Stitch Upon A Time

  • Pattern Hack: Adding a Neckband

    Pattern: Wylde Dress/Top
    Designer: Stitch Upon A Time
    Fabrics: ‘Summer Fruits’ from Sew Unique Fabrics. Cotton Lycra 220gsm
    Measurements: Bust: 42.5″; Waist: 39.5″; Hips: 47.5″
    Size made: XL
    Adjustments: Changing the bodice from fully lined to a simple neckband
    Pros: LOVE where this hits my waist and flairs out hiding my tummy
    Cons: The fully lined version was cumbersome, hence this tutorial on using a neckband instead!


    The Wrap Up:

    My first SUAT Wylde that had me falling in love

    I first made the Stitch Upon A Time (SUAT) Wylde in the top version a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love. The fitted bodice, low neckline and skirt that flairs out from the bust is the perfect combo for my figure to help me feel more comfortable about my mum tum. I tend to favour a lower neckline in general as it detracts from my tummy and focuses more on my décolletage.

    The only thing I didn’t love about it was that it was fully lined. Luckily, adding a knit neckband was a really easy thing to do and I’m going to show you how to do it as well!

    Adding, or changing a neckband to either a higher or lower one is a pretty simple process, it just involves some maths. Which you can also do on Google if your mathematically challenged like I am haha.

    Obviously for this example I’m using the SUAT Wylde dress/top, but the same principles apply to any knit top really. To start with, you need to cut all your pieces out as indicated in the pattern except for the lining pieces or collar/hood if its something else you are changing. You then need to sew your front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams. (pic. 1)

    Pic. 1 – Front and back pieces sewn together at shoulder seams
    Pic. 2 – Fold the pieces in half to find the centre of both the front and back

    Next you want to fold your bodice piece in half (as shown in pic. 2) to find the centre of both the front and back pieces. It is easier to do this on a flat surface as next we’re going to measure it.

    Once you’ve done that, you need to lay your bodice pieces out in a way that you can measure the neck opening. (pic. 3) In my example, it is roughly 15.5 inches. Remember, this measurement will be HALF of what the full opening actually is as we folded our bodice pieces in half. Again, for my example, if I could lay out my neck opening flat, it would be about 31 inches.

    Pic. 3 – Laying out the neck opening
    Pic. 4 – Measuring the neckband piece

    Now the ‘Rule’ for working out how long to cut your neckband piece is usually around 85%-90% of your neck opening. My neck opening is roughly 31 inches. I went to Google and typed in 85% of 31 inches = 26.35 inches. The good thing about knit garments is that there is a little bit of wiggle room being that its stretchy. I rounded down to 26 inches. THIS IS YOUR NEW NECKBAND size. I then halved it = 13 inches to make it a little easier to cut the piece.

    To cut your new neckband, get your remaining fabric and fold in half (pic. 4). Now, the height of your neckband is a little bit of personal preference. A common adult neckband height is 1/2″ so this can be a good starting point. You just have to remember to double it, as you’ll be folding the neckband in half and also add a little bit for seam allowance. I generally cut my neckband pieces at a height of 1.5″ x whatever length I need.

    The piece I cut for this garment was 26 inches long by 1.5″ high.

    Once you have that worked out you and cut the new piece can go ahead and attach your neckband as you usually would. If you aren’t super confident at how to sew the neckband on, this is a pretty good tutorial on YouTube to watch by Seamwork.

    My biggest tip for a professional neckband is to make sure you quarter both your neckband and garment. It makes it so much easier to attach and a much nicer finish.

    All done!
    Them just sewn feels 😍

    Finish your neckline with either a twin needle or Coverstitch and Tadah! You’ve just converted your fully lined neck opening to a neckband.

    Now, there are some differences between the 2 garments as seen below. The neckband does give the garment a more ‘closed’ opening, but I definitely still like it. To help give it more of the look of the original design I think the next one I make (yep I’ll be making more cause I love it), I will try a neckband at 95% instead of 85%. This will allow the neckline to be more relaxed and settle back into more of the original opening size.

    I hope this helped give you some confidence to giving this a go yourself, its not as scary as it seems, and if you get it wrong, you can rip it off and try and again 🙂

    Tag me in your makes on Insta so I can see your beautiful creations @sewandtellau