Turn an oversized t-shirt into a boatneck tee {tutorial}

Yesterday my husband and I were honored to take part in something called Compassion Sunday. Some of you may have been reading along last year when Tsh chronicled her trip to the Philippines with Compassion International over on Simple Mom. This is an organization close the heart of my family as well, as we”ve been sponsoring a child for several years.

Compassion Sunday was simply a day set aside to tell our church family about Compassion and what they do, changing the stories of children around the world. We shared our experiences and set up a table of packets where people could sign up to sponsor a child.

So what does this all have to do with a t-shirt tutorial? 

Read on to find out!

When we opened up our package of Compassion Sunday supplies, I found the t-shirt with this year”s logo. I had ordered a medium, but it proved to be too small for my husband and a bit large for my tastes.

I”m not much of a fashion aficionado (yet?) myself, but with a bit of chalk and some trusty fabric scissors, I set to work to convert the shirt into something a bit more stylish.

How to turn an oversized t-shirt into a boatneck tee

Giving a t-shirt a new look is an easy no-sew transformation.

Try your shirt on; take a piece of chalk and mark below the collarbone how low you want your shirt to be cut, and mark a point on one shoulder where the neckline to be cut.

Measure from the shoulder chalk mark to the neckline of the shirt, and then using a tape measure, mark the other shoulder the same distance from the neckline.

Connect the two shoulder marks and the collarbone mark in a nice curved shape.

Carefully cut along this line through both layers. The great thing about t-shirt knit is that you don”t really have to worry about fraying. It will naturally roll and possibly stretch a little over time though, so you might want to go a little conservative on your cutting.

Once I had my neckline done, I decided to trim the sleeves up a bit. I just tried the shirt on again and folded one casino jeux casino. sleeve up to where I liked it and again marked it with chalk.

I cut about two and a quarter inches off each sleeve, after using my tape measure as a ruler and marking a straight line with chalk to cut along.

The finished product

In about ten minutes, I had restyled my t-shirt! I think it looked really cute paired with a flowy skirt that a friend handed down to me recently.

I especially like the way the back turned out with the low boatneck shape. I can see that I”ll be doing this with more old t-shirts for the summer, pairing them with cute skirts or shorts, and wearing them over a tank or bathing suit at the beach.

I sure do love a good t-shirt repurpose job! Do you have any slightly oversized t-shirts (maybe an old favorite?) laying around that you might want to give a boatneck look?

Interested in learning more about Compassion International? Visit their website to learn how you can sponsor a child.

About Nicole

Nicole can be found blogging at her lifestyle blog GidgetGoesHome.com, and is the editor of Simple Homemade. She loves to read, sew, make ice cream, take pictures, watch baseball and go for walks by the beach with her hubby and three little kiddos. She loves anything handmade and is affectionately known as a bit of a hippie among family and friends.


  1. Super cute! Love it, Nicole.

  2. Great idea! We tend to use our large t-shirts as smocks for the kids now, but to know that I could turn it into something for myself is nice!

  3. I love this idea! I have some tees in my collection that I love the idea of, but never wear because the fit just isn’t “me” or my style.

    This is the perfect solution! Thanks :-)

  4. That’s adorable! I have a few tshirts that just don’t fit right (neck not right and sleeves too long) and it’s worth a try before I turn them into rags!

  5. Oh, now you’ve done it. *runs to closet with scissors*

    Great idea!

  6. marci357 says:

    Cute. A solution I use is to make them into V-necks, as I don’t like fabric against my neck. I just find front center, and cut one line about 4-6 inches long depending on how low you want the V to go. Then I fold the overlap back on the outside on each side – and put a decorative button on top to hold the layers together and open. (No button hole – button just sits on top of the 2 layers, all sewn together…. Or you could just tack it open if you don’t have spare buttons.

    I have used a smaller boat neck on sweatshirts that had a turtle neck collar, to give me some breathing room.

  7. Very cute! I love boatneck tees!

  8. MrBennettar says:

    A medium used to be sufficient, but alas, skin-tight T-shirts are not my thing right now – and we would have had very little support for our Compassion presentation. You wore it very well, though. Nice work.

    • Stacey Bennett says:

      Mr. Bennettar, ahem, skin-tight shirts are very hot, especially when they’re tight around the arms too. You might possibly have had crazy extreme support for your cause if you had both modeled. But what to do with just one shirt? Nice solution, Nicole.

  9. Love it! What a brilliant, and cute (!) solution. =)

  10. Katherine says:

    I love doing this. I also take some elastic thread and sewing a few lines between the shoulder and the sleeve. Got the idea here:


  11. Great idea and it looks super cute! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I meant to compliment you on the shirt on Sunday – you looked super cute up there!

  13. Mary Mann says:

    Was cleaning out my drawers this weekend and was about to toss/donate a dozen or so of my favorite Bass Pro t-shirts when I remembered your post! I picked my favorite ones back out of the bag and took the scissors to ‘em! Now I have some new, fun summer Ts. Thanks for the totally great idea!

  14. I have definitely seen this before, especially done by some of the sorority girls at my college when they have matching t-shirts for events. Some of the girls would want to change up their shirts to be more original so they would cut out designs or make them boat necked like this. If I hadn’t already cut up my old t-shirts into large squares to make a t-shirt quilt I probably would do this to at least a couple of them. I’m glad you found a way to repurpose your t-shirts so that you are more excited about wearing them!


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