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How To Change the Necklines of Knit Tops

Original necklineI often change the neckline of T-Shirts and other knit tops to a more feminine look. I choose 100% cotton knits. I often times buy pocketless T-shirts in the mens/boys department. Father’s Day sales are a great time to stock up.

I start out with a top, in this case a mans pocketless T-shirt.

Put the top on. If you have a favorite necklace that you would like to hang in a certain place, put it on too. In this example I want my necklace to lay on my skin.

Using a washable marker, make a mark just below the necklace. The finished neckline will be approximately inch lower than the necklace.

Prep the shirt.



Remove the top.

Fold it in half, so the center front and center back are folded, the shoulders seams line up, and the sleeves are inside each other as shown below.

Pin the shoulder seams together to KEEP them together.

"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time."

- Leonard Bernstein

 Align the shirt




Realign the shirt so it looks like the picture here.






Now it is ready to cut.

I have found that I have to cut the back neckline and the shoulder seam only enough to remove the existing finished edge. Otherwise, the neckline is too large for me.

The wider you cut the front scoop the larger the neckline will be. It is better to cut smaller. You can always remove more later if you want.

Using my rotary cutter, I cut the neck out making sure I end at my necklace marking.

Notice how I stayed close to the existing finished edge until I got near the center front.



Now it's time to check your work.

At this point you need to put on the shirt to see if it is cut like you want it. The finished neckline will be approximately inch lower.

If you want the neckline to be larger, refold it and cut some more.

Once it is cut like you want it, open the shirt and lay it flay.

To help stabilize the fabric, I spray starch it front and back sometimes 2-3 times. Don’t worry if the starch flakes, as it will wash out.

Optional: If you have a serger you may now finish the edge with a 3-thread overedge stitch. But this is not necessary.

Next, I start turning the edges under inch pinning each area.

I pin the center front, center back, shoulder seams, and along the front edge nearer the shoulder seams as shown in the photo below.




Gently fold the other areas one at a time letting the fabric slightly stretch enough that it will lay flat. Pin as shown in the following photo.









This is how it looks on the inside of the shirt.





Now it’s ready to be sewn.

Go to Page 2.

Changing the Neckline, Page 2

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