We were recently discussing difficulty with getting curved hems to lie flat...I thought maybe bias tape? Has anyone tried it on necklines or armholes?

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I find this difficult too, Zaley - one of the crucial things is to trim as much excess off the 'wrong' side as possible. I don't think I have ever tried bias tape - would that give it too much bulk? I'm not sure! Have you ever tried it?

I have used bias tape around both armholes and a neckline on a blouse/top I made. I made my bias tape out of the material I made the top in and it worked wonderfully.

Believe it or not, yea, I have had a very meager amount of sewing cape dresses for my wife and daughter, but lost the skill. (Will try to resume that sometime.) :):) I did use bais tape and also basting tape, as my daughter does not like the seams, so I hand sewed the basting tape over the seams, as well as use bias tape in neck area!! It has been a while, but it worked alright. They didn't seem to have any problems with it. My wife's sister will sometimes use it, but she generally does not. I have limited tailoring skills though, so take not my word as finality. :):) Just my little experience with this subject!!:):)

Thy humble Friend in Christ Jesus,

~Timothy~  <3 <3:):)!!!

Greetings Zaley:

It has been a dinosaur age since I've sewn clothing but years ago used to make All my clothes, coats, everything.  Yes I remember getting curved hems to lie flat.  As Amanda recommends, cut away as much excess fabric as possible (meaning have only a small hem width)  You can use bias tape. . you can also cut in little notches, if necessary to remove the bulk.   

For sleeveless armholes and necklines I always used what is called "facings".  Do they still use facings?  Also,  did something called "easing". . . where you would put in a double row of  baste stitching, such as around a sleeve to get it to fit into the cap of the armhole, then pull the ends of one row of one side of the threads to ease them into the area where they need to fit.  Hope I'm explaining it in such a way that you understand.   Does what I'm saying make sense to you?  If not I'll try to explain better. 

Just another thought. . . bias tape is often added as a way to add length. . such as if your dress length would be too short (probably never an issue for you). . or as a way to eliminate bulk, if your dress fabric doubled over would be too thick. 

And just one more thought. .  you can if you prefer. .  on a curved hem. .  use an extremely narrow hem width, such as on a finished cloth napkin.  The less excess fabric you have to contend with, the easier to help it to lie flat.   You may have seen such a finish on certain manufactured clothing. 

Chris, I so remember being taught 'easing' in needlework lessons at school. 'Easing' makes it sound as if it should be easy. And it isn't!



Chris Beauchamp said:

Greetings Zaley:

It has been a dinosaur age since I've sewn clothing but years ago used to make All my clothes, coats, everything.  Yes I remember getting curved hems to lie flat.  As Amanda recommends, cut away as much excess fabric as possible (meaning have only a small hem width)  You can use bias tape. . you can also cut in little notches, if necessary to remove the bulk.   

For sleeveless armholes and necklines I always used what is called "facings".  Do they still use facings?  Also,  did something called "easing". . . where you would put in a double row of  baste stitching, such as around a sleeve to get it to fit into the cap of the armhole, then pull the ends of one row of one side of the threads to ease them into the area where they need to fit.  Hope I'm explaining it in such a way that you understand.   Does what I'm saying make sense to you?  If not I'll try to explain better. 


Amanda:  You are So right!!   : )

Easing is not necessarily easy, but when done properly it looks so nice.  I still remember the nightmare that was my first dress with lots of easing.  Sadly I never finished it. . . but eventually mastered it, or, should I say I was no longer afraid of it.  The trick is in the size of the baste stitch (at least a size 4 stitch length if memory serves), pulling the threads enough AND, pinning enough.   To this day I still use Lots of pins - - even quilting.  Everyone laughs at me  as they see it as a waste of time.  I don't see it that way.  I'm not  a speed sewer and want it to look neat.   (or as I often say, I'm a bit of a poke, but a meticulous poke)


Amanda Manouvrier said:

Chris, I so remember being taught 'easing' in needlework lessons at school. 'Easing' makes it sound as if it should be easy. And it isn't!



 

Chris, the easing you're describing sounds a lot like gathering stitches? I use that for sleeves as well :) I have made one dress with a facing, but I'm not a big fan of them. They are, I suppose, so that you don't have any visible edge around the neckline? I haven't seen a plain dress with a bias tape neckline, so I'm not sure what that would look like.

Amanda, yes I have made bias tape several times, for historical costumes I've worked on. It is a bit time consuming though, except for the one time I made it at a workshop where there was a right angle ruler and a rotary cutter...then it went quite fast!

Hmm...the hems I was referring to were on the kitchen apron to be specific...folded under around the outside edges. I'm not sure about the cutting away excess fabric, in the sense that where do you take that excess from since it isn't a seam? The clipping makes sense for curved seams...

Yes Zaley, the easing does = gathering stitches.   I wasn't sure how familiar you were.  I don't think I would use bias tape for a neckline. . I never used bias tape very much for clothing construction.  I'm not a fan of facings either ..  but that's how we did it then, I'm looking back about 40 years and moving forward.    

I've never actually made a kitchen apron. .  I'm a vegan, raw foodist so never cook my food.  Everything is blended, chopped, food processed or dehydrated.  Can't say it really makes a mess on my clothes so I rarely use an apron.  I used an apron more for working in the garden, but a heavy garden apron lasts a long time.  Have had mine for 20 years or more. . its a heavy canvas apron.   

Notches will definitely help when working around curves. .  but don't cut in too deeply. 

All best wishes and happy sewing,

Chris

Zaley Warkentin said:

Chris, the easing you're describing sounds a lot like gathering stitches? I use that for sleeves as well :) I have made one dress with a facing, but I'm not a big fan of them. They are, I suppose, so that you don't have any visible edge around the neckline? I haven't seen a plain dress with a bias tape neckline, so I'm not sure what that would look like.

Hmm...the hems I was referring to were on the kitchen apron to be specific...folded under around the outside edges. I'm not sure about the cutting away excess fabric, in the sense that where do you take that excess from since it isn't a seam? The clipping makes sense for curved seams...

I do round necklines with a rolled hem. Tutorial: http://natashalh.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-sew-a-rolled-hem

On square ones, I use tape, but I make my own double-fold on-grain tape from the scraps of fabric left over. If you go with the warp (that is, your tape runs longwise like the selvadge, not crosswise), you're getting the strongest threads of the fabric in use in the long direction, so your neckline won't stretch out of shape.

I use purchased bias tape for the hems of my dresses and I like the way it comes out. It does work great on curved seams also.

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