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How to Sew a Neckband

Learn how to sew a neckband on a t-shirt or a knit dress. There are two methods and both work well for a sewing machine or a serger.

My favorite thing to wear in the summer is a lightweight t-shirt. I’ve learned to love to sew knit fabric after lots of trial and error.

There are two ways to sew a neckband, and they can both be done with a sewing machine or a serger. One is easier with a sewing machine and one is easier with a serger. This tutorial is for attaching knit fabric to a stretchy knit item like a t-shirt or dress.

How to Sew a Neckband

I used the union st tee sewing pattern* to make both of these t-shirts. I love the simple look and slightly loose shape below the waist.

If you also love sewing a t-shirt here are some tutorials to help you when sewing a neckband on a t-shirt:

How to Sew a Neckband

How to Sew a Neckband: Flat Method

The flat method for sewing a neckband is easier to do with a sewing machine since you can hold the fabric closer to the sewing machine needle.

The first thing you need to do is sew one shoulder seam and leave the other shoulder seam open. Don’t sew the neckband into a tube yet.

sew neckband flat method

Fold the neckband in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.

press neckband in half

Pin one side of the neckband to one side of the neckline at the open shoulder. Pin the other side of the neckband to the other side of the neckline at the other open shoulder. Make sure the neckband isn’t twisted.

Pin the center of the neckband to the center of the neckline. Pin a couple of times throughout the middle to distribute the neckline evenly with the neckband.

pin neckband to neckline

Sew the neckband to the neckline with a zigzag stitch or a serger. Stretch the neckband to fit as you sew, but let the sewing machine feed the fabric through at it’s own pace.

I hold the front fabric with my right hand and the back fabric with my left hand to stretch the neckband as I sew.

press seam allowance towards body

Press the seam allowance of the neckband down towards the body of the t-shirt.

Topstitch the seam allowance of the neckband down towards the body of the t-shirt.

topstitch seam allowance towards body

With right sides together pin the open shoulder seam together. Match up the edge of the neckband carefully.

pin and sew shoulder seam

Sew the shoulder seam with a zigzag or a serger.

tack seam towards back

Tack the seam allowance of the neckband towards the back of the t-shirt with a couple of stitches.

tack seam towards back

You finished!

How to Sew a Neckband

HOW TO SEW A NECKBAND: In the Round

Sewing a neckband in the round can be done with a serger or sewing machine, but it is easier to do with a serger since you don’t need to control the fabric as much as you sew.

The first thing you need to do is sew both shoulder seams. Then sew the short ends of the neckband together.

sew neckband in the round

Fold the neckband in half with wrong sides together and press.

press neckband in half

Divide the neckband into four equal sections and pin each section. Divide the neckline into four equal sections and pin each section.

divide neckband neckline into four

Match up the four sections of the neckband with the four sections of the neckline. Pin between each pin distributing the neckline evenly.

match four sections pin neckband to neckline

Sew the neckband to the neckline with a zigzag stitch or a serger. Stretch the neckband to fit as you sew, but let the machine feed the fabric through at it’s own pace.

I hold the front fabric with my right hand and the back fabric with my left hand to stretch the neckband as I sew.

press seam allowance towards body

Press the seam allowance of the neckband down towards the body of the t-shirt.

Topstitch the seam allowance of the neckband down towards the body of the t-shirt.

topstitch seam allowance towards body

You finished!

How to Sew a Neckband

If you sew a neckband using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

How to Sew a Neckband

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Looks neat and professional neck band sewing. But what is the ratio of the neck band to the actual neck measurement of the t-shirt?

Thank you for both methods. I have done in the round but never tried the first method!! Great idea! Very good tutorial too!

When I see a neckband it gaps and falls forward instead of lying flat…I cut the neckband according to the pattern, and stretch it to fit around the neckline, but it still gaps…thank you!

Could you use this with bias tape? I don’t have enough fabric to make my own seam binding and the dress will be made with lightweight tencel denim.