Planning a V neckline

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October 1935 Hazleton, PA newspaper ad

Here are a few scans that show how stay tapes and directional stitching may help preserve the shape of the V neckline.

I am thinking of making a sleeveless pull-over top or vest that would have a V neckline. Rather than using a bias binding or a bias facing, I would like to use a facing cut with the grain of the garment. My plan was to have the front of the facing show on the front of the garment. I could also make a wider decorative V in this way possibly with multiple stripes like a tennis sweater.

The facing itself may be faced so I could just slip stitch it in place on the front. The lower raw edge of the faced facing would end at the cut edge of the V neckline or the armscye and I could hold it to the garment with a running stitch that wouldn’t show. The upper raw edge of the facing would turn to the inside and meet the seam allowance of the garment. I could then clip the facing to make it lay flat. At this point the  seam allowance of the underlining could be turned toward the turned-in facing and slip stitched in place.

To test out my idea I was going to use this Gertrude Mason pattern, but today I found a pattern in my collection for a V neck jumper so that will be easier right now.



Jane Shaner’s 1974 “The Silver Thimble” newsletter recommends 1/8″ wide tape for lightweight fabrics, 1/4″ cotton twill tape, for heavier fabrics. Notice that the tape stops about 1″ from the point of the V.

The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction (1959) recommends 1/4″ seam tape, cutting the regulation 1/2″ in half.


Stay stitching is directional and construction stitching is also directional.


Home economics class handout above.


Butterick pamphlet 1949 above.


4 thoughts on “Planning a V neckline

  1. Very useful, Carol. I will reblog since this complements my current planning for my own 1930s dress. I’m considering using interfacing and a facing for the neckline as well as the bias binding on the outside.

    The rayon challis is too soft to leave with just a stay tape on the neckline. I will get back to you on other stages in the project. Please post photos of your top when it’s finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Retro Glam and commented:
    Carol offers a timely posting that is helping me re-think the V-neckline treatment for my 1930s inspired dress. Please check out the different techniques she has gathered together. I can think of a way these will help me. Perhaps they will prove useful to you in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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