wear your geek on your sleeve

Tutorial: Girl-ifying a T-shirt

Let’s face it, women’s T-shirts suck.  The fabric is thin and flimsy, with too much stretch.  They tend to come in limited sizes and if you have big boobs, by the time they fit over your chest, it’s six inches too short.  They are also usually more expensive.  I’ve always bought men’s T-shirts, but I hate having the neckline up so high.  It feels uncomfortable.  They also have no curve to them, making them unflattering.  For the longest time, I just cut the neckline right out.  But that looks bad, and it just looks worse every time you wash it.  So I figured out a way to make a basic T a little more suited to my body.

This looks horrible. Don’t do this.

Start with a loose men’s T

The first thing to do is to carefully unpick the neckline with a seam ripper.  Only undo the front portion of the neck, from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, leaving the back neckline intact.

Undo the neckline from shoulder to shoulder

Next, pin the neckband down to the length you want to open up the neck, right sides together.  You can add half an inch to a couple of inches.  Trim out the excess, and take it to your sewing machine.

Using a zig-zag stitch on a fairly wide and long setting, stitch the neckband to the shirt, encasing the outer edges in the zig-zag and backstitching at the ends.  Taper the stitch line where it meets the existing seam from the back of the neckline.  You will have to stretch the neckband slightly to make it match.

Now look at your pretty new neckline!

With the shirt inside out, mark out a curve on either side to take it in a little.  You can make this as dramatic or as subtle as you want.  I didn’t take out much, because I still wanted my shirt to be on the loose side, with just a little shape.  Pin it, trim it, and stitch it the same way you did the neckline.

Shown with one side cut and pinned

Now try on your shirt!

another altered neckline


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