The Appleton Dress is a must-have for spring. Designed with curves in mind and with a neckband that actually stays closed, this dress is a dream to sew up and a dream to wear. Today, we welcome Appleton Dress designer Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette for tips on sewing the neckband. (And in case you missed it, see the week 1 post for tips on cutting knits.)
Sewing the Appleton Dress is fairly straightforward, but the trickiest part is assembling and installing the neckband, so that’s what we’re going to go through today.
Start by sewing your neckband, attaching the two back neckband pieces along the long (outer) side, and then attaching the right and left neckbands to the ends of the back neckband.
Then, sew your two waist ties, simply sewing down the long side, across the short end, and up the other long side, leaving the final end open. Turn right sides out and press.
Now, we need to attach the waist ties to the neckband to create one long piece. To do this, lay one end of your neckband out with the right side up, which will form a little “V” at the end. We’re going to sandwich the waist tie into that V, so place the waistband raw edge along one side of the V, and fold the neckband right sides together around the waistband.
The waistband will now be in the middle and all the raw edges will match up. Sew across the end, press, then turn right sides out. Repeat with the second end.
To attach the neckband, we’re going to be easing it in – that means that the neckband is slightly shorter (by about 2 inches) than the neckline, which will stop the dress from gaping. First, pin the neckband to the neckline, aligning the back neck notches and shoulder seams. Then pin your neckband to the neckline at the notches and the ends – you will see that there’s “more” neckline than neckband. The junction where the neckband becomes the waist tie should be at the edge of the front wrap piece.
Sew the neckband to the neckline, stretching the neckband to fit as you go. Press the seam allowance down towards the dress, and if you want to, you can add some topstitching along the neckband to secure the seam allowance down.
And you’re done with this step! Don’t worry if the neckband looks slightly puckery when it’s flat – once it’s on the body the dress will stretch and it will fit well with no gaping.
If you haven’t grabbed the pattern yet, do that now at shopsewitall.com. And join us next week for tips on hemming knits!