This is the fabric that I made all previous shirts for:
Katzentritt by Susanne Bochem/ SUSAlabim for the European brand Lillestoff
Both drafting a pattern and learning to sew with jersey were done just so I could cut into this expensive and quality fabric and make myself something.
Last week, at sewing lessons, my teacher commented that I tend to stretch my jersey bands too much, they should be put in a tad looser. You put together the fabrics, at about 4 fingers width, and then the garment fabric should be loose enough for one finger to poke through.
After preparing the neckband I noticed I once again had made quite a tight band. One could easily put two fingers between the garment fabric and the band. So I opened up the neck band again and put in an extra strip, carefully matching the pattern.
I put it in the neckline, using a stretchy stitch (which sews triple, stitch G on my Janome 425S) and, knowing it would be looser, topstitched immediately. With another stretchy stitch that sews triple, the “straight” stitch A on my machine.
Turns out it was too loose. The band does not lie flat against my skin.
After consulting with textile friends there are at least 3 solutions for a neckband that doesn’t lie flat, apart from ripping it out and cutting a new, longer band:
- cut away the band and make the neck opening a little wider. Use same band.
- open up the band a bit and put in a bit of elastic which will sit the top.
- take the band at the shoulder seams and fold the tops into itself a bit. Making the edge circumference smaller. Secure with thread (or topstitch).
Because I had done a nice bit of pattern matching at the front I opted for the elastic:
Nice! Little ripples are visible but that’s beginner sewing for you: small steps, small mistakes but already nice things are happening and the garment is very wearable.
Trying out how tight the elastic should be:
When I was content I sewed the elastic flat onto itself, making sure it wasn’t twisted anywhere. I put it back in the band and closed the little hole I’d cut into the band with neat little stitches.
Now all that remains is topstitching the sleeve cuffs and grade the seam allowance there. I’m confident to sew tricots now.