Necklines and armholes can be neatened and concealed by using interfacing or bias tape. While you can find ready-made bias tape in craft stores, interfacings have to be made on your own.
You will need: interfacing, fabric, iron and the sewing essentials.
1. Draw a parallel line about 3-5cm away from the neckline. Mine (the thin red line) is about 3cm.
2. Pin the pattern (if you are using one) onto the non-glue side of the interfacing. If not, you can lay the garment flat and trace out the neckline as well.
3. Using carbon papers, trace the outline of the necklines.
And the front piece (with a sweetheart neckline) should look like this:
4. Cut it out, leaving approximately 2.5cm allowance. Repeat Steps 1-4 for the back.
5. Pin and iron both pieces onto the fabric. There are different types of interfacing. Some adhere well with heat application. Some requires moisture. Test it out using a piece of scrap fabric first, just in case it shrinks.
6.Cut out both pieces.
7. Interlock the non-neckline ends.
8. Right side facing each other, pin and sew the shoulder seams. Now we have one piece of the interfacing for the neckline.
9. Align the shoulder seams of the bodice to that of the interfacing.
10. If the neckline has other pointy angles such as V-neck, square-neck and the sweetheart, align them as well. Then pin the rest of the neckline in place and sew both pieces together.
11. Trim and neaten the allowance.
12. Snip the allowance with about 1/8″ teeth all around.
12. Top stitch the interfacing to secure it. You can choose to conceal, or not, the top stitch. This time round, I choose not to. Simply fold in and pin the interfacing in place, and sew at about 1/8″ away from the seam. Voila, a neatened neckline!
This method is good for bodice that does not require a zip down the centre back. If you are attaching a concealed zip at the back, it requires a little bit of modification because the interfacing has to be concealed at the zip too. I will do up another tutorial on this.