You probably have a whole dresser drawer full of old t-shirts collected at concerts, sports games, or vacation gift stores! If this t-shirt collection starts to feel boring or out of date, you may want to consider updating the neckline of the old shirts to give them a new life. If you want to try this, check out this fun guide to 18 t-shirt neckline cutting ideas!
Some of the most popular t-shirt alterations include turning a crewneck into a V-neck or boat-cut style. Other popular choices include crafting an off-the-shoulder cut or adding details like a laddered V neck. T-shirt neckline alterations can use sewing, cutting, or even braiding and tying techniques.
In this article, you will learn eighteen t-shirt neckline alteration methods. You will discover how to make a t-shirt look more feminine and how to fix a too-small tee neckline. Finally, you will find tips on how to use no-sew neckline alterations!
- How Do You Cut Different Necklines?
- 18 T-Shirt Neckline Cutting Ideas
- How to Alter a Shirt Neckline Without Sewing?
- How to Cut a T-Shirt to Make it Cute in the Neck?
- How to Make a Crewneck Shirt More Feminine?
- How to Cut the Neckline of a T-Shirt in a Simple Way
- T-Shirt Neck Too Small
- How to Cut the Neck of a Men’s Shirt
- How to Cut a T-Shirt Neck No Sew
How Do You Cut Different Necklines?
You can cut different neckline styles into a shirt in many ways, including cutting out a new shape with scissors, tying or braiding a different style into place, or using sewing techniques to reshape the neckline.
The neckline of a shirt is the edge closest to your neck. Most of the time, you can also refer to this area as the collar. For example, a classic crewneck tee has a ribbed edging, or collar, that makes a circle around the neck.
You may want to restyle the neckline of a t-shirt if the crewneck collar feels tight and constraining to you. You may also just want to make the tee look a bit more interesting by giving it a less common collar style.
In this article, you’ll find eighteen different neckline styles to choose from. Follow these tips before you try most of the eighteen methods:
- Start by lightly steaming or ironing the tee to remove any big wrinkles.
- Working on a flat surface like a table, fold the shirt with a crease down the center front and center back, leaving one of the sleeves facing up at you. Fold that sleeve down flat onto the surface of the fabric.
- Using your fingers to feel the sleeve that is beneath the shirt, do your best to make sure the two shoulder seams rest on top of each other. This will help you cut out a balanced new neckline.
- Smooth out the fabric of the shirt as much as you can.
It helps to use very sharp sewing shears to avoid cutting jagged edges into your shirt, but the good thing about cutting a new neckline into your tees is that t-shirts contain knit fabric that will not fray as you cut it; this means that you can leave a raw edge and it will stay nice!
For a few of the techniques, you will also need a sewing machine. In most cases, you could stitch by hand if you prefer, though.
Finally, using a flexible tape measure will help you create an even neckline as you draft a new design; just use a piece of chalk and make sure you measure the same distance from the old collar on both sides of the shirt as you sketch in a new design!
18 T-Shirt Neckline Cutting Ideas
You can redesign a basic t-shirt by cutting out a new neckline as simple as a scoop neck or as complicated as a fancy bowtie design! Check out these eighteen stylish ideas to update your t-shirt collection.
1. Scoop Neck
Changing a classic t-shirt into a scoop neck is pretty easy! A scoop neck has a rounded edge and a deep curve dipping down toward the chest. You see this design most often in women’s shirts.
- Start with the basic preparation steps at the beginning of this article.
- Next, find the fold that marks the center front of the shirt.
- Use a tape measure and chalk to decide how deep you want to cut the new scoop neck. For example, you can mark one inch down from the current collar, or two inches, or even three inches for a super deep scoop.
- This mark shows the deepest point of the scoop neck. Use your chalk to draw half of the scoop going up to the shoulder seam. You can use a curved ruler to help draw this edge if you have one.
- Use your scissors to cut along this line.
That’s it! You could fold over the edge you just cut and hem it with a sewing machine if you prefer, but the raw edge will not fray and will give your shirt an edgy look.
2. Boat Cut
A boat-cut neck has a wide, slightly rounded shape with edges that usually reach your collar bones. You may also see this style called a Sabrina neckline because Audrey Hepburn made it popular when she played a character called Sabrina in a famous movie!
- After doing the prep work to prepare your shirt, locate the shoulder seam facing up at you.
- Measure one inch down the shoulder seam from the original neckline. Mark this point with chalk.
