I have a lot of t-shirts. A lot. Not nearly as many as my husband does, but it's still a lot. And I wear almost none of them. It took a while for me to realize it, but the reason I don't wear these t-shirts is primarily because I don't like crew necks. They're uncomfortable and I don't think they look good on me. So after some thought, I started looking for ways to make these t-shirts wearable. One way is to turn crew necks into v-necks (which I typically wear).
The first time doing this is tricky, but once you get through it, the rest are so much easier.
Step 1: BoM
Pins, thread, scissors
Rotary cutters, matt,
Step 2: The T-Shirt
Sadly, not all images printed on t-shirts are printed in the right place. To successfully turn your crew neck tee into a v-neck, you need a couple of inches from the center of the crew neck line to the image. The Halloween Instructables t-shirt I won a few years ago is too high up for me to be able to change the collar without cutting into the logo. Which makes me sad because I worked really hard to get that shirt and I never wear it.
Try the t-shirt on, get an idea where the image starts and how low you can make your v-neck. Compare it to other v-necks you have. Use a couple pins to mark off the lowest the v can go.
Step 3: Crew Neck
This part is a bit tedious because it takes some time and you want a useable collar, so you can't just rip it off the shirt. Use your seam ripper to detach the front collar. Stop when you get the shoulders.
Step 4: Fold the Front
Fold the shirt length wise down the center towards the back. I hope that makes sense. You want the front of the shirt to be separated from the back of the shirt so that when you cut, you're only cutting front.
Step 5: Measure Twice
Measure twice, cut once. You only want to cut about 2" off the front to make your V so that you have enough original collar fabric to make the new v-neck. If you cut deeper than 2", you may need more fabric (which can be constructed out of what you cut off).
Measure 2" down the center of the shirt and pin it. Use a larger ruler to measure diagonally and make your cut starting at the shoulder seams.
Step 6: The Original Collar
Give the collar a couple of stretches. This is one time when it's really okay to have a loose collar, it only helps you in creating your v-neck.
Find the center of the collar and cut it.
Step 7: Pin
Starting at a shoulder, begin pinning the collar straps to the right side of the shirt, make sure the raw edges are facing inside.
Be careful not to stretch the collar or the shirt as you pin it, especially if you're working with a stretchy fabric.
*Note: you may find putting the pins in with the tip facing towards the neck to be easier to manage when sewing. I realized this a bit too late and had to repin.
Step 8: Sew!
Now it's time to set up your machine. Thread as directed with the closest matching colors you have. While I have black in 4 different thicknesses, I do not have grey/gray. So I'm using black and a blue bobbin that was already set up.
Sew down one edge, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance if you can. Try to sew slowly and without stretching your fabric. Stop about 1" from the V. Do the same for the other side.
Step 9: The V
It took me a while to be able to visualize how the V is supposed to look and how to make that happen. Ultimately I ended up pinning the pieces (after cutting one end a bit too short) and then hand stitching the two ends together.
Pin the ends so that they are folded back on themselves, but also overlapping each other.
Backstitch the raw edges. I started my backstitch where the machine stitches left off on the left bottom collar. I tried to keep my stitches small because I find it easier to also keep them straight that way. I chose the backstitch because it's a strong and flexible stitch and should a stitch break later, the whole collar won't unravel. Once the left side was almost to the V, I switched and backstitched down the right side collar.
Step 10: The V Continued
To stitch the center of the V together, I decided to use the ladder stitch so that the thread wouldn't be visible.
Step 11: Finishing Touches
Trim off and secure any loose threads, extra fabric etc. I don't trust my knots so I always put a little fabric-friendly glue on them. Fray-Check is also good to put on raw edges.
If you find any holes along the neck line that need to be re-stitched, make sure you are paying attention to which way the fabric is facing and not stitch the raw edges facing out. Like I did.
You may also want to iron the collar so that it stays flat.