One of the things that I found myself struggling with when I started sewing with knits was getting a neckband just right. There are so many variables to consider. So today, I’m going to show you the best way to perfectly attach a neckband (in my opinion). Hopefully having pictures with all of the steps will help you get it right every time too!
How to Sew a Perfect Neckband
Step 1: Gather your supplies
You’re going to need your fabric pieces, straight pins, scissors, a sewing machine and a seam ripper (just in case). Once you have everything together, you’re ready to get into it! (For reference, I am demonstrating using our FREE Reagan Raglan kids pattern.)
Step 2: Stitch your shoulder seams
In order to have the foundation for your neckline, you need to have a hole to attach the neckband to, right? So first you need to carefully sew your shoulder seams, finish the edges and press the seam to the back of the garment. In the case of the Reagan, I have stitched the sleeves to the body pieces and pressed the seams toward the body of the shirt in order to have a complete neckline.
Step 3: Prepare to pin neckband
Preparation really is key, but it is also relatively simple. We’re going to separate the neck opening and the band into quarters. We’ll start with the band piece. First, sew the neckband piece together by the short ends. Then fold it over wrong sides together to create your band.
Stick a pin in the seam.
Then fold at the seam to find the exact opposite of the band and stick a pin there.
From here, open the band back out and place the 2 pins together to find the quarters and pin pins there as well. Now you have a quartered neckband!
Now for the neck hole. First, find the very center front and back of your bodices and stick pins in the centers. Note: In the picture above, pins are in the center front and center back of the body. Sleeves are to the center.
Then, fold the garment with the center pins together to find the quarters, like you did with the band. Note: In above picture, body is back to center and pins are centered to the sides. Important to note that center sides will NOT be at the shoulder seam (or center sleeve in the case of a raglan) in most cases.
Step 4: Pinning the neckband
Start by matching the pin in the seam of the band to the center back of your garment, right sides together, and place a pin through both to attach them. Then match up the other pins and repeat. Once all 4 quarters are matched up, gently stretch the band between the pins and add more pins. When you’re finished with that, you should have something that looks like this:
Step 5: Stitching the neckband
I always begin stitching right at the seam in the neckband, but you can decide where you’re most comfortable. The trick is to gently stretch ONLY the band as you go and make sure the neckline itself is staying flat. After you’re all the way around, flip it up to make sure you don’t have any bunches or gathers that shouldn’t be there before finishing your edges.
Step 6: Final touches
The first must to finishing off a beautiful neckline is to take an iron to it and give it a good press with the seam going away from the neckline toward the body of the garment. Then you can take it back to a machine to topstitch that seam down before giving it a final press and having that perfect neckband you’ve been dreaming of!
I hope I helped you learn something new today! If you have any other handy hints you’d like us to cover, please let us know in the comments below! And please join us in our Facebook group! We love new faces, new stories, new projects shared! We’d love to have you!