Neckline/armscye finish for knits (and wovens)

This technique will come in handy in so many occasions, you’ll be surprised.


This type of finish provides great stability yet enough elasticity to your knit edges. It works on necklines, armscyes, wrap tops (where the edge must stay flexible but not stretch over time). The same technique can be used if you’d like to eliminate stretch completely, but in this case you’d need to add stabilizing tape.

You will need a strip of fabric cut ACROSS the width of the fabric, e.g. in the direction of the greatest stretch. Width of the strip is 35 mm (1 3/8″). This includes 0.7 mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

  • Fold the strip lengthwise wrong sides together and press
  • Place the strip to the right side of the garment and stitch 0.7 mm (1/4″) from the edge
  • Press the strip up and understitch
  • Fold the strip to the wrong side of the garment and topstitch. Press, use steam to mold the strip.



Lena Merrin
Lena Merrin

A dressmaker of many years, I enjoy drafting patterns and create custom garments.

12 thoughts on “Neckline/armscye finish for knits (and wovens)

  1. M. Inez says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this technique. I love the finish the folded edge gives on the inside as opposed to other methods I’ve seen.

    If using this to prevent stretch, would you use twill tape? And would you just sew it flat as opposed to folding it?

  2. Sheila says:

    I have been wondering how to do this so neatly for some time – fantastic info . Thanks Lena

  3. Lynn says:

    I like this technique, but am a bit confused with the understitching. What exactly are you stitching (and is it from the right or wrong side of the main fabric?). When you topstitch, are you stitching in the ditch (aka seamline) from the band being applied or are you topstitching along the edge of the band?

    In these pictures, I can’t tell right side of fabric from wrong side… THANKS so much

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