Picture of easily alter a crew neck t-shirt
This is a t-shirt alteration I've been doing for years! At my old job I always had to wear Half Price Books t-shirts to work, and they normally only came in boxy lady sizes or really large unisex sizes - but always with a very tight crew neck. I hate crew necks!

This trick takes only a couple minutes to do, and I've even included a tip about what to do with your sleeves if they're too long or too tight. :D

Please note that this only works on jersey/knits - and no hemming is needed because the fabric won't fray. (Please see the last step for more info!) It might roll a bit after washing, though! You can also do this trick with a piece of chalk, some pins and some nice scissors, too. The rotary cutter is just easier.  

Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of what you'll need:
SarahS232 months ago
shari.feekes11 months ago

I just did this but changed it slightly! I didn't want the back of the neck to be cut as low as the front of the neck and I didn't have the rotary cutter so I had to do it differently.

So using a 9" plate and a sharpie, I placed the plate so it created a nice scoop neck in the front and traced around it - then I turned the shirt over and placed the plate so it met the marks from the front at the shoulder but just made a small circle in the back which mainly just took out the collar - I cut around the mark with regular scissors.


HollyMann1 year ago
So much better! :) Great idea!
don346851 year ago
Nice idea. I'm a guy who hates the way tee shirt necklines strangle me - blame it on too much weightlifting and later in life eating too well. What is that rotary cutter? Where would I find one? It sounds like a great idea!
A rotary cutter is a type of cutter that many people who sew use. It looks kind of like a pizza cutter. You can find them in craft stores. I would suggest checking Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, or local sewing/craft stores. You can even find them on Amazon. Just as a word of caution, be very careful while using it because it is sharp enough that it could cut you to the bone if you use enough pressure.
andresfrr1 year ago
well done.
toxboi1 year ago
Nice tutorial. Just to add, you really want to stitch or give a border line to the neck otherwise it'll not last much after few washes.

Source: Experience :)
I have done this to many knit shirts also, and they won't ravel; it's the nature of knits. I don't cut the back neckline as low as the front, though. On mine, I only cut just outside the collar on the back, and scoop down below the neckline on the front like yours. Nice tutorial, thanks!!
jessyratfink (author)  toxboi1 year ago
I've never had one unravel and I've washed some of mine probably 100s of times. If anyone's worried about it coming apart, hand stitch right next to the neckline where the front and back meet, that should tack it in place. :)
zawy1 year ago
Crew cut or not, you can't hide the presence of a babe.
Rotary cutter = joy!

For those who don't like having a raw edge, or are worried about it unravelling: make the cut about 1/2 inch less deep than you want it to be. Run a line of machine stay-stitching around the neck 1/2 inch in from the cut edge - this helps stabilise it, and also makes it easier to turn a hem under. Turn the t-shirt inside-out. Using an iron and pins, turn a hem over so that your line of stay-stitching is just inside the fold of the hem (on the inside of the shirt), pin as you go. Clip from the raw edge to the stay-stitching if any tight curve is giving you a hard time. Stitch down an even width from the fold of the hem (if your sewing machine doesn't have guiding grooves marked on it, you can stick on a bit of masking tape and line the fold up with that).

Ta-da! Nicely hemmed and will last as long as the t-shirt does - looks a bit posher if it is a work shirt, too.
sunshiine1 year ago
I love this Jessy! Are the new shirts the same design in the back as the old ones? Any new wonderful colors???? Thanks for sharing and do have a super weekend!
cindi591 year ago
Rofl..the farm boys have been doing this around here for decades. Nothing new..even this old lady cuts the neckline off sometimes.
bruhnstv1 year ago
Thanks, Jessy! This may be the answer to my dreams. V-neck T-shirts used to have pretty deep vees, so you didn't see them poking up above the open neck of a casual shirt worn over the T, but recent V-necks are hardly any better than crew necks. Your mod, or just cutting a deeper V, should work well. Hard to believe they don't unravel, but well worth a try on an old shirt first! Many smiles sent your way! :-)
foobear1 year ago
Oh I hate that strangly crew neck thing - I have a few like that! Never could stand turtlenecks either.
kakmer foobear1 year ago
Evil turtlenecks!!!
jessyratfink (author)  foobear1 year ago
Turtlenecks are the most terrible of all the shirts!
Amen sister!
onemoroni11 year ago
Just cut and wear, very easy. Go for it ladies!
mrsalley1 year ago
One thing you didn't cover is stitching the opening after it's been cut. I already know from past experience, stitching will either stretch out the fabric or hemming will cause it to gather slightly?? help?
jessyratfink (author)  mrsalley1 year ago
I never ever sew it! As you mentioned, sewing knits can be more complicated so I just forgo that whole step. :)

If you're worried, you could hand stitch right next to the neckline where the front and back meet, just a few stitches should do it.
arhontiak1 year ago
That's it?
What about the ends?
jessyratfink (author)  arhontiak1 year ago
That's it. I've never had one unravel on me, even after 100s of washes. Some of the ones I've got are 6-8 years old. :)
rmalicoat1 year ago
Awesome. Thanks for sharing
3366carlos1 year ago
awesome, i've been doing it with scissors but it always looks like crap. A rotary cutter is the answer. Thanks.
eblackman11 year ago
rudeo981 year ago
cool :D
wilgubeast1 year ago
Wait! There are new shirts!?
jessyratfink (author)  wilgubeast1 year ago