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Tips & Techniques > Attaching a neck band with a double needle

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Posted by: Catbird

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Member since: 9/7/04
Reviews: 20 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 41 people
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Posted on: 10/13/09 2:06 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 20 people   
Web site/URL: photo
This is a technique I find helpful when I'm attaching a neck band in a knit that has to stretch as it goes over your head or wrist. I don't know if this has been published anywhere, but I decided to try it one day and really liked the result.

The typical instruction is to sew the neck band to the garment using a zigzag or even a straight stitch, but both of these will rip in a high neckline, such as this one in my recent review.

I've tried several other solutions, such as attaching the neck band with my machine's stretch stitch or with my serger, but they tend to leave a lot of thread in the seam and are also harder to control. One day it hit me that the double needle that we all use to topstitch our knit garments so that they will still stretch could also be used to attach the neck band.

Just set up your double needle when you're ready to attach the band, position the left needle where you would otherwise have placed your single needle and stitch, stretching your band to fit the neckline as you go. Then fold it over to the inside as you normally would and topstitch again with the double needle on the right side of the neck band to complete your neckline.

I hope the series of photos I've included is helpful.

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Angie Jones said... (1/9/10 6:56 AM) Reply
Love the review and the photos! You're an inspiration!
Kayseri said... (11/21/09 2:50 PM) Reply
What a great method, I'll have to try it.
Catbird said... (10/30/09 9:03 AM) Reply
Thank you for all the kind comments, and I'm glad this has been helpful to people. I sent a message to Alice to try to clear things up, but if anyone else is unsure about the technique, just let me know. (BTW Alice, you're not obtuse! It's just much harder to describe sewing techniques than it is to demonstrate them!)
Alice said... (10/29/09 10:37 PM) Reply
I must be obtuse, I don't get it! I got lost when you turned it to the back and used the dbl. needles there too. What am I missing...and I'm pretty experiened though you won't believe it from this comment. I'll read it a few more times, maybe it will click in. BTW, you sure a pretty lady. Alice
cleverclogs said... (10/29/09 7:13 AM) Reply
Thanks for the detailed photos- they are a great help. I've used a twin needle for finishing neckbands, but never thought of making the seam with it and often have to fiddle around trimming the seam to make it level. The two lines of stitiching should make that much easier!
pottedpancake said... (10/26/09 6:52 AM) Reply
Your sewing is downright inspirational. Your professional finishes and sense of style make me want to sit down to the sewing machine right now (but I have to go to work first). Beautiful. Please keep sharing. Thanks.
KSC said... (10/14/09 11:13 PM) Reply
Very well done! Your pictures and explanations are clear and easy to follow. Thank you.
Kathy in NM said... (10/14/09 9:16 PM) Reply
Very helpful! I don't use my double needle nearly enough.
grey ann said... (10/14/09 7:06 PM) Reply
Thank for the clear explanation and photos! Looks like RTW.
KathyOH said... (10/14/09 10:53 AM) Reply
This sounds very interesting, I am going to try it the next time I make a knit top with this type of neckline.
LynnG said... (10/14/09 9:27 AM) Reply
This is a very helpful tip. I never thought of attaching the neckband in a single layer. I like the idea of minimizing the bulk.
Braemar said... (10/14/09 5:29 AM) Reply
Good Tip! Thanks.
j222b said... (10/13/09 10:51 PM) Reply
Catbird: Thanks for the reply!
room2ndfloor said... (10/13/09 7:13 PM) Reply
Very often, the pattern piece for the neckband is not large enough to stretch comfortably over the head. I addressed making a repair to a sweater neckband in this tips column, on September 4.
Elaine Dougan said... (10/13/09 7:09 PM) Reply
Your photos really made this tip easy to understand. Thank you.
julie w said... (10/13/09 5:46 PM) Reply
What a good tip! Thank you for taking the time to post this together with the photos.
Catbird said... (10/13/09 2:49 PM) Reply
j222b, thank you for reminding me -- I meant to include that! I usually use the Schmetz stretch-twin 2.5/75, but other sizes would work. It all depends on how wide you want your finished band to be. I'm glad the photos were helpful.
j222b said... (10/13/09 2:44 PM) Reply
Good idea. I liked the photos, too. What size double needle (width between the needles) do you usually use for this neckline?
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