June 7, 2014

A quick fix for when that t-shirt won't go over the head.

I'm continuing on with my posts about basic t-shirts today. Have you ever spent time and effort making a t-shirt of some description only to go and try it on the recipient and discover that no matter how much pulling and tugging there is, it is just not going to fit over that head. 
Plus most children are crying and writhing if there is too much pulling and tugging required to get it over the head, so the fit needs to be good and fast and easy to get on.

The first few times this happened to me I had the typical sewing tanty. Tears, the item getting thrown in the in bin in great frustration, vowing to never make that pattern again because it just wasn't worth the time and effort. We've all had those sewing moments. And then I figured out that there is a modification you can do to make the shirt fit over the head, and that's what this tutorial is about today. 
The reason a shirt won't fit over a head is generally because it won't stretch enough. You don't want to cut the neckline wider to fit because then you end up with a neckline that doesn't sit nicely and looks all stretched out. It also kinda screams "I'm handmade - and not very well." Here's what I do to fix it - I am sure there are better solutions out there, and you are welcome to go and look for them, but this one is quick and easy and works for me.
First of all grab a small scrap of fabric about 5cm by 5cm.

Flip the top edge over about 1cm and iron.

Place the scrap on the centre back of your t-shirt (do yourself a favour and actually measure where the centre back is) right sides together with the ironed over bit up the top, like in the picture below. Pin into place

Draw a small v shape line down one side and back up the other and sew along that line. Stop halfway as you come up the second side (see below)

Grab a piece of elastic (I am using a hair elastic here, those things really come in handy) and insert it into the seam as you are sewing it so that it forms a little loop (not inside the v bit, on the outside of the v shape).

Finish sewing the rest of the vshape.
Take your scissors and carefully cut down the centre front - don't worry if you cut the elastic off at this point, it is the loop on the other side that you are interested in.

Flip the scrap around to the inside of the shirt and press, so you now end up with a slit in the back of the shirt up near the neckline.
Fold under the raw edges on the scrap, press and sew into place. Please excuse the unironed short in the picture below. I can't be bothered ironing it for the photo. Lazy I know, but I've got sick kids home from school today and am lucky to be getting anything done on the computer.

Sew a button on the back opposite the elastic loop and you are good to go. You have now created a wider opening that looks neat and finished and hopefully it will fit over that head quickly and easily!

Kate will be taking a bit of a break from blogging for the next month or so - she has just moved into a new house that they have been building, and she has lots unpacking and organising to do, plus she has no internet connection for at least three weeks. Look out, you're stuck with me! 
We are also in the process of moving our blog over to a different web host, which is quite the learning curve for  us, so it may be a little quiet on the blog for another month or so!
Thanks for following along today.


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