Vintage Seam Treatment: Lapped Neck Seam on Pavlova

Picture 50

The Pavlova Wrap Top is loosely based on this gem of a pattern from the 1950’s.  While I changed the darts, the grain, the fabric type and also graded the body and ties to suit various bust and waist measurement combinations, I left a few of the vintage details in place.

Picture 48

One of those details is the lapped seam at the back neckline.  This is step 6 from the Pavlova instructions- designed to help guide you through the process to create a cleanly finished garment.  I highly suggest using a little fusible webbing to secure the lapped seam.  It’s not too tricky to put together as written, and there’s also a mini visual reference on to show how these steps look when sewn on an actual garment.  (Lauren’s Pavlova Top)


Then in the last construction step, the neck binding and the cf of the top are folded over and top-stitched down to create a clean front edge.  I recommend using fusible webbing to place the hem for this step. It makes the sewing much simpler, cleaner, and stabilizes the fabric just enough to prevent it rippling.   The modern fusible webbing paired with this vintage technique works very well to create a thoroughly wearable garment.

Emerald Pavlova Neck

Here you can see the seams for the lapped neck edge.  It’s possible to trim and tuck the seam allowance out of the way, but I didn’t here.  And check out the pinmark!  Don’t worry, it washed out.

I liked lapped seams in general, having discovered them when I began sewing from 1930’s patterns.  It’s a neat and clean way to create all kinds of shaped insets and specialized finishes.

I’m curious to know if you’ve sewn much with lapped seams in the past?  What was the garment?  How did you like it?  What era was it from?

(Those pavlova patterns are so. close. to. being. finished!)

hehehe.  Remember that Day of the Dead photoshoot we did in... November?  I was working on Pavlova artwork the same day.. Though I did change out of my makeup...

hehehe. Remember that Day of the Dead photoshoot we did in… November? I was working on Pavlova artwork the same day.. Though I did change out of my makeup… Found it while I was putting together tonight’s post. 

Today’s OCC Lip Tar Sampler Pack Giveaway Winners are:

Picture 51 Picture 52



  1. I don’t think I’ve ever used this technique before, and I admit, I’m confused. BUT THAT’S OKAY, because I know it’ll be clear when I read through your instructions properly. :) I didn’t even realize it was anything but a pieced together neck binding. Interesting!

      • Thanks, ladies… A buddy of mine came over the other day and was reading the neck instructions and just did. not. get. it. I was rather alarmed. But then I handed her a top and she got it quickly. So that’s the thing.. Read with fabric and pattern pieces in hand and it’s all good. :)

  2. How timely! I have a vintage pattern that uses this technique and I was confused by it. I think with your handy diagrams and the pattern instructions I may be able to figure it out now.

    • It is almost undoubtedly the same. I’ve put in a few neckbands like this on vintage patterns, they all go together the same way. (though it’s not explained the same way at all…)

  3. I’ve never down a lapped seam before, but I love how it looks! And the gallery over at sewingcake looks really helpful. Thanks for all your efforts to help us be successful in sewing! :)

  4. ooohhh yippeee! I won! Thanks so much! I use lapped seams all the time as they are used quite frequently in my 1940 McCall patterns!

  5. I used a lapped seam when making a vest from a pashmina. An idea from a threads magazine. I also recently re-fashioned a menswear shirt to fit me, just to see if it could be done. There were lapped seams on the shoulders of the original and even though I took out the original seam out I re-sewed it with a lapped seam. There will be pictures of it on my blog when I get my head around wordpress!

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s