For this knit top ribbon neckline sewing tutorial you’ll need:
- A narrow decorative ribbon. It should be slightly wider then the seam allowance (I recommend a 1 cm width (3/8 inches). Twill tape, grosgrain ribbon or any type of stable woven decorative ribbon will work fine. I used a woven rustic ribbon with a pretty yarn embroidery.
- Needle and thread for basting
- Your regular sewing machine and presser foot
1. Determine the length of the band
To make the sewing as easy as possible I recommend that the band runs from the edges of the shoulder seam allowance, i.e don’t sew over the seam allowance as this is a bulky situation that might not yield the prettiest results. The tape should be the length of the back neckline seam allowance plus 1 cm width (3/8 inches) extra to fold in on each side. You don’t need to baste like I did to measure.
2. Fold and press in the edges of the ribbon
I pressed the edges with an iron to make sure the edges would lie flat
3. Baste the ribbon to the seam allowance
This is my special little trick to ensure a nice seam finishing. With this method you will only have one visible seam on the outside of the garment, hence minimizing the risk for uneven or even ugly stitching.
4. Stitch the ribbon to the seam allowance
I used white thread here to match the white stitching on the ribbon and blue thread in the bobbin for no other reason than laziness. The bobbin colour won’t matter here as it will be hidden.
5. Attach the ribbon to the neckline by sewing along the lower edge of the ribbon
Here you’ll need to have a thread in the bobbin that matches the colour of the garment. I also used the same colour thread in the needle, since I wanted to make sure it looked nice on the outside too (sometimes the needle thread can show through a tiny bit if the settings are a bit off). Use a straight stitch and sew carefully with the edges of the band as your guide. If you did a good job with step 4, getting an even seam here will be a breeze!
6. In the corners, turn and sew over the edges of the band
7. The finished covered neckline on the inside
This being my first time using this particular method, I’m more than happy with the result. And if I’d do it again, I’m sure I could make the edges look even better.
On the outside. As you can see with this method you’ll get a neat result without much prior practise which is a very gratifying experience!
So this was my tutorial on how to add a decorative tape or ribbon to a neckline on a cardigan, t-shirt or any type of knit top that isn’t super duper stretchy.
If you want to see an alternative way to attach twill tape to a t-shirt neckline using two rows of top stitching instead, check out the Baste and Gathers tutorial.