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How to Apply Bias Tape to a Neckline Tutorial: Method 1

On the Craftsy sewing blog today, we’ll cover how to sew bias tape, looking at applying the tape to the neckline of a garment. Any edge that needs to be finished can be trimmed with bias tape. There are many ways to approach this, all slightly different from the rest, but most ending with the same result. This method is one of my favorites, as it gives a clean and professional edge with very little effort. It is a standard edge finishing sewing technique.

How to Sew Bias Tape to a Neckline -

Finishing an edge with bias tape instead of a facing is a nice approach for a more informal garment, or for sheer fabrics when you do not want to see the facing underneath. Use a contrast color or print to add a bit of zip to the inside of your garment!

How to Apply Bias Tape to a Neckline

Step 1: How to Sew Bias Tape - Start with the Shoulder

Step 1 –

Start with your shoulder seams sewn but not the side seams. It is easier to sew the bias tape when you have access to the neckline area and the whole item can be opened flat.

Step 2: Measure

Step 2 –

Using a flexible ruler, measure around the entire neckline. Add a couple of inches to the amount for overlapping in the back.

Step 3: Line Up Selvage

Step 3 –

Using a ruler with a 45 degree marking on it, line up the 45 degree line on the selvage of the fabric, allowing the rest of the ruler to go into the fabric on the true 45 degree bias.

Step 4: Mark Along True Bias

Step 4 –

Marking along the true bias edge of the ruler, use a sharpened chalk pencil to draw a line equal to the measurement from step 1.

Step 5: draw a parallel line

Step 5 –

Move your ruler over and draw a parallel line one inch from the first line.

Step 6: Cut Fabric

Step 6 –

Cut along each of the two drawn lines to make a one inch strip of bias tape.

Step 7: Pin Fabric

Step 7 –

Find the center of the bias strip and line it up with the center point on the front of the neckline. Pin with right sides together. Continue around the entire neckline, pinning the bias tape to the neckline, ending in the back.

Step 8: Overlap Ends

Step 8 –

When you reach the center back, over lap the two ends of the bias tape and pin together so the bias tape fits the opening.

Step 9: Sewing Bias Tape on Craftsy

Step 9 –

Sew along the pinned spot, joining the two ends of the bias tape together.

Step 10: Pin - How to Sew Bias Tape on

Step 10 –

Trim the ends of the bias tape off, leaving about a quarter inch of fabric on each side of the seam. Press the seam open and repin it to the neckline. It should now fit the opening perfectly.

Step 11: Stitch Bias to Neckline

Step 11 –

Stitch the bias tape to the neckline using a quarter inch seam allowance. This is much easier done with a quarter inch seam foot, as pictured.

Step 12: Trim Edge of Fabric

Step 12 –

Trim the quarter inch seam allowance in half all the way around the entire opening. This is easier done with small 5 inch scissors.

Step 13: Press Edge - How to Sew Bias Tape on Craftsy

Step 13 –

On the inside of the neckline opening, press the seam allowance up toward the bias tape.

Step 14: Press Seam

Step 14 –

Flip the garment over, right side out and press the seam flat.

Step 15: Fold Bias

Step 15 –

Fold the bias tape into the opening, lining up the raw edge with the stitch line and press all the way around the opening.

Step 16: Fold Bias Again - How to Sew Bias Tape,

Step 16 –

Fold the bias tape again, rolling the seam line just slightly to the inside so none of the bias tape shows on the right side of the garment. Press well and pin in place for sewing.

Step 17 - Stitch the inside

Step 17 –

Stitching on the inside, sew as close to the inside fold as possible. Try moving your needle to get close to the edge but allowing your foot to line up with the outside edge. You have a better shot at sewing straight when you give yourself something to follow.

Completed Garment

Step 18 –

Give the entire opening a good press and you are done! Remember that you can use this method of sewing bias tape to any opening on any garment, even if the original instructions call for other ways of finishing!

Be sure to come back to the Craftsy blog on Wednesday to learn how to make ribbed bands for sleeves with a serger. Then, next Saturday return to learn the other way to apply bias tape to a neckline!



I have been waiting for a tutorial on this. Thanks


I’ll try this:)


Hi Christine. That was very helpful. I didn’t realize you could make bias tape easily without a bias tape maker. What do you think about buying a bias foot? They have the metal tubular and the flat plastic types. Is one better than or used differently from the other? Thanks for the lesson!

Christine Haynes

Yes! You can totally make bias strips without a bias tape maker, and honestly I think it’s easier this way. I’ve never used a bias foot, but they sound awesome!


I disagree with the application method. When applying the bias tape, it should begin and end at the shoulder seam.

Christine Haynes

You can of course put the seam for the bias binding anywhere you like along the opening! I prefer to place it in the center back where there likely is no seam. I do not like adding the bulk of the bias tape seam to the shoulder seam, but you can absolutely put it there if you like!


its so,, wonderful and net looking…

Janet Wehrer

Beautiful. Thank you. That was an excellent tutorial.

marty crandall

Hi,I just found this post and love it .ive been sewing four most of my life,but you make it look so much better looking fore ward to beeing part of this program thank you.marty

Geraldene Cartwright

I am sewing for many years, but this was a very well written and with the pictures well placed so that even a beginner will be able to sew a perfect bias binding edge. Well done !!!


