Sunday, 22 July 2012

Adding a Neck Opening to a Tee - Tutorial

 photo IMG_3214.jpg

Roman's head is off the charts big! This is not a figure of is literally off the charts. See, here's a chart!! I thought that as he got a bit older it wouldn't be such a problem, but he still grows out of his tops because the neck gets too tight to pull over his head.


In this tutorial, I'll show you how to add an opening to the back of a tee. The technical term for this is a continuous bound placket. Fancy hey? This is a bit of a short cut version of a true continuous bound placket, but it cuts down on the bulk and does the job perfectly for a t-shirt. This might look tricky, but I promise it isn't and it's quick too. It will work on any knit or woven top. 

I'm doing it on a completed tee, but it would work just as well if not better if you are making the whole tee from scratch. In that case, add the placket before adding the neck binding/ribbing.

You can finish the placket with KAM snaps, hammered snaps, sew in snaps, buttons or even velcro. The strip of fabric for the placket will not show from the front, so you can use any fabric you like. Make sure it has been pre-shrunk. I happened to have a piece of the knit I made the tee from originally, but you can use any tshirt weight knit or quilting weight cotton. It's a nice place to add a fun fabric!

Ok, now here's the tutorial.

Adding a Neck Opening to a Tee

You'll need:
A t-shirt
A scrap of fabric
A scrap of medium-weight iron on interfacing
Snaps or buttons
Sewing supplies

01-Button Placket 02-Button Placket

To start, decide how long you want the opening and make a line that long down the centre back of the tee. I used 6cm (3.5 inches). Remember this measurement. Next, prepare your placket strip.

The length will be: 2 x (measurement above) + 2.5cm (1 inch)
The width will be: 3cm (1 1/4 inches)

03-Button Placket

Cut your fabric and a piece of interfacing the same size. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric strip. Finish both short ends and one long side of the strip with an overlocker. If you don't have an overlocker, finish with a suitable stitch on your sewing machine. A wide and fairly short zigzag will do.

04-Button Placket 05-Button Placket

Stay stitch along the seam line using a contrasting coloured thread and a short stitch length. Take one stitch across the point of the line. Cut the slit along your mark being very careful not to cut the stitching.

06-Button Placket 07-Button Placket

Hold the slit open and straight. Pin the strip to the slit right sides together, lining the centre of the strip up to the point of the slit.

08-Button Placket 09-Button Placket

To stitch, put the strip down so the stay stitching is up and stitch on the inside of the staystitching keeping an even 6mm (1/4") seam along the strip. The raw edges will line up only at seam ends.

10-Button Placket 11-Button Placket 12-Button Placket

Turn to the inside of the tee and press. Fold the ends under and press.

13-Button Placket 14-Button Placket

Edgestitch on the outer half of the placket, along the seam line, and then across the top to close in the end of the strip. Stitch across the end of the strip on the inner half of the placket.

15-Button Placket 16-Button Placket

Add buttons or snaps and you're done! I used KAM snaps because I already had them, but I think the hammered in metal snaps would work the best.

Button Placket


  1. Huh, who would have thought it could be so easy to stretch those too tight necklines. This is a fabulous tutorial!

  2. Thanks, very handy and super neat. My boys are big heads too.

  3. Interesting to read the chart... at 7 and half months my son"s head measures 48cm. I always thought he had a big head!

    1. Seems like big heads are common. Here's the site I used if you want to type in exact info. I get a bit obsessed with it!

  4. I have a feeling I will be needing this someday when I bear my husbands children. His mom had to get a C-Section because he got stuck. Yikes!
    Love your blog!

  5. This is so smart! I have a big-headed boy, too, and this is a better idea than just telling him to "hang on!" while I yank a tight neckhole over his face! Thank you!

    1. 'hang on' is familiar in this house too!

  6. This is such a great tutorial, I need to do this on some of Casper's T-shirts. Gotta love our boys with big noggins.

  7. Boys and big heads - who would have thought they are so common! Currently we just yank it on which usually extracts a few yelps! I probably should try your tutorial :) Excellent blog by the way, just found you via Sew Mama Sew via another couple of websites. Always good to see sewing for boys.

  8. Such a practical idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Judy @

  9. I'm so glad to find this tutorial! My son's head is HUGE! I just broke out the 6-9 months clothes for him, and there are already several shirts, I had to put right back away, because his head is too big. I never even thought of this solution. Thank you!

  10. Thanks for this. My daughter is also big brained :) I just used this tutorial on a new shirt and for a first attempt turned out really great.

  11. Nice one, thanks. Easy to follow, just what i was looking for for my new jazzy t shirt kind of thing i am making for myself.I have a normal head i think. Thanks, Andrew

  12. I think this is going to be perfect for me and my boatneck tee!! Thanks for sharing with me!


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