Oliver + S

trouble with school bus t-shirt neckline

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    poppy_andrew @poppy_andrew

    I’m sewing the school bus t-shirt for my daughter, and it’s coming together nicely except that the neckband seems to be flipping outward, so that the raw edges become visible.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I made a Metro tee for my son last week (the grown up version) and I used this method http://www.pinterest.com/pin/73676143877846927/ which I was very pleased with.

    If the neck is a good roomy fit, you could try topstitching the neck edge to the tee with a twin needle or a long length straight stitch. I find if I stretch it slightly as I sew, it will have more ‘give’. I did that here https://www.flickr.com/photos/motherof5/7499569638/in/set-72157630416408582 and it is still holding well.

    Nicole @motherof5

    *Disclaimer* I am NOT a experienced knit sewer 🙂

    poppy_andrew @poppy_andrew

    Thanks SO much! I’ll try that.

    Nicole @motherof5

    Good luck!

    Don’t forget to pop a photo in the Flickr pool. https://www.flickr.com/groups/oliverands/

    Tamara @justsewit

    Do you have a serger/overlocker at all? I find it ten times easier with one than without. I made the school bus tee for my son in size 12 and did the neckline the lazy way – doubled over and one line of stitching. There are many methods and that is the very quick way but you can have better results with other methods. The way to see which way is the best for you is to experiment and keep a record of what you liked disliked about each. That way you have easy referral for the next time you go to sew a neckline with stretch fabric.

    And now I think I will have to pinterest as that link Nicole added looks interesting!

    EllenMCM @EllenMCM

    I haven’t used that particular pattern, but I have sewed many a t-shirt neckline, and I’m picky about my necklines. This is what I do:

    Step 0: press everything.

    1. Stay stitch your neckline with rows of basting stitches from the center front and center back to each shoulder short of where the shoulder seam will be. This line should be about 1 inch from the edge of the pattern piece.

    2. Sew your shoulder seams.

    3. Check the length of your ribbing. I usually go for about 80% of the length of the neckline, which I eyeball.

    4. Sew the ends of your neckband, and press them flat. Fold the neckband in half lengthwise with the seam allowances on the inside, and press.

    5. Mark the neckband into quarters using pins.

    6. mark the neckline of the shirt into quarters, also using pins.

    7. Line up the pins on the neckband and the neckline, pinning the neckband to the neckline of the shirt, right sides facing. When you are done, There will be four pins in your neckline. Don’t try to get creative with 8 or delude yourself into thinking it would be more thorough to use 12. You want 4 pins, attaching the neckband to the neckline at the quarter marks.

    8. Stretching the neckband slightly to make it fit the neckline (but carefully NOT stretching the neckline of the shirt) sew the neckband on with a straight stitch. Try to make sure you can see all three layers of fabric at the edge of your presser foot while sewing. I like a 3/8″ seam allowance because that is the width of my presser foot. Back stitch when you cross over your first stitches.

    9. If you didn’t remove all the pins while you were sewing, do it now. Fold out the neckband to make sure it’s fully attached with no gaps.

    10. Fold the neckline back down to where it was and press it.

    11. Sew around the seam allowance of the neckline with a zigzag stitch. Use about a 1/4″ seam allowance this time so you don’t cross over your line of straight stitching.

    12. Fold the neckband out to where it belongs, and press the seam allowance towards the shirt.

    13. Topstitch with a line of stretch stitch or a twin needle (test your twin needle on a scrap first to find the length and tension that doesn’t rip out when you stretch it). Go slowly, because if you mess up at this point it will show, and you will be a sad monkey. Look out for the shoulder seams.


    don’t topstitch. Cross your fingers that after all that, the neckband will stay put. Plan an excuse for if this happens (I use “free-spirited bohemian vibe”).

    14. Remove the stay stitching.

    15. Press everything.

    Then sew the rest of your shirt.

    If you want to bind the neckline instead of using ribbing to make a neckband:

    – put in the stay stitching on the pattern pieces.

    – Sew ONE shoulder.

    – Starting at the open shoulder, zigzag the neckband to the right side of the shirt.

    – Fold your binding piece over to the wrong side.

    – zigzag the binding again with the shirt right side up (match thread to neckband).

    – Trim the excess at the open shoulder, and along the back of the shirt. Be very careful not to cut the shirt fabric.

    – Sew up the second shoulder and proceed with shirt construction.

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