MN4303 Mini Briar / Sewalongs / Sewing Techniques / Tips & Tutorials

How to sew a knit neckline band

How to sew a knit neckline band // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Today we’ll be covering how to add a neckline band – the most common neckline finish you’ll see on tshirts. You can attach a neckline band to any tee using either ribbing, self fabric or contrast fabric. You’ll just need to make sure that your fabric has the appropriate amount of stretch. If you need help calculating stretch percentage don’t forget to check out this post all about stretch percentage, and download my free guide.

How to sew a knit neckline band // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

This neckline works beautifully on the Briar sweater and tee,  Mini Briar sweater and tee and Cara maternity tee sewing patterns. In the Briar and Cara i provide a pattern piece for a neck band made from self fabric. If you choose to use ribbing with the Briar or Cara you’ll need to remove about an inch (possibly more) from the neckline band pattern piece to compensate for how stretchy ribbing is. In the Mini Briar pattern i provide pattern pieces for creating a band from ribbing and self fabric.

I think you’ll find it’s surprisingly easy to attach your own neckline band. Here’s how:

Fold your band in half length ways, and sew 5/8″ from the edge. press the seam flat

Now fold the band in half width ways, so that you encase the seam, and press

Sew your shoulder seams and press flat. Make sure you mark the neckline notches.

Make sure you mark the notches on the band with pins or chalk etc. Don’t worry if you forgot to mark before sewing – the notches are halfway between the centre front and the centre back (the seam you sewed). Easy peasy!

Pin the band to the neckline with raw edges lined up, and make sure that the notches on the band line up with the notch markings on the neckline. You will be pinning the band to the right side of the top (ie the outside)

You will note that the band is smaller than the neckline – as it should be!

You will now need to stretch the band and conform it to the curve of the neckline.

Now sew 1/4″ from the raw edge all the way around the neckline.

Press the band to set the shape and make sure it conforms to the curve correctly.

As a last step you can topstitch around the neckline to keep the seam flat. You can either sew on the top side, the band side or straddle the seam – i’ve seen it done all ways :)

Remember: you don’t need an overlocker or serger to sew with jersey. You can use the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine, or a twin needle! For a refresher on sewing with stretch visit my quick guide

How to sew a knit neckline band // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary



Briar sweater and tee sewing pattern
Cara maternity tee sewing pattern
Mini Briar sweater and tee sewing pattern

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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8 years ago

Sounds so simple.

Akram Taghavi-Burris
8 years ago

Wow, I can’t believe that I’ve been so scared of knits, because of the finishing. You make it sound pretty simple. Thanks for the tip.

8 years ago

My issue is always that the same length neckband doesn’t work for different knits. If the knit is more stable it won’t stretch enough and will start puckering the body of the shirt, or if it’s too stretchy the band will look wavy and stick out away from the body.

PLEASE, is there some math that can be used based on the stretch percentage to determine how long the neckband should be?

8 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Thanks so much! I think I just need to stock up on ribbing. :)

8 years ago

This is such a great DIY! x


8 years ago

I use this finish all the time even for wovens it’s effective. Your blog was excellent – so clear! I’ve discovered that lingerie lacy elastic for a certain look also works great!