THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 4, 2008

Banded surplice neckline

Filed under: Fit/Pattern Alterations,Gigi,Pattern Drafting,Tutorials — Gigi @ 2:42 pm

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.



  1. […] Behind The Seams Ramblings of a sewing fanatic « HP Cosmopolitan Dress with scarf sleeves Banded Surplice Neckline Tutorial May 4, 2008 The banded surplice neckline tutorial for the HP Cosmopolitan Dress is up at The Sewing Divas! Here’s the LINK. […]

    Pingback by Banded Surplice Neckline Tutorial « Behind The Seams — May 4, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  2. Thank you for the tutorials and the inspiration. I’ve ordered the HP Cosmo Dress pattern. I have a similar fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics – just hadn’t decided what to do with it. As soon as I saw your dress, I knew what it was going to be. Your tutorials seem to be clear. Geez, I hate to wait for a pattern when I’m ready to go, but there’s plenty of sewing to keep me busy!!

    Comment by Rose — May 4, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  3. Thanks for taking time to post this!

    Comment by Linda T — May 4, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

  4. Great finish, clearly explained.

    Comment by Glorious Hats — May 5, 2008 @ 6:32 am

  5. I love that blue fabric.!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Em — May 5, 2008 @ 6:37 am

  6. Fabulous job and excellent tutorial, as always!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — May 5, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  7. Gorgeous pairing of fabrics, Gigi. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial.

    Comment by cindy — May 6, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  8. I weep with envy over your fabric, and hope you get the job.

    Comment by Julie — May 7, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  9. Fabulous job! I’ve just remembered that I have this pattern! Thank you!

    Comment by Tany — May 10, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  10. […] band.  Find out how to alter a basic surplice neckline sewing pattern to add this feature in the Banded Surplice Neckline tutorial offered by The Sewing […]

    Pingback by Add a contrast band to a surplice neck · Sewing @ CraftGossip — January 21, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

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