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I am an 80s kid. Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, the Bangles, Flashdance… a whole decade of cutting ribbed collars off perfectly good t-shirts. Now that I’m in my 40s, these raw, rolled edges are back in style, and my inner 80s child is ecstatic. Cut t-shirts flatter just about any body type, are super comfortable, and are a wonderful way to bring new life to an old t-shirt. For this post, we’re going to use a t-shirt from one of my favorite Michigan-based small shops, Fresh Apparel.

It’s not as easy as just cutting off the collar. Trust me. I’ve ruined many a t-shirt with a too-wide cut, converting the altered garment into a useless tube of fabric. I found a great video from a Canadian YouTuber that had great advice, which I’ve summarized below.

First, fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise, and mark the center of the collar. It doesn’t matter what you use to mark the shirt, as you’ll be cutting off the collar anyway.

Second, measure the distance from the bottom of your neck, to the bottom of your opposite shoulder.

Round this measurement down to the nearest whole number. Next, divide that number in half. To illustrate, if your measurement is 15.75″, round down to 15″. Half of 15″ is 7.5″. Write that number down, because if you’re anything like me, you’re going to forget that number within two minutes.

Lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface. Line the marked mid-point up with your magic number, and rotate your tape so that the end of it meets the shoulder of your t-shirt. This is where you’re going to start cutting. Make another mark.

Now, take your scissors, and take a deep breath. It’s time to cut. For your first cut, snip through the shoulder seam, just outside the shoulder mark you just made. This will cut through two layers of fabric, and make your starting hole.

Next, cutting only through the top layer, cut a curve, around the collar, to meet your mid-point mark. This does not have to be a perfect curve. Just try to keep it smooth. Next, and here’s the first big trick, fold your cut over to the other side, and use it as a template to cut the other half, as shown below.

Finally, and this is the second trick, cut a straight line across the back. Don’t curve the back. Cut straight across. This is what ensures the shirt will not fall right off your body.

And that’s it! Here’s the finished product. It’s nice, because once you’ve done one, it’s super quick and easy to do several more. I also end up wearing my tshirts more, because I like pairing the raw, boatneck collar with a cardigan or hoodie in cooler weather. Have fun!


Distracted, working mom seeking short escapes from a hectic life via quick crafts and fast food. Sure, she could meditate, after she cleans the house.

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