- Find the center fold and measure one inch down that fold from the original collar, marking the new point with chalk.
- Now draw a rounded shape connecting your two points.
- Cut out the new shape, slicing through both layers of the shirt!
3. V Neck
Adding a V-neck to a tee takes just a few minutes, and you don’t even need to alter the back of the neckline for this one.
A V-neck dips down to a V-shaped point at the center front of the neck, though you can find V-neck shirts with a deep cut or a shallow V. This style is popular for both men and women.
- Prep your shirt and locate the fold at the center front of the tee.
- Use a tape measure and chalk to mark the tip of the V. If you measure several inches down the center fold, you will create a deep V. If you measure just an inch down the fold, you will have a shallow V.
- Now draw a straight line from that point to a point you choose on the original collar. For a wide V, select a point toward the shoulder seam, and for a narrow V, pick a point on the collar itself.
- Cut along your chalk lines.
4. Ladder V Neck
If you like the look of a V-neck but want something a bit fancier, try a ladder V-neck! You can make these cuts in the front or the back neckline of the shirt, depending on your preference.
- Cut off the crewneck collar.
- Pick a point at the center front or center back fold for the tip of the V.
- Next, draw a line connecting the tip of the V to the shoulder seam. This will form the sides of the V.
- This time, don’t cut straight down the chalk lines for the sides of the V. Instead, cut slits horizontally from the center fold to your diagonal chalk line. Keep going until you have cut horizontal slits down the length of the V.
- Unfold the tee and see your “ladder” like cuts decorating the V shape!
5. Off The Shoulder
If you want a more glamorous style, try an elegant off-the-shoulder t-shirt! This trendy look shows up most often in women’s fashions. You can style this kind of tee so that both your shoulders remain bare or drape the top so that one shoulder remains covered and the other is bare.
- Prep the shirt by folding it in half. Locate the fold at the center front.
- Next, take your own measurements. To do this, imagine where you want the off-the-shoulder neckline to drape across your collar bones. Place the tip of the measure at your shoulder where the shoulder seam will fall, and then drape the flexible measure to the center of your collarbone, mimicking how you want the neckline to drape over your body. Note down this measurement.
- Now, place the measure on the folded tee and repeat exactly what you did on your body. Place the tip of the measure at the shoulder seam and drape the measure until you reach the center fold using the same measurement you noted down.
- Draw a chalk line to trace the tape measure.
- Cut along this line.
6. Halter Top
If you want a sleek, sleeveless look instead of a basic t-shirt, try turning your tee into a halter top. A halter top looks like a tank top except that the sleeveless straps tie behind the back of the neck–though you can also find halter tops that just loop behind the neck without a tie.
- Arrange your tee smooth and flat on a hard work surface like a table, with the front of the shirt facing up.
- Make four marks with a piece of chalk. First, measure one inch down the original collar from the shoulder seam. Mark this on the right and left of the collar.
- Second, draw a chalk line where the sleeve seam and side seam meet at the base of the armpit on each side.
- Now draw an upside-down C-shaped curve connecting these points on either side of the shirt. Basically, you are drawing a line that separates the sleeve and shoulder seams from the shirt.
- Cut through both the front and back layers of the shirt as you cut on this line.
- Flip the tee over and draw a straight line across the back from one of your armpit marks to the other. Cut along this line to remove the upper back of the shirt.
- Cut off the remaining section of the crewneck collar from the front of the shirt.
- Fold over one inch of the raw edge at the collar and use a sewing machine to stitch it to the inside of the shirt. Stitch close to the raw edge, leaving a slot for a ribbon to fit through.
- Slide a length of ribbon through this casing and use it as a halter strap to tie behind the back of your neck.
7. Braided Halter Top
For a fancier type of halter top, you can use a slice and braid approach rather than creating loose ends to tie at the back of the neck.
- Draw a line one inch inside the sleeve seam on both sides of the shirt, and then cut along these lines to remove both sleeves.
- Flip the shirt over to work on the back. Draw another line deeper inside the sleeve hole on each side of the back, curving up to just inside the original collar. Basically, you will cut off an extra section here to widen the armholes at the back.
- Now cut one inch below the collar at the back of the shirt, separating the collar from the back.
- You should have a roughly rectangular section remaining at the center back of the shirt. Cut two slits down this vertically, separating the rectangle into three long strips.
- Pull gently on each strip to make it longer and stretchier.
