While a decorative element is not necessarily a functional finishing technique, it is a great way to enhance a garment’s neckline.
The decorative neckline techniques linked below are easy to add in the process of finishing a neckline regardless of whether this is done with a facing, binding or a band.
Construction-wise, there are two (main) types of decorative neckline finishing techniques. Both depend on the type of decorative elements and trims used.
The first option involves sewing a decorative trim into the neckline edge during the neck finishing process.
The second entails adding the trim (or individual elements) along the neckline edge after the neckline has been finished.
A trim that can be sewn into the neckline edge provides a type of “stitching guideline” and/or a flat portion that is meant solely for machine attachment purposes.
Trims like cording are some of the most commonly used along neckline edges and other seams within a garment. With many specialty trims that are designed to be machine sewn into a seam, a zipper presser foot is used to provide stitching comfort and precision. Piping/cording for example, cannot be sewn with a regular presser foot since the foot's wider plate cannot get over the trim’s raised edges.
Ornamental trims that cannot be stitched into a seam or a neckline edge are easy to identify as they do not provide a flat edge for stitching purposes. In this case, the decorative elements fill the entire width of the trim. This creates a pattern that cannot be interrupted by a seam application. In other words, the trim does not provide a seam allowance edge that allows for attachment into a seam.
Any neck finishing technique can be sewn in conjunction with a decorative trim. The difference is in how the trim is aligned in relation to the neckline edge.
For example, if adding a decorative inset to a bound or faced neckline, the trim will always correspond to the neckline’s finished edge.
With a band neckline, you can place the trim either at the band's top finished edge or along the seam that connects the band to the garment.
With a strip band, a decorative trim is inserted into the same seam that connects the strip band to the garment, thus the trim will never correspond to the very top finished edge of the strip band since this edge is a fold rather than a seam.