Saturday, August 13, 2011

T-shirt neck Ribbing Removal

My great aunt loves t-shirts, but hates the ribbing around the neck. It used to be that she would take her shirts to a seamstress who would do the work for her. This week she brought her new shirt to me.

In theory, I knew that this job could be done. --Remove the ribbing. Turn the neck fabric under twice and sew.--But, I had never done this before and I was full of trepidation! After all, this was my great aunt's recorder orchestra t-shirt and I didn't want to mess it up!

A quick google search was unfruitful. Lots of people showed how to add a contrasting neck after removing the ribbing, but I didn't find any that just turned the t-shirt fabric under.

Out came one of my old and almost dead t-shirt--the '93-'94 MHC physics t-shirt that features "Fred the scary grad student" on the back. I used it as my test. I was pleased to see that there was enough stretch in the shirt fabric that the job was pretty straight forward. I took a deep breath and proceeded to cut and sew my aunt's shirt. And it worked! Now to get it back to her so she can wear it! :)

The details: I cut the ribbing off close to the stitching on the back of the neck. At the front center I cut ~3/8" below the lowest line of stitching and curved it to meet the cut at the back. I then used pins to mark the fold line, 3/8" from the cut edge, and ironed the fold. From the inside, I made the second fold to hide the cut edge and pinned it roughly every inch or inch and a half. The blind-stitch foot with its center vertical part made it easy to keep the stitching straight. I used a long stitch--3.5-- on my wonderful, old elna supermatic.

And, I finished the hat for my son. I think that his choice of using the dark green and variegated green yarns in an alternating pattern worked great! I love how these worsted weight yarns knit up so quickly! This hat was on and off the needles in less than a week. That is amazingly fast compared to the months of sock knitting for my husband's size 13 feet!


Anonymous said...

I always wondered if this was possible. Thanks for the instructions, the photos, the finished object and the courage to try this myself. I just wanted to check, you stitched from the inside using the blade on the foot for accuracy, right?

Jessica Madsen said...

It's been a while since I did this, but yes, I think I did stitch on the inside with the blade on the foot against the folded fabric. --Good luck with your own t-shirt modifications!