Jeans and T-shirts can be equally fashionable as an Oscar de la Renta ballgown.
These were the word that came from Anna Wintour in that Vogue documentary from ages ago. And yes, a simple white T-shirt can look very chic when paired with the right accessories. But you’re not here because of that. You’re here because you are bored with that T-shirt.
It doesn’t take much to change a simple tee into something more interesting and fashionable. So, today, I’ll show you 11 T-shirt neckline cutting ideas that even a beginner can do. Let’s cut straight into it.
For most of these projects, you need nothing but a sharp pair of scissors. Ideally, that would be fabric scissors that you are not using for anything else. Just don’t use those children’s paper scissors, please.
But if T-shirt customization is your new thing, you may want to invest in a rotary cutter. These guys are ideal for cutting through knits since they will give smooth lines and not stretch out the fabric. The cutters and replacement blades are not that expensive, but a cutting mat can be. The smaller ones will be ok for the following projects, so pick one that you can squeeze into your budget.
Optional, but highly recommended – starch or stabilizer. They will stiffen up the fabric so it doesn’t wiggle or stretch, which will provide you with neat results. You’ll have to wash out both, so don’t plan on wearing your creation straight away.
1. A Simple and Quick Scoop
This is the simplest way to cut a neckline on a T-shirt. It’s great when you want to make it less restrictive or if you want to create a worn-in look without slashing the tee to bits.
The best bit? You’ll be done in minutes.
- Lay the shirt flat and make 2 snips on the shoulder seams where you want the scoop to begin and end.
- Fold the T-shirt in front and make a snip below the neckline. Cut to the shoulder seam.
- Repeat the previous step in the back as well.
2. Of the Shoulder Look
You have to ways to get this look. The easy way is to simply cut a bigger scoop neck. The harder calls for some elastic and basic sewing skills.
- Take a large T-shirt and cut a straight line from shoulder to shoulder.
- Fold the edge and sew a channel. Leave about an inch open so we can feed the elastic through.
- Feed the elastic through the channel. Sew the edge together and snip off the excess.
- Close the channel by hand with a whip stitch or by topstitching on a sewing machine.
3. Cold-shoulder Cut
For this style, you can’t use a slim-fit tee. There’s simply not enough sleeve fabric on it to come out nice. Instead, pick a plain cotton T-shirt. Don’t worry, the results will be anything but plain.
- Lay the T-shirt flat and mark where on the neckline the cut should begin. Do the same in the back as well.
- The cut will have to end at least 1/4 of an inch before the shoulder point (the place where the shoulder seam and sleeve meet). Mark it and draw the line from the neckline, curving it a little.
- Cut with either a rotary cutter or scissors.
- For a more polished look, hem with tape or by sewing a narrow hem.
4. Choker, Version 1
You’ve seen this style in stores a lot in the past couple of years. It probably cost a lot more than a normal T-shirt.
Well, not you’ll learn how to make it in minutes at home.
- Lay the T-shirt flat and mark how deep you want to cut.
- For the T-shirt in front and from the marked point to the neckline.
- Carefully snip around the neckline, watching so you don’t catch the seam.
5. Choker, Version 2
This style is a combination of the previous two. No need for a step-by-step for this one, since all you are doing, is starting with a choker and finishing with the cold shoulder.
A quick note though, unlike the cold shoulder, you can make this one with whichever T-shirt you have laying around.
6. Keyhole Neckline
Two major keyhole styles appear on T-shirts. It’s almond and teardrop. You can pick whichever one you like better, and feel free to cut it as big or small as you like.
The only thing is that this style looks better when the edges don’t remain raw. Finishing it with stitches or tape will provide definition and a more polished look.
- Lay the T-shirt flat and mark where the keyhole should be. Cut about a 1/4 of an inch inside that line.
- If sewing, hand sew a rolled or narrow hem all around the markings.
- If using tape, place it on the wrong side of the fabric so it outlines the design. Fold the fabric towards it and press as you go.
7. Vertical Slashes
This one can be a bit tricky. It’s better to start with a T-shirt that with a snug fit.
You will also need a steady hand. With so many cuts and slashes, it’s easy to end up with uneven results. Mark the fabrics with chalk or soap to prevent this from happening.
- Lay the T-shirt flat and draw the lines where you will be cutting. Then fold the fabric so those lines are folded in half.
- Work from the side opposite of your dominant hand. Don’t cut at least 1/8 of an inch away from the seam.
- If you wish to do the same in the back, go for it. Just remember to not cut too close to the seam on this side as well.
8. Braided Neckline
If you have a shirt with a stretched-out necklace that you want to rescue, this will do the trick. You can either cut the neckline binding or ribbing or leave it where it is.
You can also use the same technique on sleeves or to create more texture on the bodice.
- Snip 1-inch slits about half an inch apart around the neckline. If you’re doing it only on one side, the first snip should be about half an inch long.
- Take a crochet hook or some bent wire. Pick up the piece of fabric between snips 2 and 3 and pull it through the first one. This will create a loop.
- Pick up the fabric between snips 3 and 4 and pull through the loop. Repeat until you run out of loops.
- For a one-sided design, tack the last loop to the fabric. Stretch it out a little bit so it resembles other loops in the braid.
- If the braid is going around the entire collar, fold the last loop towards the first one. Tack the loop inside the first loop, so it looks like one continuous braid.
9. Poly-blend “laser” Cutouts
Okay, bad news, we are not playing with lasers. You probably don’t have one sitting at home anyway. However, it’s more likely that you have a soldering iron gathering dust somewhere.
For this project, we will need a T-shirt with a healthy dose of polyester. Cotton will not work at all. And you’ll need a stabilizer or starch this time.
- Starch the T-shirt or apply a spray-on or washable stabilizer.
- Draw the design where you want it to be. Don’t make it too small and detailed, since it may not come out right.
- Place the protective pad under the fabric and start cutting with the soldering iron. Use the smallest tip you have for best results.
- Wash out the starch or stabilizer. If the design refuses to lay flat, you can sew some stretchy mesh inside the tee.
10. A Simple and Quick Lace-up V-neck
No need to pick up a hammer and rivets for this one. Pop into your local fabric store and get a strip of rivets on tape. If they don’t have it, check out any place that sells corset-making supplies.
Oh, and you will need ribbon or anything else for lacing.
- Cut a V neckline as deep as you want. You can keep the original collar like in the first choker idea or remove the front piece as well. Don’t cut the rest of the neckline. We will need it for support.
- Cut the tape with rivets to size. Sew by hand or on a sewing machine or attach with some fabric glue or tape.
- Poke the holes with an awl or another sharp pointy tool.
- Lace up with ribbon, string, or laces of choice.
11. Punks Not Dead
And we can’t miss out on this idea. People have been doing it since the 70s and it’s time that you give it a try.
You can either leave the original neckline on or cut it off for an edgier look. If you are not comfortable with cutting the tee so much in front, feel free to start slashing around shoulders or the in the back.
- If you are cutting the T-shirt with a rotary cutter, place the cutting mat under the area you’re slicing. If cutting with scissors, fold the tee in front.
- To cut with a rotary cutter, simply make slashes where you want them to be. To cut with scissors, place the tee on a flat surface and try not to move it a lot when cutting.
- Optional: tug at cut strings to stretch out and curl them.