm??). Any chance you would do a tutorial on a bias tape binding where the binding is visible? I’ve gotten this to work around sleeve cuffs, but it always sticks straight out on necklines.


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  57. grtescp says:

    Thanks for this tutorial, one thing that isn’t 100% clear to me – I am much more comfortable sewing knits than woven fabrics – should the neck binding be considerably shorter than the neck hole like with a knit? I am making the scout and my neck binding is 6cm shorter than the neck hole circumference, I am not sure whether to stretch the binding to make it fit or cut a longer length of binding? Thank you!

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  60. Erin says:

    This was so very helpful! I have always loved to sew & recently received a new machine as a gift. My 2 yr. old has quite a few new outfits, but i am still rather novice when it comes to finer details like this. My new project needs help and this was certainly it! Thanx for posting

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  64. Oh my goodness! Wow, I learned something new. This is the first tutorial that told you to under stitch. I think it’s brilliant. I have to try this out!

  65. Maria says:

    I think i am trting to do something similar to this, but the finished neck is thicker and you see the stiches. It looks like a band swened over. I dont know i it makes sense… but i have not been able to find a tutorial tgat could helpnme with this

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  69. Your tutorial is really usefull. I had some troubles to finnish my Sorbetto Top and, with your tutorial wasw so coll to aid me with the attachment of bias correctly. Thanks,

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  71. shelltn says:

    thank you so much! this was sooo helpful.

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  74. Nina says:

    This is so clear and helpful, but do you have any help for doing the same technique to a v-neck? I just can’t figure it out! I love the bias tape as a facing, on the inside, but I’m just baffled about how to make it work on a vneck!

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  77. Dianne Lizotte says:

    I don’t think this tutorial would help me. My dress neckline pattern had no interfacing for the neckline and I even used satin ribbon for a facing and then tacked it down all over. I’ve pressed and pressed, but the neckline only is too wide and loose and it sags. I don’t know what to do.

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  84. Cheryl says:

    Such a fabulous tutorial, thank you so much, exactly what I was looking for.

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  91. Emily says:

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial. This is my first time coming across it. My question is would you use the same understitching and clipping method with knit strips? Would you serge it to prevent the rolling or just not even use a knit material and finish of a knit tank with bias binding? Thanks!

    • Jen says:

      I wouldn’t do all this with knits, depending on the knit finish you’re talking basically all you’d need is a serger or twin needle / coverstitch.

  92. Stephaney says:

    Great tutorial. I’m wondering about stay stitching the neckline. I noticed you didn’t do it. I never had any luck with this type of neckline, which is too bad because I really love it. I will give this a try. I would appreciate your thoughts on stay stitching. Thanks!

    • Jen says:

      I never really stay stitch, in my experience a lot of people end up stretching out the neckline while they stay stitch so to me it’s all the same doing it or not doing it. That said if you’ve found it works for you, by all means go for it! When you’re doing this type of neckline I think the key is to ever so slightly stretch the bias facing which will prevent the neckline from bowing out as you see on a lot of shirts. Hope that helps!

  93. Meghan says:

    So, so helpful, thank-you!

  94. Karen Tompkins says:

    I regularly make bias tape to finish edges on my aprons. I’m wondering if your method of using the bias cut strip with out ironing it into the double fold shape first makes it adhere and adjust to the curves of the neckline better resulting in that beautiful flat finish?

    • Jen says:

      I don’t know if it does a better job, just a different method. I find that if I’m a tiny bit off, the pre-folded bias tape can want to resist pressing where I want it to since it’s been so thoroughly pressed into it’s folded formation. If you’ve made it though, I doubt it would be so, for lack of a better word, “industrially” pressed. I think the most important steps are the clipping, grading, and understitching though!

  95. Cecilia Thex says:

    This is how I do necklines also. If you don’t want any stitching to show, what do think of doing an invisible hand ditching on the inside?

  96. Monica says:

    Not sure if my comment got lost here. I’m fairly new to sewing, when you understitch, are you stitching on the WS or RS of the fabric? Thanks!

    • Jen says:

      when you understitch you’re stitching on the part of the fabric that will be folded to the inside of the garment. So if you’re understitching a seam that will be finished with a facing, you’ll be stitching on the facing, not the garment.

  97. anna says:

    Thank you Jen ! I followed you instructions and my neckline looks awesome ! For the first time I feel like my blouse does not have a “made at home” look to it.

  98. Jeanette Cruz says:

    Hello! I made the tiny pocket tank and pretty much followed all the steps above. However, the edges of the neckline don’t want to stay flat and stick (or roll out) out a tiny bit. I thought maybe I should have stay stitched. The reason why I’m thinking this is because I just completed a dress with a V neckline and I didn’t stay stitch. The same thing is happening with the neckline of this dress. I’ve read that stay stitching is an important step to avoid stretched out and/ or gaping necklines. I’d appreciate any advice you have on this.

  99. Meredith says:

    Thank you so much! This was very helpful! I’m sewing dresses for my daughters, and I’m new to this. I had done a trail run using 2 fold bias tape, and I wasn’t happy with the results. My second test neckline turned out much nicer using your method. Thank you for sharing your insight and experience with us!

  100. Munira says:

    Like everyone else here, I wanted to give my thanks for this awesome tutorial! It was so helpful!

  101. Rebecca Rhaesa says:

    Thank you. I just used your instructions with fabulous results.

  102. Elizabeth Cuneo says:

    Hi Jen,

    I used you tutorial for a jumpsuit but my neckline is flipping outward and I can’t figure out why. Any ideas?

    • Sarah says:

      Sorry! It’s hard for us to tell since it’s not our pattern. It’s possible that the bias binding you cut was too long.

  103. maggie barton says:

    Great tutorial. I’m making a willow tank in a rayon and intend to finish the binding using my coverlock machine. as the machine is new, I thought I’d check in with you that this would work before I attempt it.

    any thoughts?

    • Jen says:

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by finish the binding with the coverlock. The binding is applied differently than a knit binding so I’m not sure it would work, unless I’m thinking of something different than you are.

  104. PsychicKathleen says:

    Thank you Jen! It’s those little steps that so easily get overlooked like understitching and grading the seam 🙂 I’ve bookmarked this page!

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