Can I use piping as the finish on a neckline edge? How do I make the underside look neat?
Piping can be used to finish any edge and you can find the specifics in Guideline 11.305. It protects the edge from added wear and makes a decorative trim at the same time. The underside of piping is usually hidden under a facing or between a lining and the garment.
If the garment with the piped edge is unlined or has no facing, make the piping lip a bit wider than normal and serge or bind the raw edges so they are presentable on the garment inside. Neckline piping should be cut on the bias to shape around the curve without puckering.
If the garment pattern doesn’t call for a facing, it’s easy to make one. Simply trace the neckline curve on your flat pattern pieces (front and back) and extend a line at the shoulder about 2″. Shape the lower facing edge, keeping an even distance from the neckline edge. Sew the facing shoulder seams together before applying over the basted piping. To finish, clip the curves and trim the enclosed seams, then turn the facing to the garment inside, understitch and tack at the shoulder seams.