Roman’s head is off the charts big! This is not a figure of speech…it 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
A scrap of fabric
A scrap of medium-weight iron on interfacing
Snaps or buttons
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turn to the inside of the tee and press. Fold the ends under and press.
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.
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.