3 Neat Edge Finishes for the Sleeveless Styles of Summer
I've really become a proponent of the "less is more" school of finishing. Today's fabrics are so beautiful in and of themselves, a simple edge is all they need. With these techniques you can eliminate the traditional facings on the armhole edges of sleeveless garments and still have beautifully finished results. Here I'll show you three edge finishes that work beautifully on summer garments: folded bias facing, a baby hem, and scalloped edging. Plus, I'll show you a great tip for reinforcing buttonholes and buttons.
Folded Bias Facing
Start by cutting a bias strip of fabric that's slightly shorter than the length of the circumference of the armhole plus a seam allowance at each end. It should be 1 to 1 ½ inches wide plus twice the width of your seam allowance. Sew the strip right sides together at the ends. Fold in half with wrong sides together and press. Sew it to the armhole, right sides together. Trim and grade the seam. Press to the inside and tack in place at the shoulder and side seams by hand or by stitching in the ditch at the seamlines.
This is a fool-proof way of doing a narrow machine hem. I bless the day that I learned it because it's useful for so many things.
This is a great way to finish the opening and bottom hem edges of a garment, too. I used the decorative scallop stitch on my Bernina. Most machines have a similar stitch. First I sewed and finished the shoulder and side seams.
A Tip for Reinforcing Buttonholes and Buttons
It's always important to reinforce buttons and buttonholes. Here's how to do that when you don't have a traditional facing.