To me, V-neck t-shirts were always great to buy as ready to wear items. Or if I was making something that had a V-neck I would make sure to factor in a facing. Yes, there is some skill and technique involved into sewing this type of neck but I never took the time to figure it out. My to-do list is always a mile long and taking a deep dive into this construction wasn't really something I was looking forward to do until I absolutely had to. And recently, I had to for a client project.
I started at the obvious, our great enabler/inspirer- Pinterest. Everything I found didn't really do it for me. I then went to You Tube where the same sort of information came up, only this time I had to wait through the painfully long introductions with my head on my desk, eyes glazed over, waiting to see if the information proved to be what I needed (I know y'all feel me on this!) Still no success.
I instead turned to my manufacturing friends to figure out the best way to do it. It can't be too fussy, but must yield precision. When you are mass producing T-shirts at a high level, generally there are very specific machines for such tasks, but for small batches, we make do. When I finally got the right steps down I knew I had to add this to the newest SBCC Tee- Nora. What I ended up with for you, I consider it as a nice little mash up of industry and home sewing to use as a best practice for your own project.
Let's do it!
*Note, for the clarity of demonstration and so everything lays flat, I'm just working with pieces here, not the full garment.
1) Take your neck trim piece and fold it in half with wrong sides together.
2) Align endpoints of neckline trim to overlap as pictured. Baste together.
3) On the right side of the front body, with a non-permanent marking tool (I like to use soap) indicate the 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance intersection at the center front V. Also, mark this intersection on the neckline trim.
4) On the right side of the front body, position the marked neckline trim point on top of the mark on the body. I recommend to stick a pin directly through both layers to serve as a pivot point and ensure alignment.
5) Pivot the neckline trim to your left hand side and sew the neckband to the neckline with 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance. Start/stop about 2” (5cm) from the center front making sure stitches to not go past center front mark. They must end exactly at the mark.
6) Clip the V point on the body, stopping exactly at the stitching. Make sure not to cut through the stitches.
7) Pivot the neck trim to match to the opposite side of the neckline V and stitch the neckband to the body with 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance. Make sure that you stop sewing exactly at the point where you left off.
Tip: You may want to flip the garment over for a clearer view of where to connect the stitching. Images below show both sides for reference.
At this point you may want to do a quick peek to see how your V looks. Make sure there are no puckers and stitches match up.
8) Position the remaining neckline trim around the right side of the neckline, aligning notches to the shoulder seams and the center back. Continue sewing the neckband to the neckline until it is complete. Make sure that your previous stitches align perfectly to the new sew line.
9) Stitch very close next to the neckline seam on the body, through all layers, to secure the seam allowance flat and ensure that it does not flip out. Don't do a crappy job at the back neckline like I did. (I love ya, but I wasn't going to unpick the entire neck for the sake presentation. I know you get me.)
That's it! Pretty straightforward, right? Now I'm not going to say that it's one and done. I would still recommend doing a trial run before giving it a go on your actual garment.
Additionally, stretch can vary from fabric to fabric. Do a test with your actual fabric and a small mock up like I did to ensure that the neckband piece doesn't look too long or short. Your final garment will thank you. Give it a try on your own Nora Tee!