This fun crossover hem band can be done on a variety of patterns. I started with the Easy Tee pattern but didn’t have enough of the fabric I wanted to use for the sleeves so I switched to the Nancy Raglan. It’s a cute way to spruce up some of your favorite patterns to get a whole new look.
- Print and assemble your pattern.
- For the front bodice, you can either print two copies or print one and trace a second one onto tracing paper.
- Either way, you will need to have two mirrored front bodice pieces. Tape them together along the fold line to make one full front bodice.
- You will also need you sleeves, neckband and any other options you choose for you pattern.
- Fold the bottom edge of the bodice up to the armscye to find the center of the pattern.
- It’s personal preference as to where you want the bottom edge of the upper portion to hit. I measured up about 2” from the centerfold.
- Draw a gently sloping line from your chosen spot down to the opposite bottom corner.
- Cut off the lower portion of the bodice.
- Decide how far over you want the point of the lower section to hit along the bottom edge of the upper section and draw a curved line on the lower section from the outer edge towards the center to your determined point.
- Cut off the excess of the bottom edge of the lower piece.
- Add ⅜” to the bottom edge of the upper portion and the top edge of the lower portion to compensate for the seam allowance.
Hem Band Adjustments
- Your pattern likely has a chart for the original hem band measurements. If it does, use the length given for the hem band and you will determine the width next. If not, you can decided on how long you would like your finished band to be and add ¾” for the seam allowance. (For reference, mine is cut to 6.75” long.)
- You are going to cut 3 separate band pieces: Upper, lower and back.
- For each piece, measure the edge of the portion shown below and write the measurements down.
- Multiply each measurement by 90% to find the width for each part of the band and cut one of each.
- Sew your front and back bodices together at the shoulder seams right sides together. (If you are using a raglan pattern like I did, sew the sleeves to the front and back bodices.)
- Take all three band sections and pin the short ends of the upper and lower bands to either side of the back band. (Make sure you keep track of which section of the band is for he upper part and which is for the lower.)
- Fold the band in half lengthwise and press.
Pinning on the band
- Starting with the upper section, mark the center of both the bodice and upper portion of the band.
- Match up those center points, the open end of the band with the higher side of the front bodice, and the seam of the band to the lower side of the front bodice and pin.
- Mark the band at about 3” away from the lower edge as your guide to stop sewing.
- Fold your back bodice down so the front and back are wrong sides together.
- Align the seams of the band with each side of the back bodice. (You can pin this in place if you want to, but it is more to help you with keeping the band from getting twisted as you work your way around to the lower portion of the bodice and band.)
- Lay the opposite (lower) side of the band out extending from the back bodice.
- Find and mark the center of the bottom edge of the lower bodice and the lower portion of the hem band.
- Set the bottom edge of the lower portion on top of the extended band with the right side of the bodice facing the band.
- Match up the center points of the band and bodice. Match the open edge of the band with the narrower side of the lower bodice, and the band seam allowance with the wider side of the bodice piece.
- Mark the band about 2” away from the narrower side as a sewing guide.
Attaching the Band
- Starting with the lower section, sew the first 3” of the narrower side.
- Baste the upper section to the upper band up to where you marked the 3” away from the edge.
- Flip the lower portion up to line its top edge up with the raw edge of the upper portion sandwiching the upper band between the two bodice sections. (Make sure not to twist any part of the band.)
- Sew along pinned edge.
- Press the seam allowance up and topstitch.
- Trim off any excess band that extends past the bodice edge.
Sewing the Bodice
- Keeping the band out of the way, pin the front and back bodices right sides together along the side seams and sew. (If making a raglan, sew the arm seams as well.)
Finishing up the Band
- Turn the top right side out and pin the rest of the band along the bottom edge matching up the side seams and centers of the back bodice and back band.
- Sew all the way around the pinned edge.
- Press the seam allowance up and topstitch.
- The end of the lower band (that is hidden behind the upper band) might want to flip down and hang out. If yours does this, pin the end to the inside of the band and hand stitch it in place.
Sew Remaining Pieces
Follow your tutorial to add your neckband, sleeves (if you didn’t make a raglan), and any additional options you have chosen.