- Braid the three strips together, pulling on them as you work to form a tight braid. Tie a knot when you reach the end of the strips to keep the braid in place.
- Finally, you can either use a sewing machine to stitch the braid to the back of the collar or use the remaining loose ends at the tip of the braid to tie another knot and knot the braid to the back of the collar.
You can easily turn pretty much any knit shirt into a choker style. A choker shirt features a collar close to the neck and then an opening cut out below this, creating the illusion of a choker strap like a necklace.
- Turn your shirt inside out and arrange it with the front of it smoothed out facing up at you.
- Pick a point at the center front of the shirt for the tip of the V-shaped cutout. Mark this with chalk.
- Use a curved ruler to draw two perfect lines connecting the tip to the sides of the original collar.
- Draw one more chalk line tracing the bottom edge of the original collar. You should now have a chalk outline forming a V with a curved top.
- Use sharp scissors to cut along this line, removing this portion from the front of the shirt.
9. U Neck
A U-neck shirt looks like a V-neck except that the dip in the collar rounds like the letter U instead of forming a sharp point. You can find this style for both men and women, though it is more popular in women’s fashion.
To cut out a U-neck, simply follow the steps to make a Vneck shirt, but draw a rounded tip instead of a sharp point before you cut.
10. Bardot Neck
A bardot neckline features an off-the-shoulder style with an elastic gather to hold it in place just off the shoulders, sometimes with a ruffle along the top edge. This technique does require a bit of sewing, so get out your sewing machine before you start!
- Start with a too-big tee so that it has room to gather up around your shoulders.
- Smooth out the shirt on a flat surface.
- Draft a curved line across the front of the shirt, starting at the shoulder seam right before it meets the sleeve and moving to the other shoulder seam.
- Cut along this edge by slicing through both layers of the shirt along your chalk line.
- Fold under one inch along your new, wider neckline. Use a sewing machine to stitch beside the cut edge around the circle.
- Measure around this new, wider opening. Cut a length of elastic two inches shorter than that measurement.
- Put a safety pin on one end of the elastic. Work it through your new casing.
- When you have formed a circle of elastic around the neckline, sew the two ends of elastic together to form a loop.
11. Criss Cross Neckline
Another way to add a decorative touch to your tees is to add crisscrossing straps inside a V-neck.
- The easiest way to make the thin straps for the crisscross is the slice away a section of the hem or off the sleeves. Use your sewing machine to form a thin spaghetti strap from this excess material.
- Then either sew the straps to the inside of the V neck so they criss-cross each other or use a punch tool to install metal eyelets to weave the straps through for an even fancier touch!
12. Racerback Neckline
A racerback neckline has a “T” shape at the back of the neck, making wide armholes in the back. Because of the extra-wide armholes, this style works great for athletic shirts as it allows a wider range of arm movement.
- Start by cutting off the sleeves just inside the seam.
- Cut off the original collar, slicing just below the ribber portion to slice it away.
- Fold the shirt in half along the center back.
- Make a point four inches down the center of the back from the collar and use this marking as the tip of a V. Cut a V shape down to the point, opening up the back collar.
- Cut a thin tie out of the V you cut out.
- Pick up the armhole from the right and left sides of the shirt and gather them into the empty V space. Tie them together at the center back.
13. Bow Tie Sleeveless
If you want a cutesy t-shirt design, look no further than a sleeveless bow design!
To make this, cut off the sleeve from a fitted tee. Then follow the steps to make a laddered V neck, with one edition–tie a thin strip of excess t-shirt material around the center of each ladder. This will make tiny bows inside the V!
14. Back Of Neck Bow
Sometimes it’s cool to highlight the back of the neckline instead of the front, as in this cute bow at the back of the neck style!
- Smooth out the shirt with its back facing up at you.
- Use a ruler to draw a straight line horizontally across the middle of the back, from one side seam to the other.
- Use sharp scissors to cut along this line.
- Measure a cure one inch below the back of the collar, and then cut along this chalk line to remove the back of the collar.
- Cut a strip of t-shirt off the removed collar to use as a tie.
- Tie the center back from your horizontal strip of the new collar, cinching it tight to form a bow shape!
15. T-Shirt to Shrug Gathered Neck
If you really want to change up a t-shirt, you can transform a tee into a shrug with a gathered neckline.
- Slice straight up the center front of the shirt.
- Slice away the original collar, creating a wider boatneck style opening.
- Now use sewing pins to fold under one inch of material all the up the center shirt cut edge and around the whole neckline, and then back down the other cut edge at the center front.
