Pattern Mod | Bands

Do the lack of bands on Basic Tank #1 got you feeling down? Well, don't be! I'm going to show you how you can easily add bands either before you sew or after.

Grab your pattern and a tape measure (make sure to use a tape because we have curves to measure...if you don't have a tape you can use a straight edge but you have to make sure to pivot it in the curves.)

Special Tools Required:

Tape Measure


Measuring Reminder:

1. Remember when measuring that the side with the little lines and numbers will go right up against whatever we measure. The other side is useless to us. 

2. Don't measure the seams! If you're measuring a shirt that is already sewn it's easy to avoid the seams but if you are measuring a shirt that has yet to be sewn you'll need to subtract the seam allowance from the measurement you get.

3. ALWAYS measure the front and back because they maybe different measurements. 

Step 1: Measure

Grab your tape and pick a hole to measure. Make sure to measure the front and back and record both measurements. Record them together as a set. 

Repeat on all openings you want a band for.

Question: Should I measure both armscyes?

Answer: They should be the same if you didn't have issues cutting the pieces out, so no...unless you're looking at them and they look funky...then measure just in case.

If you're measuring the pattern pieces you are safe to only measure one set (both front and back but only one side). 

Step 2: Math

Note: I'll be referring to the armscye in these steps but the process is exactly the same for a waistband: Measure / Math / Design

Add the sets together.

Next, if you have them, subtract the seam allowance.

Now, depending on the fabric you're using for your bands you'll want to multiply the number by .85 to .90.

I measured the pattern piece front and back armsyce.
Front = 9.25"
Back = 9.125"
Total = 18.375"
Seam Allowance = 1/4"
How many seams? 4 (2 in the front and 2 in the back)
Total Seam Allowance to Subtract = 1"
Armscye = 17.375"
Band = 17.375" X .85 = 14.75" (I've rounded)
or if your fabric doesn't stretch well...

Band = 17.375" X .90 = 15.625" (I've rounded)

Step 3: Design

Now you just need to determine how wide you want your band to be. This is your opportunity to be a designer! How wide do you want these bands to be?

The Basic Tank #1 has a neckband (yes the edges are raw) and you can use that width (1.125", 1-1/8") if you want the raw edged band look in the armscye (and waistband).

If you don't want a raw edge band you may try doubling the width of the neckband and using that number for the neckband and armscye bands.

Also, keep in mind the wider the band the more important it is that it has good recovery.


What I mean is that your fabric when stretched out will recovery back to size when you release it.

Listen to me, if it doesn't recover back to normal your bands are gonna be wavy pieces of rage inducing shit! This is if you have an idea in mind that bands should lay flat...

1.75" (1-3/4") is one of the MOST popular band widths for necks and armscyes. 

What about the waistband? 

Waistbands can actually get pretty wide before becoming an issue because waistbands are special pieces of shit. I kid about that last part. 

A common waistband measurement is 4.5" (4-1/2") because after you fold it and sew it on you got yourself a 2" wide band and that's pretty flattering. 

Final Thoughts: 

Now that you have your band measurements (width and length) you just need to sew them into a loop and mark the side opposite of the seam.

This is the halfway point and is especially useful when sewing bands to achieve even stretching.

Find the half way point on the armscye starting at the side seam and match up the back and front armscye until you reach the middle.

HELPFUL HINT: The middle point for the armsyce usually IS NOT the shoulder seam but actually is slightly offset to the back. 

Lining the waistband up is way easier, you'll use each side seam.

Okay, okay...sometime that isn't halfway either but it's bigger than an armscye so you have a little more wiggle room to do that...UNLESS you have done a Full Bust Adjustment...if you did that then you should pick one side seam and then match front and back up until you find that halfway point. 

Good luck and if you give this mod a try tag Rain City! @raincitypatterncompany on Instagram and #raincitypatterncompany to get featured!


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