1940’s Wrap Dress Sewalong: Finishing the Bodice

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

In the last instalment of the 1940’s Wrap Dress sewalong we started sewing, and finished with a beautiful bodice shell. Today we’re concealing the raw edges with bias binding to create a lovely finish around the neckline.

To create a strong finish that will help prevent the neckline from stretching, we’re using a double layer binding for this dress – instead of the more common single layer technique you may know. So make sure to follow the instructions carefully for this one.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

1. Firstly we need to attach the two bias binding pieces together. With the two pieces placed right sides together at right angles at the corner, pin securely in place.

2. As shown in the booklet instructions, we’re going to stitch a diagonal seam here, so that once opened out you’ll have one long continuous length of binding. Before you start stitching, it might help to draw in your stitch line with chalk, as this will allow you to be super accurate.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

Stitch the binding pieces together.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

3. Trim the seam allowances down so they are around 5mm.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

4. Press the seam allowances open, making sure they are perfectly flat. Press again from the front.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

5. To create the double layer, fold the binding in half all the way down the length, with wrong sides together.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

6. This is where we do things a little differently. With the binding still folded, align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the neckline, on the right side of the bodice.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

Pin in place all the way around, from the waist on one side to the waist on the other. The collar should be sandwiched between the binding and the bodice. Don’t worry if your binding is longer than the bodice neckline – we will trim any extra off once the binding is sewn in place.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

We recommend using lots of pins to secure the binding to the neckline, as it will help you to be more accurate when you’re sewing.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

7. Stitch the bias binding in place around the neckline, using a 1cm seam allowance. If you’re using a particularly slippery fabric, it might help to start at the centre back and sew down one side first, before starting at the centre back again and sewing down the second side.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

8. Snip off the excess binding so that the end of the binding sits flush with the bodice waist edge. Then carefully trim the seam allowance down to 5mm, all the way around the neckline.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

9. Press the seam allowance towards the binding along the whole neckline. Then fold the binding to the inside of the bodice, and press again. Slightly roll the seamline just to the inside, so that it won’t be visible from the outside of the dress. Pin the binding in place all the way around the neckline.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

10. Slip stitch the binding in place on the inside of the bodice, catching just a few threads from the bodice fabric so that the stitching is an invisible as possible from the outside. When you get to the collar, make sure to move it out of the way so that you don’t catch it in your stitching – you should just be catching the bodice fronts.

Sew Over It 1940's Wrap Dress sewalong: Finishing the bodice with bias binding

11. Once it’s stitched in place all the way around the neckline you should have a lovely neat finish, with all raw edges hidden inside the binding. So satisfying!

We’ll be back in a couple of days when we’ll be adding the sleeves to create a complete bodice. It’s slowly coming together!

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