Saturday, November 6, 2010

How long should a neck binding be?

Ok, the jacket really wore me out. After Project Runway and the whole "oh my gawd Mondo didn't win" aftermath, I thought I would make one of my favorite pieces he made this season (and also something that I actually would wear), the Jackie O homage striped shirt. What I especially love about it is the vertical stripe "cuffs".

This meant actually finding striped knit fabric, which I found over at The site says this fabric has a 10% shrinkage factor, but I think it's more around 25%. The fabric feels great, and the white stripes aren't see-through. Excellent. I always think it's a bit scary to pay $10+ a yard for fabric but so far it has always been worth it.


So the fabric on the right will be for the Jackie/Mondo shirt, which I will make with the Burda cowl neck pattern, which I made this spring and have worn pretty much once a week this fall. Instead of using the cowl, though, I will make a self fabric binding (though with Mondo's shirt, it looks like maybe he used a facing or maybe self lined the shirt? Hard to tell from the pix on the Lifetime site (click on "side" to see the full shirt). My question to you is how long should this binding be? (below you can see the neckline under the cowl; pretty nice shape and not too wide or anything):

cowl neckline

I found this article on that says the ratio of the binding to the neckline is 3:4 or 7:8 depending on stretchiness (in the "tips for a neat round neck" section). I was also thinking of measuring some shirts I've made to see what their ratios were as well.

The fabric on the left will probably be made with that New Look pattern (the middle shirt). We'll see.

I really wanted to sew the Mondo shirt tonight, but after the first wash and seeing how much the fabric shrunk, I thought it was best to wash and dry it again in case of further shrinkage. So while that was doing its thing, I made two pairs of undies using the elastic from So there's another pair of cherries undies, and a pair made from remnants of fabric that I've had for ages; it features little bears baking cookies and muffins. I used Antoinette's make your own undies tutorial again. Highly recommend! And thanks Antoinette for recommending sewsassy!

another pair of cherry undies, and a pair of baking undies

I then went through my fabric and refashion pile and found a lot of possibilities for all of that elastic!
oh the undies possibilities!
I'm most excited about the Princeton Environmental Film Festival t-shirt...but I don't think it's ever been washed! and I've already washed all my light stuff for this week.

Oh! and the Fitting and Pattern Alteration book arrived this week. This is a birthday present from my mom. When I was at the ASE I went to a seam fitting workshop by Lorraine Henry and she held this book up. I assumed that she was an author, so I didn't write down the title. Turns out she wasn't an author. So when I tried to find the book online I couldn't. But then Peacock Chic wrote about Lorraine's class from another conference on her blog and there was the book, yeah! I'm not sure how I would have found it otherwise.
fitting and pattern alterations

Good night!


  1. Undies are soooo cute! You've done a great job finding the right fabric for those cool elastics. Your new book looks great -- let us know if you recommend after using.

  2. BTW I have seen the 3:4 ratio for neck binding but I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of stretch in the fabric. On Louis' semi-recent t-shirt recuts, I've gone with the neck band 1" less than circumference of neckline and been satisfied (this is for regular ol' 100% cotton jersey, with no lycra).


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