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.
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