Hi lovelies! I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve found a great way to finish wrap dress necklines and I got some questions about it, so I put together a quick photo tutorial to show you how to do it.
Start making your wrap dress by sewing the shoulders. Now, you’re ready for the neckband.
First, make a strip of your fabric, 1.5 inches wide and the length of your neckline – if necessary, join two pieces together to get the end. Fold the strip in half wrong sides together, and press in half down the length of the strip (remember to “press” up and down and not slide your iron along, which will distort the fabric).
If you had to connect two pieces together to make a long enough neckline band, here’s a little trick for getting the seam to lie nicely: snip the serged seam in half *just* up to the left needle stitching. Then, push the seam allowance one way above the fold and another way below the fold. When you now go to fold the whole neckline band, it lies flat as there are only 2 layers of fabric rather than 3. You can also use this tip any time you need to serge over an already serged seam.
Now, take the band and pin it to the right side of your neckline, with the raw edges matching – i.e. the “open” side of the folded band should line up against the raw edge of the neckline. If you want, you can wonder tape this rather than pinning.
Over to the machine! Serge the band to the dress at a 3/8 seam allowance – which on a serger means that you’re not cutting any fabric off with the knife, you’re just skimming the edge against the knife.
Personally, the combination of the thin band + stretchy knit + large bust + wearing a camisole means that I don’t have to do any stretching to the neckline band (unlike on a t-shirt where you definitely do) – the knit just eases around the neck curve without anything energetic, much like the collar on a woven dress. However, if you’re making a fixed wrap, or have a different knit/bust/camisole situation going on, you may want to stretch the band as you’re sewing it – that will make it spring back a little and the neckline will be tighter against the body.
Now, flip the seam allowance to the inside, so that you’re just seeing about 3/8 inch peeking out on the right side.
Press that baby! Not everyone presses knit fabrics while they’re sewing, but I find it gives a more professional finish.
When you press the band over the shoulders it curves around, so press it over a ham to retain the shaping.
And this is what it should look like.
Finally, use a coverstitch machine or twin-needle on your sewing machine to sew around the neckline band, securing the seam allowance down.
And you’re done! A professional and easy wrap dress finish.
This tutorial first appeared on the Curvy Sewing Collective as part of the Wrap Dress Sewalong.