Lynn pattern hack 5 – How to calculate a self fabric neckband.

This is the 5th in my series of Lynn pattern hacks. It is really more of a technique than a hack!

The Lynn pattern is designed to be made with rib neck, hem and cuff bands. However sometimes you might not be able to find a rib colour that works with the main fabric so its useful to know how to adapt the size of the bands, the neckband in particular so that they will fit the top. You can also use this technique on any other stretch patterns that include stretched on bands like this pattern does.

neckband tutorail from Bobbins and buttons

To start with you need to gather some information together. I am going to illustrate the neckband in this tutorial. You can also apply the same principal to the hem and cuff bands.

Firstly you need to know the percentage of stretch that the fabric for the neckband should have. In the case of the Lynn pattern the neckband is designed for 100% stretch.There is a stretch guide on the back of the pattern. You also need to know the percentage of stretch that the fabric has that you want to use. You can find out how to work out the percentage of stretch here. I think this works best with fabrics that have at least 30% stretch.

Secondly you need to take some measurements. Measure the neckband length minus the seam allowance. You will also need to measure the neck edge minus the seam allowances. You can do this by carefully walking a tape measure around the curves of the pattern and deducting the seam allowances from each piece as you go. I find it easier to work on half the neck measurements, especially as on the whole we cut on the fold.

In this example I am working on a size Medium.

The neck edge of half the size medium measures 26cm

The neckband of half the size medium measures 20cm

The Math!

To start with look at the difference in the two measurements so in this example the neck edge is 6cm longer than the neckband.

This 6cm is what the neckband is reduced by for the 100% stretch fabric to fit neatly. So we can use this 6cm as the 100% in the following equations. If the fabric has 50% stretch you will need to add 3cm to the length of the neckband- 50% of the 6cm.

If the fabric has 40% stretch you will need to add on 60% of the 6cm to make it back up to 100% as this is what the neckband loses in stretch so therefore in this example you would need to add 3.6cm

For 30% stretch it will be 70% of the 6cm therefore adding 4.2cm to the length.

As mentioned earlier these are the half measurements of the neckband. In total you are adding double this measurement to the circumference of the neckband.

The example in the photograph is made in French terry  which really has a percentage of stretch between 30-40%. I worked on a percentage of 4o when I made this top and have since decided it is probably nearer 30%. The neckband is slightly tight when working on the 40% measurements. I stitched a row of decorative zig zag stitch around the neck edge seam. This helped make the application look a bit neater. However in future I will work on 30% for French terry. If in doubt I think it is probably best to err on the side of caution and go bigger, you can always tack the band on to check before committing.

I kept the cuff bands and omitted the hem band on this version for an easy everyday top.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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