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Add Variety with the Magic of Bias

I like to work with a few tried-and-true patterns. The styles complement my wardrobe, and I know they fit when I get them made. That doesn’t mean all my clothes look the same. Variety is the spice of life, right? One of the easy ways I change up my basic woven T-shirt pattern is to use different neckline finishes, and my favorite is to use different widths of bias. With that single idea, I can make any number of necklines.

Let me give you a quick look at how different widths of bias can create a variety of looks, and then I’ll share examples of how I use this idea to add spice to my garments.

Arguably, the simplest bias neckline treatment is a narrow bias facing. It creates a smooth, tidy edge. It works with almost any fabric and can be turned to the inside, as in the example below, or to the outside for an extra design detail.

Floral top with narrow bias facing

I like to use contrasting fabrics to amp things up.

Top with contrasting bias facing

I used the fabric from the back to make the bias facing for the front of my tea towel top.

Closeup of neckline with contrasting bias facing

Bias facings, as well as bias bindings, create smooth necklines, but the look changes as you increase the width of the bias used. To give you an idea of how different widths of bias work, I made three necklines in the same fabric, with three different “collars.”  The fabric is a silk charmeuse. I started with a 2-inch-wide strip, a 6-inch-wide strip, and a 9-inch-wide strip. All were folded and applied in the same way, but the results are different.

Partial bodice pieces cut from fashion fabric along with 2-inch, 6-inch, and 9-inch bias strips

This is the process I used for creating each bias strip to finish the necklines.

Prepare the garment

1. Sew the shoulder seams and press them to the…

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  1. User avater
    tinker4u | | #1

    Really. cute ideas, thanks!

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #5

      Thx! They're fun to do.

  2. user-7510086 | | #2

    Thank you for your imaginative ideas and clear instructions. I have a favorite knit top that has a badly frayed neckline. I think this idea will help me save it.

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #6

      Knits work really well...and sometimes they don't even need to be cut on the bias.

  3. User avater
    user-7227822 | | #3

    I love all these ideas. I am going to see how they look on doll clothes.

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #7

      Great idea! like working in 1/2 scale!

  4. SueC56 | | #4

    Great article. Simple ideas implemented in creative ways. I definitely will try out some of these ideas. Thanks

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #8

      Go for it!

  5. user-5952229 | | #9

    One of the best and most useful articles I have seen in a long time...Thank you

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #11

      Thanks! Glad to hear it!

  6. leine | | #10

    How beautiful! Thank you for the photos and clear instructions.

  7. User avater
    beckyf | | #12

    My pleasure. Enjoy.

  8. user-5885773 | | #13

    I really like all your ideas. Thank for the great photos and instructions.


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