I started on the seam neatening today. The vertical seams had to be done before applying the piping along the top and bottom.

Most of the seams were pretty straight forward and I finished them in the same way as I had finished the sleeves seams. It  just grading back any excess and then turning back the top fabric seam allowance and slip stitching.

Internal seams graded, turned back and slip stitched

Internal seams graded, turned back and slip stitched

For the side seams, I could not use the same method as I had let out the bodice on these seams during the fitting and so there was only 5mm seam allowance – not enough to fold back.

Unfinished side seam and neatened side back seam.

Unfinished side seam and neatened side back seam.

I ended up wing bias binding to finish the seam. Normally you would machine sew one side, fold over and machine stitch in the ditch, possibly leaving the seam flapping loose. Because I wanted these seams to look similar to the other seams, I machine stitched the first side and then slip stitched the other side flat.

Using bias binding to neaten the seam

Using bias binding to neaten the seam

When all was done, I don’t think you would not notice that these seams were different unless it was pointed out to you.

Seam neatening. The 2 seams on the left had seam allowances turned back. Bias binding was used on the right seam.

Seam neatening. The 2 seams on the left had seam allowances turned back. Bias binding was used on the right seam.