- Stitch close the cut edge where you pinned.
- You should now have a casing that runs from the center front of the shirt, around the neckline and back down the other side of the center front.
- Measure this distance and then cut a piece of elastic two to three inches shorter than that distance.
- Use a safety pin on the end of the elastic to work it through the casing. Stitch the ends of the elastic down at the bottom of each center front casing.
16. Peekaboo Neck
You can create a quirky style in any t-shirt by simply tracing a shape and cutting it out of the shirt just below the existing collar. Place the cutout at the center front or offset by angling it to one side below the collar.
One of the easiest ways to get a perfect cutout is to trace a cookie cutter inside the shirt and then use sharp scissors to cut around the line you drew.
17. Add Lace
For a flirty, sweet, or just plain cute decoration on your cutout tee, try sewing lace behind any cutout. You can do this behind a ladder-cut V neck, a peekaboo cut-out, or even the bow-tie back design! Simply hand stitch lace to the edge of the cutout section of the shirt.
18. Tube Top
Making a form-fitting tee into a tube top requires just one cut!
Simply measure up from the hem of the t-shirt to give yourself an even line at the point that reaches the bottom of the armpit. Draw this with chalk and then cut along this line!
How to Alter a Shirt Neckline Without Sewing?
You can alter a shirt neckline without sewing by using cutting techniques like the V neck method, the racerback method, or the U neck method.
You can safely cut the t-shirt neckline without sewing because the knit fabric used in tees will not fray. For a fancier finish, you can always fold a raw edge under and stitch along the folded edge to hem it.
How to Cut a T-Shirt to Make it Cute in the Neck?
You can cut a t-shirt to make it cute in the neck by trying the bowtie, added lace, or scoop neck methods described in this article. The criss-cross V-neck method can also look super cute and sexy, especially if you cut a deep V!
How to Make a Crewneck Shirt More Feminine?
The easiest way to make a crewneck t-shirt more feminine is to cut off the ribbed crewneck collar and use the V-neck method in this article.
How do you cut a shirt to show cleavage? Simply use the V-neck or U-neck method, but place the tip of the V or U father down the center front of the shirt. This will create a lower neckline.
How to Cut the Neckline of a T-Shirt in a Simple Way
The absolute most simple way to cut the neckline of a t-shirt is to cut a small vertical line down the center of the collar.
Locate the center front of the collar by folding the shirt in half long ways. Use sharp scissors to cut two inches down the center fold from the middle of the collar. That’s it!
The cut edges will fold over as you wear the shirt, forming a sort of placket at the center of the collar.
T-Shirt Neck Too Small
The easiest way to fix a t-shirt neck that is too small is to turn the crewneck into a V-neck, boat neck, or U-neck style. Any of these cuts provide more space within the neck hole, which should feel more comfortable!
You can also just slice off the ribbed crewneck collar and open up another inch of room all around the neck hole if you don’t mind the raw edge.
How to Cut the Neck of a Men’s Shirt
The best way to cut the neck of a men’s shirt is to turn a crewneck T into a V-neck. V-neck remains a popular men’s style, giving you a slightly more fashionable appearance. Plus, it provides a wider neck hole that may feel more comfortable.
You can also easily turn a men’s tee into a racerback tank, following the instructions earlier in the article. This is a great way to reuse an old tee and recycle it for use during your workouts!
How to Cut a T-Shirt Neck No Sew
You can cut a t-shirt neck using many no-sew methods, including the V-neck, boat cut, laddered neck, and bowtie styles described in this article.
Leaving raw-cut edges in a cut tee is quite a popular fashion. You do not need to worry about a cut edge fraying on t-shirt material. This means you can cut, brief, weave, or tie tees into all kinds of original creations!
One of the best ways to dress up an old t-shirt is to cut a new neckline into it and restyle the tee. You can use cutting methods that just need scissors or methods that require a sewing machine or a needle and thread. You can also employ techniques that braid or knot the t-shirt to form a new neckline.
One of the simplest and most popular ways to alter a t-shirt neckline is to turn a crewneck into a V neck. Turning your tee into a racerback tank or a braided racerback tank will give you a handy workout tanktop. You can also add fancy decorative touches such as adding lace inserts, bows or laddered strips, or a peekaboo cutout to your T-shirt neck.
Have you ever upcycled a t-shirt by cutting the neckline into a new shape? What method did you use? Leave a comment below to let us know!