I’m back with another lazy tip! This works in two scenarios:
- You did a crappy job on the neckband, and it’s flappy and loose. (If this is often a problem for you, I’d suggest my tutorial on finding the right length of neckband. It works really well for me!)
- The neckband is fine, but the over garment looks frumpy.
In both cases, you can give the garment a more streamlined look by folding your finished neckband to the inside of the fabric, and top-stitching it down. It will no longer visible from the outside, and functions more like a bias binding facing on a woven garment. This hides your imperfect band insertion in the first scenario, and opens up the neckline visually to make it more sassy in the second!
Here’s an example:
On the left, the dress is finished with folded bands at the neck and arms. On the right, the bands have all been folded under and topstitched. I think it looks much more open and flattering! I wrote a whole post about how and why I changed this dress, actually!
I feel like I should write instructions, but it’s simple to the point of absurd:
- Sew on a folded neck or arm band.
- Fold it to the inside, and topstitch in place.
On the left, a regular knit band folded to the inside. On the right, a strip of fabric as a facing, as described below. Please forgive the pre-dawn cellphone pictures!
Or, if you know in advance that you want a clean look with no visible bands, you can skip sewing on the folded band, and use a strip of fabric in the same way you would bias binding.
- Cut a 1″ strip of fabric across the grain of your knit fabric. Sew it around the neck/arm opening, right sides together.
- Next, fold it to the inside, topstitch in place, and trim off any extra fabric.
Here are a few more garments where I’ve finished the whole thing, tried it on, then headed back to the machine to fold in the bands:
Now, there are two circumstances where this won’t work. If the neckband is too tight, turning it in will make things worse. Best to give it a good press to see if you can wrangle it into submission, or cut it off and have another go. Likewise, if the neckline is already too low/wide, you won’t want to do this!
How do you fix neckbands when they go wrong? I know it is a really common problem, so it’s wise to have a few solutions up our sleeves!