Monday, November 21, 2011


I   have had  a few requests for t shirt neckband tutorials, so here is the first!

A very easy neckband application to an Ottobre Design pattern, issue is 2/2002, pattern #30.

This groovy fabric is one of our ZNOK knits, from Sweden. It is a cotton/lycra blend.  For the neckband I am using a strip of GITTE Cotton/elastine in Kiwi.

Here are my FRONT and BACK pieces.  When doing this type of neckband I find it easier to attach " in the flat"  instead of  "in the round" .Why? It is just a bit quicker than wresting with small necklines and my coverstitch machine prefers to work on flatter surfaces- so the less shoulder seams the better!

 So, I will sew up only one shoulder seam.

 One shoulder seam sewn! Go give it a press now.
 Here is my trusty pre-cut neckband strip. This the 4cm as specified by my pattern, but quite long. I have folded the strip in half lengthways and pressed. (it is popping open though!).

So the object of our mission here, is to get this strip of neckband attached to the neckline!

But how long do we need our neckband strip to be? Let's grab our trusty tape measure and measure our neckline opening....this one is 58cm. We'll call this Xcm. Otto suggest the following formula for calculating neckband/binding from knits:

From binding/neckband cut from the same knit you have made your top from(with a stretch/recovery of 20-30%):
cut your strip .85 x length of the edge to be finished Xcm. 

From ribbing ( with a stretch/recovery of 40-50%):
cut your strip .70 x the length of the edge to be finished Xcm. 

This formula is pretty good, but do take into consideration that knitsvary a lot, so you may need to experiment a bit first.In ye olden times, we used to just say cut the ribbing 2/3s the length of Xcm.

I am using GITTE which is a cotton/elastine knit, and it has a decent amount of recovery but not as much as the old style ribbing. I am going to go with the .85 calculation.

 Xcm (58cm) x .85= 49.3cm 

So my strip of neckband needs to be about 49.3cm long, plus 1cm seam allowance as we still need to sew up the other shoulder.

Now divide both your neckline it half and your neckband. With your neckline, actually pick your garment up and fold the neckline in half, don't assume halfway will be at the shoulder seam- it's not.Some also continue on and divide into 1/4s as well. I am naughty, I don't. I throw caution to the wind and just throw in a few more random pins.

Now begin to pin your neckband in place. Start by matching the middle pins on your neckband and neckline, and then match up your 1/4 marl pins ( because you will be very good, and have done that!).

And so now... we sew!
 Starting from one end, begin sewing...stretching the neckband  slightly as you go but NOT the neckline of the tee, to meet up with your next pin. ( be sure and remove pins before sewing!). You will eventually come to your 1/2 way mark, and now continue on sewing, slightly stretching the neckband as you go to enable it to fit the neckline area.

Here's what is should look like when your neckband it attached! 

Flip your neckband up and run off and give it a press, all the way around to make it sit nicely.
At this point, you may want to topstitch along the neckline with a slightly longer than normal straight stitch (2.7) or with a serpentine stitch or with a double needle or your coverstitch. Up to you. Just be sure and press before hand, so the seam is sitting nice and flat before you sew.Some do a double row of stitching with one row falling on the neckline and the other on the neckband. Have a look as some ready made tees to get some ideas.

Now sew up your remaining shoulder seam...

Trim back the thread on this final shoulder seam to a couple of cm's, then fold back on the actual seam..

...and sew a few stitches to secure it . This tucks it in nicely and stops those straggly threads hanging out the ens of sleeves and neckbands.

Easy Peasy. 
There will be a couple of other neckband tutes this week too!



Bec Clarke said...

That is great. I will have to get some of your neckband stuff.

Olga said...

I just find your blog and I just follow it!!! It is so cute!!!
AH! I am a stephen King's fan too :)

sdare29 said...

Oh i like the idea of the 'flat' sew to the neckband! i just did my first lot of MIP basic tees, and now i am addicted to knits! Can't wait to see more!!

Sair said...

Oh, i know what you mean, i normally have a piece about 3cm wide and do a single fold and overlock it on, cause i prefer to only to it once,mmm, i might see what ye olde you tube has to say too. thanks for the post Lisa.

About Me

Crafty Mamas SHOP blog. Aussie agent for Farbenmix, Studio Tantrum, Stenzo fabric, Ottobre design. Stocking Hilco fabric, Mamu design and other cool stuff!