New Tops for Me, Part 2 (and a tip for knit neckbands!)

Here is knit top #2 from last week’s sewing!


Recently, I read a review on of New Look 6343.


So, once again, I downloaded a pdf, printed, tiled, and taped. While this pattern is not from Australia like the pattern from yesterday’s entry, I live 30 miles from a JoAnn’s that might have the pattern, so I can still do the pdf thing faster than trying to get the paper pattern.

I really liked the look of those angled armsceyes!


The fabric is a pretty green 4-way Swiss nylon/acetate/lycra stretch knit from Gorgeous Fabrics that has been in my stash for a year or so. Their description: “This fabric will be a mainstay of your wardrobe…it is perfect for work, play or travel! It never wrinkles, it washes beautifully, and it’s a joy to sew. It comes from the best knitwear mill in Switzerland.” It feels wonderful to touch and to wear!

I sewed this with my workhorse Pfaff 7530. I didn’t feel like getting my serger out, and besides, I don’t have serger thread this color. I am just as happy most of the time sewing knits with my regular machine. I stitch the seams with a zigzag (W = 1.0, L = 2.0), then stitch again about 1/8″ away in the seam allowance, and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.

I didn’t download the instructions, so I’m not sure if they tell you to set the sleeves in or sew them in flat. I always prefer the fit of set-in sleeves, but I knew this would be a bit tricky with the two corners (the back sleeve line has the same nice corner angle as the front.) So I did a cheater set-in sleeve. I set the sleeve in flat, clipping and pivoting at the corners, but I started stitching about 2″ from the side seam at the underarm, and I stopped stitching about 2″ from the side seam. Next, I stitched the side seam and the sleeve underarm seam. Then, it’s easy to stitch the remaining part of the armsceye seam. I topstitched the seam to make it a little more noticeable.

I changed the length of the sleeves, and shortened the tunic length to hip length.

Now, here’s my tip! Sometimes, when I make a knit neckband, it doesn’t want to lie flat all the way around the neck, especially at that sharper curve of the neckline just behind the shoulder seam. Some knits are very soft and ease easily, but this was a somewhat firm and very “snappy” knit.

neckline 1

Here’s what I did to fix this!

neckline 2

Thread a large darning needle (they have blunt tips and large eyes) with a doubled length of elastic thread, more than long enough to go around the neck. Slide the tip of the needle between the stitches of the neckband seam. You don’t want to pierce the fabric, just go between the stitching. Thread the elastic all the way around the neckline, being careful not to pierce the fabric.

neckline 3

When you reach the starting point, slide the needle out of the same stitch into which you inserted it. Pull out the elastic thread tails, and un-thread the needle. Now, gently stretch the neckline and work the ease so that the neckband lies flat – you don’t want gathers. The elastic is not pulling up the neckband, just controlling those little floppy parts.

neckline 4

When the neckband is the way you want it, tie a secure double knot in the elastic, and trim the tails. You can put a dot of seam sealant on the knot, if you like, and allow to dry.

neckline 4a

Then, work that little knot back through the seam, into the neckband. You can use the eye end of the darning needle to help, plus a little stretching of the band.

neckline 5

See how nice and smooth that neckband is now?! Compare “before”…

neckline 1

…and “after!”

neckline 5

I know I’ll wear this top a lot, and I know I’ll use this elastic thread trick a lot, too!




9 thoughts on “New Tops for Me, Part 2 (and a tip for knit neckbands!)

  1. Thanks for the detailed information on setting in the sleeves. Eve

    On Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 3:50 PM, SusanStewartDesigns wrote:

    > susanstewartdesigns posted: “Here is knit top #2 from last week’s sewing! > Recently, I read a review on of New Look 6343. So, once > again, I downloaded a pdf, printed, tiled, and taped. While this pattern is > not from Australia like the pattern from yesterday’s e” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liked your tops, Susan – that’s mostly what I wear and I don’t like them too low, either. Also, like you, I sew on a Pfaff 7530!
    Could you tell me what ’tiled’ means.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you print out a pdf pattern, the printer-sized sheets of paper have to be lined up and taped together. They are marked in columns and rows, and everything has to line up. It’s not difficult, just time-consuming.


  3. Thanks for sharing! That is a tip that I have not seen or heard before. For sure, I will try it. Love the hydrangeas too.


    • I’ve never seen or heard this tip before, either. I just had an idea and tried it, and it worked beautifully. Regarding the hydrangeas, we have had an unusually wet summer, and this is the first year in a decade that they have bloomed!


  4. Nice tip for the neckline fitting. I have this issue at times so will give this a try. Also helpful information about the sleeves!


  5. Pingback: New Tops for Me, Part 3 (and more tips for working with knits) | SusanStewartDesigns

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