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Conversational Threads

Length of self-trim for T-shirt neckline

LaetitiaViljoen | Posted in General Sewing Info on

When working with knit fabrics, e.g. T-shirting with a 25% stretch: I would like to know if there may be some sort of formulae which one could use when finishing round and V-shaped necklines with a self-trim. In the olden days we worked with 3/4 : 1 [e.g. 33.75 cm binding : 40 cm length of neckline seam], but this formulae  does not seem to work any more, neck edge seems puckered. 


  1. Palady | | #1

    Kudos on your knowing a formula.  My efforts in this realm are always trial & error.

    Most certainly there are math aware members who will come to your rescue.   This wil lbe an intersting Thread to follow.


  2. woodruff | | #2

    As it happens, Threads' own Sarah Veblen has a video at the magazine's website showing you how to find exactly how much self-binding you need. It is one of the best little videos I have ever seen, and I refer people to it all the time;https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3839/video-a-neckline-binding-for-knits

    1. starzoe | | #4

      Thanks for that url about the t-shirt neck binding. It's simpler than the method I have been using (from a past issue of Threads, well-thumbed!) I really must take time to watch more of the information on the Threads site.

    2. LaetitiaViljoen | | #5

      Dear Woodruff, I have been trying over and over again, but I keep getting a message 'Cannot display this webpage' , when I click on the link. I am subscribed to Threads. Must I subscribe somewhere else?

      Kind regards 

      Edited 3/14/2009 3:06 am ET by LaetitiaViljoen

      1. KharminJ | | #6

        Greetings, Laetitia! Where are you located? I ask because in the States there are some BBC (British) and CBC (Canadian) videos that we simply cannot access, for whatever reason. I don't know if there are similar restrictions on Threads pages for other countries, but it's a possibility. Do you get *to* the page, but can't play the video, or can't even get to the page?I hope we can figure this out - it's a very worthwhile video...Kharmin

        1. LaetitiaViljoen | | #7

          Dear KharminJ, Thank you so much for your concern. I live in South Africa [in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town - to me a great honour to be able to make contact with Internet friends in America? who share my interest!]. When I get to the title of the video and click with the 'little hand' on it, I get the message: 'Internet explorer cannot display this webpage' and the video will not show. I am 'self taught' computer - not-so-literate, and may be doing something wrong?

          Kind regards

          Edited 3/15/2009 12:07 pm ET by LaetitiaViljoen

          1. woodruff | | #8

            Here in the US, I often read of problems with Internet Explorer. In fact, instructions for viewing a particular website will frequently have a separate note saying something like, 'But if you're using IE, do such-and-such instead."You might want to try a different browser, like Firefox or Safari.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #9

            Hi and so glad to speak with you who are so far away and who shares a love of sewing!  I am in the United States, I have internet explorer and the software Media Player which is by Microsoft, I think.  The video works for me after a slight delay when I click on the arrow.  If other videos work on your computer, I think this one should tpp, unless it is a problem with the international feed.  Good luck, it is good information.  Mary

          3. LaetitiaViljoen | | #10

            Dear Mary, thank you for the information. I will try again, because I have watched video-clips with media player before

            Hope you have a good day

            Kind regards


    3. LaetitiaViljoen | | #11

      I have at last seen the video. Excellent clear instructions. Thank you ever so much for the reference

      Kind regards from Laetitia here in South Africa

      1. woodruff | | #12

        It is a nice video, isn't it? I think you will find it very handy.

        1. LaetitiaViljoen | | #13

          Thank you again for your help

          Kind regards


  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    I've always used 1:1, taking in just a teensy bit at the joining seam and/or at the center of the v-neck, if necessary.  I'm usually using the same fabric as the t-shirt, cutting off the lower few inches of the shirt to bind a re-shaped neckline.

  4. Blonde Golfer | | #14

    I always use the 3/4 formula when figuring rib lenghts and it always comes out right. I noticed that you used a figure of 33.75 to 40, but it should have been 30 to 40 when using the inches or metric or what ever. Measure the straight length and find 3/4 of that length. I quarter it first with pins, and section it smaller and smaller. I have watched Sarah Veblen's video and tried it her way and in some cases that works, but I usually have more consistent results my way.

    1. LaetitiaViljoen | | #15

      Dear Blonde Golfer, Thank you so much for your help - yes, I made a mistake [perhaps a typing error] - the relationship is 33.75:45 cm, and not to 40 [being 30:40cm]. Kind regards


      1. Josefly | | #16

        I recently read in a blog somewhere that the neckline trim should be 15% shorter than the neckline seam. However, in the Threads online tutorial video which was recommended to you, I don't believe the tutor specified a ratio. She suggests machine-basting the band on first, to make sure the band lies flat without puckering the seam. Then the machine basting can be removed easily if you have to adjust the length. She also presses the finished neckline band twice to help smooth out any puckering and to help shape the band. I think each knit fabric behaves a little differently, and the amount of stretch and the recovery ability of the fabric influence the result, so I've gathered that it always involves some guesswork.Also, sometimes the folded band is pressed into a curved shape before stitching. That helps when laying the band along the neckline to estimate the correct length.

        1. LaetitiaViljoen | | #17

          Dear Josefly, thank you so much for the information. I found that even following the video worked very well with one type of knit, but not with the next - a very stretchy type. I had a puckered neckedge, and as it was, the fabric was very diffcult to press, without leaving press marks. Perhaps I have not had enough experience in judging the amount to stretch the binding, so, I will try having it 15% shorter.

          Thank you ever so much

          Kind regards


          Edited 3/23/2009 12:38 am ET by LaetitiaViljoen

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