How to sew a double-folded binding on the neckline of a t-shirt.
The length of the binding piece will vary depending on your fabric. This was a very stretchy rib knit and I used a binding piece a bit less than 2/3 the length of the neck opening in the shirt. For less stretchy fabrics you might want to use closer to ¾ the length of the neck opening. The binding piece used here was 1 5/8” wide—it is the pattern piece from the women’s t-shirt pattern in Ottobre Design 2/2007.
Step 1: Sew the binding piece into a circle, and use pins to mark it into equal fourths.
Step 2: Your shirt front, back, and sleeves should be already sewn together (but don’t sew the underarm/side seam yet). Turn the shirt right side out. Use pins to mark the neckline of the shirt into equal fourths. This shirt has some gathers in the center of the front neckline and there are also pins holding the gathering threads tight in the front. The center front pin is a bit hard to see here but it is there.
Step 3: Finger press the binding seam open, and pin the binding’s RIGHT side to the WRONG side of the shirt. With your shirt right side out, pin the binding to the inside of the shirt neckline. It will probably not seem right, in fact, I did it wrong on this shirt and then had to do some reverse sewing. Double check so you don’t have to unpick!
Step 4: Sew the binding to the shirt, stretching the binding piece and making sure the 2 edges line up as you sew. I used a scant ¼” seam allowance here.
Step 5: Next, fold the raw edge of the binding over about ¼”, then fold again, making sure the fold covers your first seamline. Sew binding down close to the fold edge. Going slowly will help.
Finished! If the neckline seems to be stretched out a bit, you can steam it with the iron to shrink it down.