THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

February 26, 2008

Elasticated blindstitched neckline finish

Filed under: Gigi,Machines,Tutorials — Gigi @ 1:36 pm

I really love making and wearing surplice neckline tops and dresses. To prevent the neckline from gaping I usually serge a plain lingerie elastic to the wrong side. Once turned in the neckline can then be topstitched or, as I often prefer for a dressier finish, blindstitched by machine. This is by no means a couture – or even fine – finish but it is very nice on sportswear.

First, the machine. This is a true blindstitch machine with a curved needle. Mine is a portable TacSew T-500 that is not as expensive as you might think. I use mine quite a lot. It’s great even if all you do is hem with it!


Here’s a link to the T-500 on All Brands. $399 is a great price for this machine! I see it locally for $600-800.

STEP 1: Put the lingerie elastic through the serger for a couple of stitches to secure it.


STEP 2: Insert your neckline edge and serge the elastic on.



STEP 3: Turn the elastic in and machine baste into position on your conventional machine. This may seem like an unnecessary step but it takes so little time and ensures that the elastic doesn’t twist or slide around during blindstitching.



STEP 4: Blindstitch just catching the edge of the elastic with your needle.


Now you can remove the basting stitches. I use a really loose top tension to make it very easy to take out.

After blindstitching:


The finished product! I used contrasting thread here but had I used matching thread and a white elastic the finish would be virtually invisible. The busier the print, the less noticeable the tiny stitches will be. Also, a blindstitch has plenty of stretch to it making it perfect for hemming knits as well as wovens. It’s great if you are making a top or dress out of a fine knit such as wool jersey or cashmere where you don’t want to use a coverstitch or twin needle.


Here’s how it looks on a real garment:


You can read more about the dress HERE on my personal blog.

Now, I have not tried this technique using the stretch blindhem stitch on my conventional sewing machine. I imagine it would work okay as long as you get the settings just right. I would experiment on scraps first. Better yet, treat yourself to a true blindstitch machine!


  1. […] Behind The Seams Ramblings of a sewing fanatic « Burda WOF 4/07 #107B Dress Elasticated Blindstitched Neckline February 26, 2008 The tutorial is up! Here’s a link: TSD tutorial. […]

    Pingback by Elasticated Blindstitched Neckline « Behind The Seams — February 26, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  2. […] UPDATE 2/26/08: The tutorial is up! Here’s a link: TSD tutorial. […]

    Pingback by Burda WOF 4/07 #107B Dress « Behind The Seams — February 26, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  3. Pretty nifty! I must try this on my conventional machine. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Comment by Vicki — February 26, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  4. Are you stretching the elastic while serging it on to the neckline? Are you using the differential feed while serging? Or is it a plain 1 to 1 ratio (elastic to neckline fabric).

    Comment by Erin — February 26, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  5. Very good! Now I want one of those machines!

    Comment by Olivia — February 26, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

  6. Erin, I am serging on at a 1:1 ratio. The feed dogs of the serger naturally ease a little extra bit of fabric in making the elastic just a teensy bit smaller than the neckline edge. Someone with a very full bust could stretch the elastic a little over the upper chest to avoid gaping. I never use the differential feed on my industrial serger because it’s a pain to open it up and make the adjustment using a screwdriver. Same with stitch length so, as I am kind of lazy that way, I never adjust my serger. Ever. Really. Not even the tension knobs.

    Comment by Gigi — February 26, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  7. Thank you for the tutorial. I’ve been wanting a blind stitch machine for a few years now; you helped it get to the top of the priority list. Very enlightening.

    Comment by Alexandra — February 27, 2008 @ 1:53 am

  8. Good to see you back posting! Hmm….now I want a blindstitch machine….

    Comment by Kris C. — February 27, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  9. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have read numerous posts on this method, but I am a visual learner and couldn’t quite get it. You have made my day!

    Comment by kathi sorensen — February 27, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  10. I didn’t even know what a blind stitch was. Thanks for the great blog

    Comment by inglebert — February 27, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  11. What is lingerie elastic? Is it thinner than the knit or poly elastic that you can buy in packages? Thanks for all the great information!

    Comment by Kendall — February 29, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  12. Lingerie elastic is a knit (vs. a braided) elastic that can be sewn through without stretching out of shape. The way to know if an elastic can be sewn through is to stretch it – if you can see through it when it’s stretched then it can be sewn through. I buy my lingerie elastic by the roll but it is also available prepacked at most fabric stores.

    Comment by Gigi — February 29, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  13. Ok.. now how do I break it to my husband that I need a blindhem machine too!!!
    Great tutorial! It actually comes at the perfect time to.. I am getting ready to copy a RTW shirt that has a neck line finish like this… ofcourse I’ll have to do it with just my serger and a regular machine… for now!

    Comment by Angelia — February 29, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  14. Gigi .- very interesting this tutorial for elastic fabrics. Greetings from Barcelona. Paco

    Comment by Paco Peralta — March 3, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  15. Great tutorial, thank you so much for sharing!

    Comment by Tany — March 4, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  16. I have a question…if a home sewer were to make the leap from a conventional machine, would you recommend a serger or a blind-stitch machine? This makes a wonderful finished edge, but would this machine be more useful to have than a serger?

    Comment by Michelle — March 7, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  17. Gigi,
    The tutorial is great! I’m glad that you are back!!!!!!!!!
    I’m thinking of buying the blindstitch machine- do you think that the lower priced one( consew blt?) is as good or should I just buy the 500? There is not that much difference in price, but I don’t know how much I’ll use the machine.
    Lakeland, FL

    Comment by Dotty Ivey — March 8, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  18. Dotty, I’ve used the Consew version and it’s nearly identical to the TacSew so go for it!

    Michelle, I LOVE my industrial serger and highly recommend them (it will be the last serger you ever need to buy) but I bought the blindstitch quite a few years earlier. *However*, there is a huge price difference between a serger and a blindstitch. If you have the $$ get the serger, if not, start with the blindstitch. Also, if you already have a domestic serger you might enjoy having a completely different machine.

    Comment by Gigi — March 8, 2008 @ 11:12 am

  19. Gigi, I’ve never thought about putting in lingerie elastic using a blind stitch. I’m going to try that technique in my next knit project. I hope I can get it to work with my Bernina 170. Thank you so much for the turorial.

    Comment by Sherril Miller — March 19, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  20. Gigi,
    I bought it! I now have the Tacsew t-500! I love it just like you said I would. Now you need to put up a tutorial on how to end the stitching. lol.

    Comment by Dotty IVey — April 21, 2008 @ 4:11 am

  21. that is the most amzing thin i have seen in a long time! so many necklines could have been saved had i had a fraction of the brain power – THANK YOU!

    Comment by marietta — April 26, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  22. Dottie, to end the stitching simply stop with the needle out of the fabric, raise the foot and firmly yank the work to the left. This will automatically lock the thread.

    Comment by Gigi — April 30, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

  23. Hi Gigi,

    I don’t even know if you will see this, but I am about to buy the Tacsew BLST2. Is it comaprable to the T500? I don’t want to make a mistake! Thanks again.

    Comment by Imaan — February 26, 2010 @ 12:22 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: