May 12, 2007

Neckline Finishes

A friend asked me about the typical neckline finishes on childrenswear. There is a difference in the type ofl finish between adult and children's clothing. Adult clothing utilizes either linings, facings, and occassionally a bias binding finish. Children's clothing eliminates most facings, unless they are topstitched down. Facings get in the way of dressing a child and roll out frequently. Another option is to have a full, flat lining usually seen on special occassion dresses. The majority of neckline finishes on children's clothing consists of bias binding.

There are several advantages to using bias binding. It is inexpensive and relatively easy to apply - you eliminate extra pattern pieces and reduce fabric usage. A bias facing is relatively flat and smooth, which may increase comfort. A bias facing can be made of self-fabric or contrasting. It can become a design element.

Here are just a few examples:

This is a typical example. This button-front, velveteen dress has a bias facing made of the same fabric as the collar. Usually the facing is made of the same fabric as the collar, rather than the body of the garment. This is so the facing appears to blend with the collar and not show from the front. If there were no collar, the neckline would still be finished with a bias facing, but the color would match the dress instead.





This is a sweatshirt style jacket. The bias facing is made of a cotton broadcloth that matches the decorative stitching. This is a good example of how the facing can be a design element. It also disguises an otherwise unsightly seam.





A bias facing used on a knit style top that has a back zipper opening. The end of the bias is turned under near the top of the zipper. No need for a special facing pattern to deal with the zipper.






This is an example of a poorly executed use of a regular facing. The facing is much too narrow and floats up. The seam is bulky because of the ruffle sandwiched between the facing and the neck. This is a size 3-6M top and the facing and bulky neckline seam could be an irritant. The neckline seam should be serged together to reduce bulk and the facing should be topstitched down. A bias facing would probably work better.

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