Four Ways To Clean Finish Garment Armholes
Here are four conventional and most-widely used techniques used to clean-finish armhole edges:
Lining: A garment's lining is cut at exactly the same shape as the garment layer and used to clean-finish not only armhole and neckline edges but also the entire wrong side of the garment. With a lining application, the finished armhole and neckline edges should form smooth, even edges with no topstitching visible on the garment's face side. By design, the finished armhole edges will look identical to the finished neckline. While lining is a convenient all-in-one finishing technique, kit does not work for all fabrics and all designs. It is considered a more tailored, dressy technique and addition of the lining layer adds some overall thickness and structure to the finished garment.
A shaped armhole facing: A shaped facing can be used to clean -finish any garment edge by enclosing its raw edges and shaping to the exact area wit finished. Shaped facing are most commonly used at the neckline, armhole, garment opening, and hemline. When it comes to clean-finishing an armhole edge, a shaped facing provides a more tailored, structured finish with no stitching visible on the garment's face side. The shaped facing is usually about 2-3" in width and cut the exact shape of the armhole at both front and back, The facing is then stitched to the armhole edge and flipped to the wrong side of the garment to enclose all raw edges. A shaped facing is similar to lining but instead if a single layer clean finishing both armhole edges and neckline simultaneously, each armhole (and neckline) requires a separate facing compartment.
Binding: To sew abound armhole finish you can use all types of binding including single layer, double layer, pre-folded and pre-packaged bias binding strips. Bias binding is constructed from fabric strips cut on the bias grain. Given that it is cut on the bias grain, bias binding has enough stretch and flexibility to mold along curved armhole edges without causing any strain or tension. The binding strip simply encloses the armhole's raw edge and can be left exposed for a more decorative finish or folded under and topstitched (as shown above) or blind stitched by hand. A bias bound armhole finish is considered a more casual finish that maintain's the garment's lightness and drape.
A decorative trim: If you prefer the mix of a decorative and functional fins, you can finish armhole edge using your choice of decorative trim. This technique works better with fabrics that have little to no fraying when cut, maintaining some structure and stability along their cut edge. Instead of folding or enclosing the armhole's raw edges, the decorative trim is aligned on the right side of the garment to simply cover the armhole's raw edges. The trim should be chosen carefully so that not only does it work well with the rest of the garment design, it also fully covers the armhole's raw edges. It is recommended that before applying the trim, the raw edges of the armhole are stabilized with a machine stitch and/or serged or zigzagged to prevent any possible fraying/unraveling.