Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Comprehensive Guide to T-Shirt Reconstruction, Part 3: Necklines

Part 3: Necklines (this)

Happy Wednesday everybody! Hump day and all that. Welcome to Day 3 of the most comprehensive guide to t-shirt reconstruction that I could put together in a week! Ha! I'm exhausted. And yet? I'm REALLY happy about how this is going so far. I did a lot of work and I'm proud of myself!

So today we're going to go over necklines. Many of these already assume that you've resized, so if you haven't read that blog post, I recommend you go take a look at it. Otherwise, use your ideal resizing method (if you want) before moving on to necklines.

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I'm going to go from simplest neckline to most complex - but I think they all have their merits!

The Simple Scoop Neck

This one couldn't get any easier. Just cut around the neck band of the t-shirt and remove it. Done! If you do it carefully and slowly, you can get a really nice, finished-looking edge that will lay flat and not curly against your shoulders.

The Wide Scoop Neck

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, when you're laying your well-fitted t-shirt on top of the one you want to reconstruct, you'll want to make marks on either side of the well-fitted shirt's shoulder seams - one at the collar and one at the shoulder seam. That will enable you to make sure that the shoulder part fits as well as possible.

With the inner marks you made, draw a gentle scoop along the front of the shirt that connects those two marks:

Then you want to cut along that line, but ONLY on the front part of the t-shirt. For the back, cut just underneath the existing collar. That way you don't have a deeper scoop on the back of your shirt.

And voila! It goes from this:

To this!

It can make a huge difference, especially if you are a person who likes a good scoop on your shirt. I am a big fan of showing a little collarbone, so this is my favorite neckline method.

The V-Neck

V-necks can be tricky - if you freehand the cut, your V can go off center, or the two sides of the V could be going off at different angles, and it looks messy.

The best way to go about it is to cut a straight line down from the center front of the shirt, to the point where you want the bottom of the V to end up:

Then use a straight edge to draw your V-lines. Line up the lines you draw with the existing collar as it goes up towards the shoulder:

Then cut away!

As above, you'll want to cut the back just underneath the existing collar so you don't have a V on your back as well:


A perfect V-neck. :)

The Hoodie

This one was maybe the most fun I had of all of the different t-shirts I reconstructed over the weekend. I had never made a hoodie before but after looking at a couple of tutorials online, and examining a couple of hoodies I already have, it turns out? It's not that hard!

First you'll need a t-shirt you want to reconstruct AND an additional t-shirt for making the hood out of. A contrasting color can be great!

So take your new neckline, made using any of the above options, and use flexible measuring tape to measure around your neckline, first the top:

Then the bottom:

I came up with 25" all the way around. I didn't want my hood to go all the way to the front, so I knocked it down to 24", which means that each half of my hood was 12".

Take your other t-shirt and lay it out flat so there are no major wrinkles in the front or back. You'll be cutting the hood out of both sides of the t-shirt.

Pick a spot close to either the top or bottom of the shirt and measure 12" across and draw a straight line with your chalk - this is the width of your hood:

Then, continuing to use your straight edge, draw another line straight up from one end of the line you just drew to form the height of your hood, so you have a 90 degree angle. I made my hood about 16" high based on a hoodie I already had:

Now use your chalk to draw a curved line starting at the OTHER end of your width line, up until it lines up with the top of your height line. You can use a hood pattern, trace around an existing hood, or you can just freehand it:

Cut it all out and you end up with this:

Sew along your curved line, from the center back of the hood all the way to the front, leaving the straight side open, then fold over that straight edge and hem it if you want:

Now, take your center-back seam of your hood and line it up exactly with the center back of your shirt (right sides together) and pin it there:

Then pin it every few inches all the way around. As you can see, my hood didn't even come around as much as I thought it would, but that's fine:

Sew it in place carefully, and...


This was super duper fun and I hope you try it!

Stay tuned, because tomorrow we're going for it with SLEEVES!!!


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