Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday musings… about T-shirt neckbands

The task at hand: folding laundry for 2 adults and 2 boys. Man do these kids make a lot of laundry! Anyway, not quite a daunting load, but enough to make me *prepare* for it:

neckband design on T-shirts

  1. laptop on coffee table (had to shove kid’s books/toys to one side), queued up to watch lesson 1 of The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje on Craftsy (did anyone else get that fantastic sale of just $14.99 last week? Wow!!)
  2. cup of tea and an apple cinnamon muffin (made from the Amish friendship batter that I DO keep in the freezer despite the very STERN warnings to the contrary)
  3. both kids in the basement on the Wii; it’s *better* than the TV, but they still managed to interrupt me and make me go down to “sort something out”
  4. so then, cordless phone with *intercom* feature to allow communication with children who should know when to leave their mother in piece so she can watch her damn VIDEO! (it’s the 4th day of this looooong weekend, and it’s cold and wet outside…uuuhhhh!!)

Oh yes, and the laundry, which luckily I’d sort of folded and sorted when taking down from the clothesline outside. God I love the smell of stuff when it’s been outside on the line.

So anyway, as I was folding the T-shirts, I noticed some variations with the way the back neckline was finished. From the sample in my basket there were roughly 3-4 different ways.

1.   Unfinished, you can see the cover-stitching on top of the 4-thread serged seam. It’s quick, you could do it with a twin needle or cover-stitch, but it does look a bit messy.

neckband design on T-shirts

2.   Band covering the neckband seam, just on the back between the shoulder seams. It’s long enough to hide the seam when the T-shirt is folded flat or hung up, much neater. The ‘grain’ of the band fabric is oriented with maximum stretch widthways, along it’s length.

a)  The first T-shirt is easy enough, the band is sewn on at the same time as the neckband, then folded down to cover the seam and topstitched along the lower edge. It has simple squared ends.

neckband design on T-shirtsneckband design on T-shirts

neckband design on T-shirts

b)  The second T-shirt is a bit different, and seems more complicated. I can see topstitching on the top edge on the inside, but not outside on the back. Curious, I’ll have to do some testing! But I like how the ends are folded back on an angle and tucked underneath the seam, it looks very neat (bottom right pic).

neckband design on T-shirtsneckband design on T-shirts

neckband design on T-shirtsneckband design on T-shirts

This shirt also uses clear elastic in the shoulder seams, something that I’ve tried to do, but is a real kafuffle and I never did it again. It needs practice to keep the elastic from stretching while sewing. Now I just use a strip of self-fabric selvage or lengthwise strip.

3.   Band covering the neckband seam, AND the shoulder seams. This method does double duty, by reinforcing the shoulder seams at the same time. The band is simply topstitched on the top and bottom edges, from one armhole to the other before the sleeves are attached. And by using a contrasting thread it becomes a design detail.

neckband design on T-shirtsneckband design on T-shirts

And for something different, this T-shirt has the band on the bias. Why? It’s a jersey, seems a bit unnecessary.

neckband design on T-shirts

So, that’s my Monday musings. What do you do to make those boring chores move along faster?!


  1. Such an awesome sale over at Craftsy! I, too, bought The Couture Dress class. At that price, how could I not?

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