Welcome to BSD Maggie Sew-A-Long Post #4 – Side Seams and Neckband
We’ve gotten a little sidelined here in Oregon due to weather and sickness, so our sew-a-long is way behind schedule. I am going to wrap up the instruction posts this week and I will post the link up at the end of the week. Following the link up, I will also publish the posts talking about the wonderful fabric companies I was able to work with for this sew-a-long.
Today we are going to talk about the side seams and neckband.
The Maggie Top, Tunic, and Dress is one of the quickest patterns I’ve sewn, and I love every single version I’ve made, including the ones for other people. The neckband is the toughest step, and even that can be mastered with a few tips. The side seams are straight forward and easy to sew, even when matching plaids or stripes. We’ll start today with the neckband.
Mastering the knit neckband
Neckbands can be a bit tricky and until recently, they were my nemesis! I always ended up tearing out at least part of them and re-sewing. I have finally gotten the hang of adding neckbands, and while I still have the occasional flub, most of them turn out great. For the Maggie, Melissa’s instructions are clear, concise, and easy to follow.
First, fold your band in half, sew the short ends together, and press the seam flat.
Next, fold your band together lengthwise and press it along the length. This is where I use my trick – I use Dritz Washable 1/4″ Wonder Tape to hold the two halves together when I press. That way, once I am sewing, I only have to worry about two pieces of fabric instead of three. After the neckband is pressed, pin it in quarters. I start by folding on the seam line, pinning across from it (center front neck), and then matching those two points to find the two side quarter points.
You will also find each quarter point on the main piece. I use the shoulder seams held together to find the front and back centers, and then hold the front and back centers together to find the side quarters.
Now, attach the neckband to the neck of the top by matching up pin points. Make sure the raw edges of the neckband are lined up with the edge of the neck hole, and the neckband is pinned to the RIGHT SIDE (outside) of the top. I always put the seam of the neckband on the center back point of the shirt.
Now sew the neckband to the neck hole. Remember that you’ll be sewing through THREE layers, the two neckband layers + the tee, so keep all edges even as you go. The neckband is smaller than the neck hole, so be sure to stretch the neckband between pin points to prevent puckering. Make sure you don’t stretch the main top fabric at all. The easiest way to be successful with the sewing part, whether using a serger or sewing machine, is to go slowly and carefully until you have the hang of what you’re doing.
The last step is always to press it. It will always look better once its pressed! The version in the picture below was made from a double-sided, reversible knit, so the neckband was much thicker and not quite as flat looking. After pressing, I top stitched around the entire neckline seam to add a finishing touch, but also has the advantage of securing the seam.
Side Seams, Schmide Seams
The side seams on the Maggie Top, Tunic, and Dress are super duper easy.
Basically, you sew from wrist (or end of the sleeve) to the bottom of the hem in one long, straight line. The one recommendation I have is to start pinning by matching up the sleeve seams at the armpit and pinning there so the seam lines up. After matching the armpit seam, I pin out either direction until I get to the ends, and then I stitched the seam together.
Starting in the center also made it easier to match stripes all the way down the seam, as well.
Next up, the finishing touch – hemming the bottom and sleeves and the sharing linky party!
Comment below if you have any questions, and I will see you soon for the next installment of our Sew-A-Long.