How to Measure and Sew a Ribbed Neckband

When Verson Puoti, a Finnish knit fabric store, posted a search for a seamstress on their Instagram feed, I jumped at a chance to try out their fabric. I was thrilled to be chosen! The fabric is fantastic. It's 95% cotton and 5% elastane.  The drape is awesome. I wish I made something for myself. :)

I have decided to use  my Eleena dress pattern to make Ania a comfy back to school dress. I really like how it turned out.

It's twirly and comfy, and so soft. Perfect for an active child. It's also super fast to make!

The print has dots, squiggly lines, circles and all kinds of other shapes. It's whimsical  and kind of fun to look at. I did try to match the print, and I think I did pretty well.  Purchase the fabric here.

The Eleena dress is designed to be sewn in woven fabric, but I was inspired by Sewing Like Mad and went for it. I didn't make any modifications to the pattern, except of course I had to add a neckband to the neckline. I thought I would share how to calculate and sew a neckband and get awesome results every time.

1. Remove seam allowances and measure the neckline as shown. It is very important to remove seam allowances before measuring. If you measure on the outer lines, your neckband will be too small. Note: if you are adapting a pattern designed for woven fabric usually there are seam allowances added in the back for the closure. Make sure to take that into the consideration. If the pattern was designed for the knit fabric and is drafted to be cut on fold in the back there are no seam allowances there. In that case measure starting at the center back. Multiply each measurement by two to get the whole measurement of the front and back. Add the two numbers together and multiply by 0.9. This formula works for most ribbing, but in some cases it's necessary to multiply by .85 or .8, depending how stretchy your rib knit is and if it has good recovery.
For example,  the front measurement is 10cm (4in) and the back measurement is 8cm (3in) 10x2=20cm, 8x2=16cm; 20+16=36 - the measurement around the neckline on the stitch line; 36x0.9=32.4cm (12.8in) Round the number up to 32.5cm (12.8in) which is the length of the neckband. No need to any add seam allowances to it. I usually cut my neckbands 4cm (1.5in) wide. In this case I would cut the neckband 32.5cm long and 4 cm wide.

2.Stitch the short ends of the band with 1cm (3.8in) seam allowances, right sides  together. Fold the band in half on the long side, wrong sided together, and press. Divide the band into quarters, mark the quarters with pins or tailor's chalk.

3. Stitch the shoulder seams on your garment, then divide the neckline into quarters and mark with pins or tailor's chalk. Pin the neckband to the neckline right sides together. Stretch the neckband to match the markings.
4.The following step I often skip and then regret it. :) Baste the neckband to the neckline on the sewing machine, stretching the neckband, but not the neckline as you go. Press the neckband and check the fit. This is where the basting step comes in handy. Basting stitches are the easiest to remove. The neckband should lie flat against the skin. If it's floppy it's too big, if  it pulls the main fabric creating puckers, it's too small. If the fit is great, stitch the neckband using a stretch stitches on the sewing machine, or for best resutls use a serger. Press the seam allowances towards the main fabric. Topstitch at 6mm (1/4in) from the edge, where the neckband at the main fabric meet. Ta-da! A great looking neckband!

Now you can make your own Eleena dress in knit! :) Not sure what she is looking at there, maybe an alien ship landing... lol


  1. Awesome dress, tutorial and photos! Lucky (talented) you for being chosen!

  2. Such a pretty Eleena dress!! And thank you for the tutorial. You know I am too lazy to make these calculations on my own ;-) Love it!

  3. Did you take a pic of an alien ship? hahaha But seriously, the dress looks lovely. I keep on meaning to make it in knit! and in woven again hehe

  4. The fabric looks very nice indeed.
    So does the dress :-)

  5. So clear, i will try it out. The fabric is zo beautifull. I am bewondering of i could vind it in Belgium.


I love to hear from you!