How To Sew a Classic T-Shirt Neckbandcomments (27) September 3rd, 2008
If you've ever made a T-shirt, you may have been stumped when the time came to finish the neck. A regular double-turned hem, like we do on most edges, just doesn't work on a curved knit neckline. Here's how to make a classic T-shirt neckband using your trusty home sewing machine.
Factory-made tees have neckbands (or sometimes bindings) made from dyed-to-match fine rib. Since it is near impossible to find matching rib in the retail fabric market, we are going to use the same jersey the shirt is made from. This technique works best if the jersey has some spandex in it, but it will work on all-cotton as well. Let's get started!
Step 1: Here we have the unfinished neckline of a knit top.
Take your tape measure and determine the circumference of the neckline. Mine is 17 inches around.
Now, we need to make the neckband a little shorter than the full neckline, so that it will lie flat, so we're going to reduce the measurement by 15%. Multiply the circumference by .15, (for me that came to about 2.5 inches) and subtract this number from the original neckline. That gave me 14.5 inches, and I'm going to add another .5 inch for seam allowance (that's .25 inch on each end). So 15 inches is the length I'm cutting for my neckband piece. To determine the width, I need 2x[desired neckband width]+.5 inch for seam allowance. I want a .75-inch band, so that comes to 2 inches. Now that you've figured out the length and the width, you can cut out your neckband piece.
Step 2: Take your neckband and, with right sides together, seam the two short ends together. You can use a plain old straight stitch for this.