Many thanks for sharing this technique. I have just purchased fabric for a top and will try this.


Christine Haynes is just the best at demonstrating each and every little part of a technique. Sooooooooooo appreciated Christine. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. Doris


this looks really nice; will try this method; photography is excellent.


Very good explanation. I didn’t know about this tutorial section of Craftsy. I do now!!!


Great tip!

carmen garcia

Hola, soy Carmen de Terrassa-Barcelona-España, he tomado nota de tu tutorial, pues soy una aprendiz de costurera, y estas tutoriales me sirven mucho. Gracias


Well done. I can easily follow these instructions. One question. Which steps do you change to make the bias strip fabric show on the right side of the garment, so it looks like a decorative trim?

Christine Haynes

Good question! You can follow all of these steps exactly, except instead of pinning to the right side of the garment in step 7 you would pin onto the wrong side of the garment. Then in step 16, when you press the bias tape to the outside (instead of pressing it into the inside) you would not want to roll the seam to the outside and instead leave the seam on the inside so only the bias tape shows and not the seam or the inside of the garment. Hope that makes sense!


Your tutorial is excellent and the timing is perfect. I am wanting to make another ribbon shirt for myself, but the first one I made using bias tape on a pointed v-neck came out messy looking. With your method, I can modify the v to a soft curve and have a shirt to be proud of. Thank you so much.


Thank you Christine,
Been sewing since I was 15 years old, did not realize I can do by bias. How can I do for armhole? I also did not know that you have a tetorial.

Evangelina Vera

You should take care to ease the bias tape a little on the curviest part of the neckline since the inner curve of the neckline (cut line) is shorter than the outer curve (sewing line). Otherwise the neck line will stick out at those points when you wear it, and it won’t lie flat on your body.

Christine Haynes

Yes, of course do not stretch the tape while applying it, and it will lay flat after pressing.


Very nice tutorial. I will be using these instructions soon. thank you

Georgia Anderson

Would you change (trim) the original seam allowance, which most likely will be 5/8″ before starting the process?

Christine Haynes

Good question. This all depends on what the seam allowance is set to. If it is a 5/8″ seam allowance, you will want to make sure to take that into account when adding it. Either trim it first, or make the bias tape 5/8″ wider, sew it at 5/8″, then trim off in the trimming process. Either would work!


To clarify this measurement change better and to know how wide to cut your bias tape strip, if you don’t want to use 1/4″ seams, use the following formula:

desired seam allowance – 1/4″= total amount to add to 1″ bias width when measuring on fabric before cutting bias strip
You subtract the 1/4″ because the 1″ bias width already includes 1/4″ seam allowance.

For the 5/8″ seam allowance example:
5/8″ – 1/4″ = 3/8″ to add to bias width measurement for cutting
So, you would cut a 1 3/8″ wide bias strip for a 5/8″ seam allowance to use this bias binding method and end up with the same finished binding width.

Amy B

This is super helpful, Christine!! Just followed it for my Laurel 🙂

Kathy Szmolke

Thank you for this tutorial. I’m thinking that this would be great for children’s clothing. I’ve made some dresses for my granddaughter, and sometimes the facing is just too much. I think I’ll try the bias tape instead and see if it makes the job easier.


Thank you! I’m working on a reversible bucket bag that calls for 2″ bias tape. I’ve made the tape, but eveytime I apply the tape to the bag, the underside stitches look wavy and homemade. The top side looks great. I’ve taken it off and redone it three or four times. Any hints??

Christine Haynes

hmmm, that sounds like your bobbin tension needs to be checked, if the underside stitches are wavy. give that a try!


Try sewing with an even feed or walking foot. You might try turning it over and doing your last stitching on the other side. Or using a lightweight fusible web to hold it in place before final stitching. Try on a sample first.


Great tutorial! Thanks! Shared it with a friend who was also using store bought single fold bias tape on some of our garments. Personally, not anymore. This will be the way I finish my necklines and armholes.


Hi Christine, wonderful tutorial! Is there any reason not to measure the neckline and then sew the binding together before placing on neckline?

Christine Haynes

it can be very hard to measure it perfectly since the binding is sewn on the bias and will stretch, and curves are hard to measure perfectly. this is a really easy way to be perfectly accurate!


So in this example is there an exposed raw edge on the bias strip that is on the inside of the fabric?

ann-marie hamilton

I have searched for hours to try and unravel the mystery of the instructions in my burda pattern. This is how explanations should be done! Thank you so much, brilliant!

Sarah Pengelly

Could you tell me please where to purchase this flexible ruler that you use. I live in The Netherlands and have looked on Ebay UK and cannot find one that looks like this. There are other flexible rulers curved at the end that can help with modifying patterns – will any type work in this situation or is this the best kind to use? Thanks.


I was looking for help on how to stretch the bias tape to make the result lay flat. Mine are sort of sticking up, not laying flat.
I am making round (full circle) neck opening so once I understand how to make this perfect lay flat I h0pe to learn to make other shapes flat as well. i have sewn a lot and consider myself crafty but I’m not getting perfect flat bound edges – HELP!


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