I better start this post with a disclaimer that this is no way a polished full tutorial. These instructions began as an add-on to my review of the In the Folds Peplum Top, demonstrating how I achieved a mitred v-neck using a bias facing that was not cut to pattern dimensions (ie, just one long strip). But as the review ended up being so long, I separated it into two posts, to save endless scrolling and allow easier access if you want to use this technique on another project.
If you want to know why I think it’s a good idea to cut your own strips of bias tape and apply them as you sew, check out my review. If you want to know how to do it, keep reading!
1. Leaving long ends and starting near the back-shoulder seam on right side, sew your bias facing around to approx. 10cm from v-neck on left side. (Note that this is a different technique for bias facing application than is called for in the pattern, which I’ll explain below.) Open your tape and lay evenly til it meets the V. Fold tape back until centre of folded edge meets CB seam exactly.
Clip where cut edge of bias tape meets V, and mark with a fabric marker where folded edge meets CB seam. Unfold tape, refold in half along already pressed line. Match clip to other side. You’ve just marked your sewing lines (you can draw these in if needed). I forgot to take a photo before I sewed this and my alignment is slightly off, just know that the tape should meet the centre of the V and CB seam perfectly.
2. Unfold tape, refold back to previous alignment so centre mark is on fold. Sew from clipped edge to centre mark and back to other clipped edge. Carefully trim, finger press edges and turn out with tool (eg chopstick). Press back in half along original foldline – the bias tape should naturally form a V-shape now.
3. You should have something that looks like this (though of course I’ve completed the seam here) – as you can see the bias facing and CB seam meet perfectly with the v-neck. Sew remainder of facing to garment. Complete as usual, seaming ends of tape together where they meet.
The bias tape application itself is very simple, far more than how many sewing patterns instruct. Just cut the tape to your desired dimensions (width = [opening seam allowance + finished facing width] x 2, can allow a little extra for stretching and the fold) and press in half. Align folded edges to opening cut edges, sew at given seam allowance, trim and notch (if needed – I trimmed to 3mm on this garment which doesn’t need notching!), understitch, flip and topstitch. Press.
I was lucky that the given bias tape width for the peplum top (just over 3cm) folded was just enough for a 1cm seam allowance and 6mm facing width (the perfect width IMO). I actually sewed it aligning my foot to the folded edge rather than paying too much attention to the cut edge, so the facing would be the same precise width.
I can’t find an exact tutorial of this method online (though I’m sure I learnt it somewhere!). So Sew Easy has a picture tutorial which is basically the same, though she doesn’t understitch (which would eliminate the need for pressing and pinning). And don’t forget to seam the tape at a 45 degree angle!
You don’t have to trust me that this method is quicker, easier and neater than fussing about with all those fiddly folds and probably burning your fingers on the iron in the process – try it out for yourself.