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How to sew a knit neckline binding

How to sew a knit neckline binding // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Today we’ll be covering how to add a neckline binding – unlike a neckline band, fabric is used to bind and enclose the raw edges of the neckline, rather than being attached to the neckline edges.

This neckline works really nicely on the Briar sweater and tee,  Mini Briar sweater and tee and Cara maternity tee sewing patterns.

Just to make things easy we’re going to use the binding pattern piece from the Briar pattern – but if you did this on another pattern, you’d just want to cut a binding strip that was either the same length as the circumference of your neckline (along the stitch line, not raw edge), or an inch or so shorter. I prefer to make it a bit shorter, i find it conforms to the curve better, but most texts/instructions will tell you to cut the exact same length for a binding.

Okie dokie lets get going!

Fold your binding strip in half length ways, and sew 5/8″ from the edge on the raw edge. You may use a serger/overlocker or a zig zag stitch on a regular machine. Press seam flat.

Make sure to mark your notches and centre front and back on the binding piece and the tshirt neckline.

Match up the notches and pin the binding to the neckline with right sides facing each other. Ease the binding in to the curve as you go.

Sew 1/2″ from the neckline edge all the way round. (you may obviously choose to do a different width binding if you like, but i like chunker things)

Turn your top inside out. (ps. don’t forget to use a stretch or ballpoint needle! i totally forgot to change my needle, and left my denim needle in. big mistake – check out those crazy skipped stitches!)

Now fold the binding strip over the neckline edge to encase it.

Then topstich on the binding close to the seamline.

Trim away the excess fabric as close to the stitching as you care

Don’t forget to to press your binding! This will help to set the curve and get any crazy puckers out.

You can use this same technique on the the armsyces of a sleeveless tee!

[ PATTERNS THAT USE THIS TUTORIAL ]

SHOP: BRIAR // CARA // MINI BRIAR

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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PsychicKathleen
PsychicKathleen
5 years ago

I was just working on a neckline this morning and made a big mistake. I had tried to do the neckline with a knit bias instead of a facing as you’ve done here and it ended up being just too bulky (I made it myself) and I should have simply followed the directions (it was the Marianne by Christine Haynes). Luckily it was my “practice” run so it didn’t matter – but looking at how you’ve worked a facing here makes it look SO much easier. THank you for this post!

Kelley
Kelley
5 years ago

My problem is that my sewing machine is forever stretching everything out (I can’t change my pressure foot tension). Any tips?

Rosey
Rosey
5 years ago

Your photos displaying ‘top stitch’ look like they are on the inside of the garment, but they also look like you used a twin needle effect (but on the wrong side??)
Could you please tell me how you added top stitch whilst keeping the stretch?

Jacky F
Jacky F
4 years ago

I really like using bands for neck bindings but, as I’m sewing close-fitting lycra leotards and dancewea, I always need to reduce the band length to 70-85% of the neckline length (depending on the fabric stretch) or the band will not sit flat to the body.
I also use a straight stitch rather than serging when sewing the strip into a loop as it doesn’t need to stretch and it allows the seam to be opened reducing the pesky lump you tend to when it’s sew on.