As promised, here is a quickie tutorial for adding a band to the neckline of a surplice top as I did on my Cosmopolitan Dress. I love this type of finish because it is so easy and neat.
STEP 1: Once you determine the finished width of your band you will need to cut down the front neckline. My band is 1″ wide so I altered the neckline as follows:
- 1/4″ seam allowance already on my pattern
- 1″ finished band width
+ 1/4″ seam for attaching band to neckline
- 1″ total removed from neckline
STEP 2: Measure the length of the neckline *on the seamline*. Yes, the photo shows me measuring at the cut edge – I was trying to pose with the left hand while the right was operating the camera! The length of the actual band will depend on a) the stretchiness of your fabric and b) your bust size. I initially cut my band 2″ shorter than the neckline but that turned out to be too long so I cut another inch off.
STEP 3: Draft band pattern: cut pattern twice the finished width (two x 1″=2″) plus *two* seam allowances ( two x 1/4″=1/2″) by the length determined in STEP 2. The bands should be cut with the greatest amount of stretch along the long edges.
Sewing is easy: fold the band wrong sides together, lengthwise. Stretch to fit neckline, serge. If you are unsure about the length of your band you should check the fit by basting it in first. I’ve done this so much that I can judge it by feel alone. If you are worried about everything being perfect even you can quarter-mark the neckline and the band. I don’t feel it’s really necessary to do that because the distance is short. Once you’ve done your permanent stitching press the seam allowances towards the garment.
I elected not to run the band around the back neckline because a) it’s easier and b) I have long hair and no one will ever see it anyway.
I serged elastic into the back neckline. To finish everything neatly sew your shoulder seams (which I cut down to 1/4″) making sure the back neckline goes 1/4″ past the finished band. Turn the back neckline snugly over the band and serge. If you are having trouble visualizing this and own Jalie 2449 it is the same finishing method. Hopefully the photos are pretty clear.