I know that for a lot of people sewing a V neckband into a t-shirt is a bit of a terrifying concept – but honestly, it’s not as hard as you think. Nobody is going to die, we can do this :)
As per usual I think the trick to sewing a perfect V neckline in stretch fabric is preparation and taking your time. For our Rowan lookbook samples, we used self-fabric for the neckband, and in this tutorial, I’m using a contrast fabric to make it easier to see what’s going on. You can also use ribbing for your neckband to add a bit of a sporty look!
Ok ready to get sewing?
Fold the V neckband  in half with right sides facing each other. Using a straight stitch, sew ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge along the inverted V. My favourite trick at this stage is to place some tissue paper behind the fabric as you sew. It helps when working with narrow seam allowances and slippery fabrics by giving the feed dogs something stable to grip to. Check out this post for more on sewing with tissue paper.
Clip into the corner of the V, being careful not the cut through the stitches. Press the seam open.
Fold the V neckband in half widthways with wrong sides facing each other. Ensure that the V neck seam is lined up on both sides and that the raw edges of the neckband are lined up all the way around.
Once again using a straight stitch, sew a line of basting stitching ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge around the V to hold the band seam in place.
Place the tee/bodysuit with right side facing outwards. Starting roughly 2” (5cm) from the centre of the V neckline, use a straight stitch and sew ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge pivoting at the V and sewing up the other side for roughly 2” (5cm). Did you notice i used tissue paper again? I love that stuff! Place a bit of tissue paper behind your v neck point, pin in place, and sew your basting stitches right through it. It will make your life SO much easier I promise.
Clip into the corner of the V being careful not to cut through the stitches.
This picture is really just here so I can show you how it is going to fit together.
Place the V neckband on the neckline with right sides together.
Spread the neckline open at the clipped opening so that it lines up with the neckband. Ensure that the raw edges of the neckline line up with the raw edges of the band, and the basting stitches are aligned. Pin in place.
I find that it is easiest to do this with the body on top of the band so that you can see if everything is lined up correctly. I have photographed it the other way above, as you wouldn’t have been able to see the band underneath the body.
I always like to sew with the body on top and the neckband underneath, as I find it easier to see if everything is lining up as it should.
Using a straight stitch sew the band to the body ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge for 2” (5cm) on either side of the V neck only.
Pin the rest of the neckband to the tee/bodysuit. The notches on the v neckband will line up with the shoulder seams. The centre back of the v neckband should line up with the centre back neckline. Pin in place then sew ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch or overlocker/serger, to attach the v neckband to the neckline. Ensure that the raw edges line up, and stretch the neckband as you sew so that all three layers of fabric are lined up.
Press the seams toward the body away from the neckband.
Optional: Topstitch next to the neckline seam using a zig-zag stitch or twin needle (on the tee, not the band), in order to hold the seam flat along the length of the neckline band piece.
// LOOKING FOR MORE ROWAN POSTS? //
- Inspiration and ideas for sewing your Rowan
- Rowan Pattern tester Roundup
- Rowan Curve Pattern Tester Roundup
- Rowan Curve Maker Roundup
- How to stabilise fabric with tissue paper
- How to lengthen or shorten the pattern
- How to sew a V neck on knit fabric (this post!)
- How to insert a neck back with a regular sewing machine
- How to sew a snap crotch bodysuit
- Pattern Hack: How to Add Ruffle Shoulders
- Pattern Hack: Rowan maxi dress variation
- Pattern Hack: Scoop neckline variation
- Pattern Hack: Bodycon Dress
- Pattern Hack: 3 Ways to Sew Ringer Tee
- Pattern Hack: Tiered Gathered Dress
We’d love to see what you’re creating from the Rowan bodysuit and tee pattern or the Rowan Curve bodysuit and tee pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNRowan and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!
Don’t have the pattern yet?!