How to Sew a Knit Neckband
One of those sewing skills that makes you feel like a boss is knowing how to sew a knit neckband. This tutorial will show you how to sew any crewneck, scoopneck, or round (but not V-neck) neckline finished with a fabric or ribbing band.
Step 0: Make Practice Neck Opening
You’ll also need fabric for the neckband, which is part of the T-shirt’s design. Cut a 15-by-15-inch square of knit fabric and a circular hole in the middle of the fabric square that’s about 7 inches in diameter.
A. How to Calculate Neckband Width
Most crew or scoopneck neckbands have a finished, visible part that is 3/8 to 1 inch wide; neckbands wider than 1 inch are likely to gape. (Not saying it can’t happen, but test first!) Here’s how to calculate the width.
B. How to Calculate Neckband Length
Measure the length of the neckline at the seam, not including the seam allowance, and multiply by two. For T-shirt necklines, I recommend ribbing that is 70 to 80 percent of the seam length (vs. 80 to 90 percent for fabric bands).
Step 2: Cut Out Neckband
If you have enough yardage and the desire, you can cut a neckband length 45 degrees (diagonal) from the selvage, which will hug the body better than a neckband cut in the direction of greatest stretch.
Step 3: Sew Short Ends
Sew the short ends of the neckband together with the right sides together, making sure they’re facing the same direction as the other side of the baby’s head.
Step 4: Fold Band in Half
1. Fold the neckband in half lengthwise, wrong sides together (right sides out). 2. Make sure the raw, long edges are even; you may want to gently press the band to help hold the fold.
Step 5: Baste Long Edges
With wrong sides together, baste along the raw (unfolded) edge with a 1.5 mm wide and 4 mm long zig-zag stitch. Basting the neckband edges together will make sewing the band to the neck opening easier because there will only be two layers of fabric to manage instead of three.
Step 6: Quarter Neckband
Match neckband quarters to neck opening quarters. Pin right sides together. Remember: The shoulder seams are probably NOT quarter markers of the neck opening. This is a hot, extra-credit tip for the paranoid perfectionist.
Step 10: Ready, Set…
I recommend using a zig-zag or “lightning” stitch, and I use all-purpose polyester thread and Wooly Wooly Nylon thread for the average T-shirt neckband. As always, TEST stitch-thread-needle-tension-foot combinations before sewing your fabric.
Step 11: Sew!
Sew the neckband to the neck opening, stretching the BAND (not the neck opening) between each pin. Don’t overstretch; that’s how you make waves! This GIF has been sped up four or five times, indicating that I sewed the neck band here. S-L-O-W-C-H-Y.
Step 12: Press Seam Allowance
After sewing your shirt, press the seam allowance toward the body of the shirt, using a tailor’s ham to keep the neck opening nicely curved. If you’re not careful with heat, steam, and pressure, it’s easy to stretch a curved opening out of shape.
Step 13: Finish Seam Allowance
Cass, Sie Macht’s free T-shirt pattern is yours to take! P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
What is ribbing material?
Ribbing fabric is a tubular knit with small ribs that create a structured and stretchy elastic texture, perfect for cuffs, collars, and waistbands on your knit or woven fashion sewing projects.
What is ribbed collar?
Ribbed refers to the type of knit used in the fabric of the t-shirt; in some cases, the entire shirt is ribbed, while in others, only the collar and cuffs are. Ribbed t-shirts are more fitted than other knits, but they are also stretchier.
Can you cut ribbed material?
We usually bring the selvedges u2013 or woven edges u2013 together when folding woven fabrics in half to cut them, but if your fabric has clearly visible ribbing lines or an obvious print on it, these may help you position the fold along the straight grain.
What is ribbed hem?
Ribbing is a pattern in knitting in which vertical stripes of stockinette stitch alternate with vertical stripes of reverse stockinette stitch; it’s commonly used for cuffs, sweater hems, and, more broadly, any edge that needs to be form-fitting.
How do you measure a knitted neckband?
By folding your garment along the center front and center back, aligning side seams, and measuring with a flexible tape measure, you can determine the total length of your neckline where you will be inserting your neckband.