Aug 7, 2012

Technique: Stitching a V-Neck

Stitching a V-neck, which results in a sharp 'V' point when the facing is turned, is easy with this technique.

Begin by using a magic, disappearing marking pen or tracing paper to mark the stitching line for the V-neck.  This visually helps so that you can see where to stop the stitching to make the first pivot.

The facing has been prepared with interfacing and pinned in place to the neck edge.

When you are stitching the seam allowance (either 5/8" or 3/8" (1.6cm or 1.0cm), as you get to within 1" (2.5cm) of the actual 'V' point, tighten up the regular stitch length to become very tight stitches.  When you get to the point, leave the needle in the 'down' position and pivot the fabric around the needle until you are able to stitch across the point with one or two of these tiny reinforcement stitches.  Then pivot one more time before you begin stitching up the other side of the 'V'.  Keep the stitches tight and small for about 1" (2.5cm) as you sew up the other side, then lengthen the stitches back to normal to complete sewing the neck seam.

Here is a very clear illustration of what your stitching should look like.  I've exaggerated the illustration of the stitch length so that you can see where the stitches begin to get tighter.

Once you've competed stitching the neckline, very carefully clip through the seam allowance up to the 'V' point.  You may want to stop the clip back a very short distance, then clip diagonally to each pivot point.  Be very careful NOT to clip through the stitches.  You will also want to trim away any excess seam allowance to almost nothing right at the point.  But for the remainder of the seam allowance, you should leave enough trimmed allowance to allow for understitching. 

The purpose of stitching across the bottom of the 'V', allows for the 'turn of the cloth' when the facing is turned to the inside.  And, understitching the facing to the seam allowance helps the facing to lay flat on the inside.

This V-neck stitching technique is suitable for either knits or woven fabric.

Next week, watch helpful videos on making the facing lay flat on the inside of a V-neck knit top which are provided from Joyful Expressions.

Happy fitting and sewing,

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