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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cross-over V neck constuction steps

Step one: 

Iron a small piece of fusible interfacing to the wrong side below the point of the V. Do not stay-stitch. If some of your stay stitches show and you try to take them out later you will make a hole. The interfacing patch will provide all the stabilization you need.

Step two:

Working with a binding strip that is twice as wide as you want to finished neck finish to be (you are going to be folding it in half) plus two small seam allowances (I use about 1/4" for this) and a lot longer than you need (you can cut off any excess when you are done stitching and having the extra gives your hands something to hold onto), pin the binding around the neckline. Since this is for a woman's top the eventual cross-over will be from right to left.

Pin the binding even with the edges along the long side of the Vs and stretch it slightly across the back of the neck so it will hug the neck and not stand straight up.

Note that the pinning, and first pass of stitching, ends several inches above the point of the V on the left side. How far away this stops doesn't matter it just needs to be a fair bit wider than the width of the band. I think I stopped pinning about 2 1/2" before the point of the V to accommodate a band that was about an inch wide. I eye ball this.

Step three:

Stitch around the neck edge starting a seam allowance distance below the V on the right side and ending somewhere short of the V on the left side as shown. Use a straight stitch and a knit/ballpoint/jersey needle. As a V neck doesn't have to be stretched to go over your head a straight stitch is just fine. ( See above you would locate a spot 1/4" below the point of the V right at the white pin head above, stitch up the right side of the V across the back neck and down the left side of the V to where you see the pinning stop.)

Clip right to the stitching at the point of the V.

Step four:

Working from the right side play around with the ends of the band so it looks like this below and pin in position:

  • Fold under the seam allowances on the unstitched section on the left side.
  • Tuck the end of the right band into the hole on the left side where it was left unstitched.
  • Tuck the remaining part of the left band under the right band.
  • Pin in place
  • (Note in the event you have a pucker at the point of the V that only means you haven't clipped right to the stitching. Go back and do it fearlessly, remember you have interfaced this area)

This is what it will all look like at this stage from the wrong side:

Step five:

Flip it all up to expose the seam allowances and finish stitching the remaining seam - you can see what needs to be stitched by looking at the picture above and seeing where the seam ends - just continue that seam through all layers until your stitching meets the stitching above the point of the V on the right side.

Step six:

There is no step six. All you need to do know is cut off any extra tails from the binding, tack the left end to the right seam allowance if it seems it is flapping around (if you have got this far you will know what I mean) and if you want you can zig zag the layers of the seam allowance together to flatten if you want.

Why this method is fool proof (and therefore the way I always make knit V necks):

  1. No stay stitching
  2. No pivots
  3. You don't do any tricky stitching or in fact sew the worrisome part of the V until you have arranged it totally with your hands, patted it into place, put in a pin and made sure it will turn out (see step four)
  4. There are no surprises, what you set up before stitching is what you will end up with.



SewCraftyChemist said...

THANK you for this! I cannot get a good v-neck with pivoting. However; I don't understand step 3 :/

"Stitch around the neck edge starting a seam allowance distance below the V"

Angela said...

Thanks! I am pinning this for future reference:)

Barbara said...

Mrs. Smith I have added a few words and another picture, tell me if this makes more sense, and thanks for calling attention to this in the instructions.

Sewing by Shirley said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!!!

BeccaA said...

Thank you so much for this clear tutorial! I will definitely use this technique next shirt I make.

SewCraftyChemist said...

:-D Thank you!!!

I will be happily using this for my next Vneck sew.

Donna W said...

This is so easy no so brilliant. I am going to print this and keep it close for the next round of t hurts ad anything elee that needs v neckine. Just stretching the back neckband really makes sense. Thank you so much for posting all the instructions nd pictures. You re the best.

Paula said...

Oh this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing. I am printing this out and putting it on my bulletin board above the sewing machine. Your top looks great.

Cleverclogs said...

Yes, this is much easier than the ways given in many commercial patterns! I think the point about having some extra fabric to hang on to applies to several neckline situations for example applying collar bands.

Sharon said...

You are gem, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic !! Thanks for showing the pics.
Ria in Melb.Oz.

Anonymous said...

these are good pictures. I learned this method long ago, then forgot exactly how i should do it. Then set out to relearn it. Jalie has a video tutorial on it and I took Lynda Maynards Craftsy course on trims and bias bindings because she covers this. Your pictures reinforce it all.
Thank you

Donna W said...

In my previous comment I wrote no so brilliant..should be and so brilliant

Alison said...

OMG should be writing instructions for McCalls. I have long OOP M6247 and have made it twice. Each time I sit there puzzled for at least 1 hour trying to work out how to do this. THANK YOU!

Rose said...

This is great! thank you!.. My V--neck either look terrible or a alter the pattern to a scoop collar. Now I h ave another option. Thank you!

Rose in SV

Janet said...

Thank you! It worked. Used the technique on an t-shirt from In House patterns.

Robyn said...

Today I needed some coaching on how to do this - when Google showed me results at Sewing On the Edge, I knew I didn't need to look any further. Thanks!!

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lorrwill said...

Thank you for posting this. It will save a lot of headaches for sure. I love your sense of humor, too.