Thursday, 28 January 2016

DIY: Scoop neck t-shirt

Have you ever been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, only to find that the t-shirt sits in your wardrobe forever without once being put on? If this is the case, I'd put money on your t-shirt being a strangling crew neck, donned once every few months only for you to take it off again immediately, because no amount of time passed between attempts makes it look any more flattering. I've been there, so many times.

Band tees and tops from events that I've been to are what usually cause this problem for me. I tell myself that the shirt has a cool pattern or that I really need one to remind me of how great this gig was, but they always end up becoming pyjama tops or lazy day clothes, never to be seen by the outside world. I'm not a fan of really high necked t-shirts on myself, which these tops often are. I'd go so far as to say that they're a bit of an enemy of mine. It's always seemed a shame (and a huge waste of my money) that I hardly ever wear them, so I decided to tackle the problem and try a little customisation. 

I'm not particularly crafty at all when it comes to textiles, so I was taking a bit of a risk in taking a pair of kitchen scissors to my clothes. I reasoned with myself that these are tops I don't wear anyway, so if I ruined them it wouldn't be the absolute end of the world.

If you want to try this, all you really need is your irritating high necked t-shirt and a good sharp pair of scissors. Fabric scissors are ideal, but I didn't have a pair with me at university so I just used a normal pair and didn't really have any trouble.

I'm using this cute David and Goliath t-shirt as an example. I love the print on this top but have only wore it once or twice, its shape putting me off every other time I've tried it on.

   It's a bit creased but I'm honestly just the worst at ironing so I didn't bother (sorry).

The first thing to do is to take your t-shirt and fold it in half lengthways. The easiest way to make sure you're folding accurately is to grab the top by its shoulders and make sure that the shoulder seam on one sleeve is in line with that on the other. In the picture below I've covered the shoulder seam in blue so you know what I mean - the opposite sleeve's seam should be directly behind the one that is visible to you on top.

Make sure the area around the collar is pretty smooth before you start cutting so you get as even a line as possible. I didn't get pictures of the next part but it's super easy, trust me.

Place two of your fingers under the existing collar, take your scissors and make a small cut beneath your fingers. You'll be making this cut from the centre of the t-shirt (the left side in the picture above). If you have a design on your shirt that starts higher up than the width of two fingers allows and don't want to cut into it, make the gap a bit smaller, that's fine. Make sure in your first cut that you're not cutting upwards towards the collar because this would give you a v necked shape. For a scoop neck, the first cut should be in a straight line, and from there you want to just keep cutting, curving upwards. Follow the curve of the collar to help you keep the right shape.

As you approach the shoulder seam you want to start closing the gap, moving your cut line closer to the line of the existing crew neck collar. As you cut through the shoulder seam and continue past that point, make your line follow as close to the bottom of the crew neck collar as possible so that the back of your t-shirt doesn't become scooped as well.

When you're done you should just have two pieces of fabric - your newly improved t-shirt and the collar that you've removed. If your neckline ends up a little jagged you can tidy it up but it should be fairly smooth, and depending on the material of your top it might roll down a little anyway which should hide any imperfections. I gave my t-shirt a bit of a pull along the new cut to stretch it out a little and make it that bit comfier, but that's up to you.

The finished product - not a bad first attempt!

I was pretty pleased with the end result! It's not totally perfect but it feels so much comfier and I definitely prefer wearing it in this style. I'll actually wear this top out of the house now instead of letting it sit sad and unloved in a crinkled ball at the bottom of my wardrobe. You wouldn't believe how easy it is to do this little bit of DIY. I'm horribly clumsy and prone to crafting disasters so if I can do it you definitely can! I've already made another scoop neck with an old band tee of mine and was even happier with the result.
This is a great way to reinvent a t-shirt that you barely ever wear. Now, stop putting perfectly nice tops into the pyjama pile and try it out for yourself!


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