Since I basically live in them, I love it when a good t-shirt trend hits the market. T-shirts for everyone! I also adore the built-in choker on tees as both a softer way to wear a choker (especially if you always feel like “real” chokers are, well, choking you) and a different way to show a little skin like you would with a scoop neck or v-neck tee. It’s actually really easy to make your own choker shirt, so you can vary the width and depth of your opening to your liking and not have to just settle for whatever shirt sizes and colors already come that way…
-t-shirt* (I used this one)
-pen or iron-erasable pen
-curve ruler (optional)
*When looking for a shirt for this project, you’ll want to pick one that has a thicker collar/neckband to it compared to one that’s really thin and skinny. The thicker collar will stay in place better as a choker once detached from the shirt below it.
Lay a piece of craft paper over the opening and chest of your t-shirt. Use your fingers and nails to feel the neckline under the paper and make a crease in the paper where the bottom of the neckband sits. Cut out that line you creased so that the paper will sit nicely under the neckband, and mark with your pen how far down you want your opening to come (you may want to try the shirt on first and then measure down how far you want the opening). You’ll also want to decide if you want to cut your opening all the way to the top of the shoulder, or leave a bit of the neckband attached down the front shoulder like I did. Cut the top of your paper pattern at the point where you want your neckband to reconnect to your shirt.
Use a curve ruler for a perfect curved line, a straight ruler for a straight line, or just freehand whatever kind of v-neck or scoop you would like your opening to have. You only have to draw it on one side of your paper because you can fold your template in half before cutting your line, and that way both sides will be mirror images of each other.
Pin your template in place to secure it, and use a pen or iron-erasable pen to trace your v-neck outline.
Use fabric scissors to cut out your opening, and cut carefully under your neckline to free it from the shirt below. If you use a regular pen, make sure to cut on the outside edge of your pen mark so there won’t be any pen left when you are done, or you can simply iron away any stray marks with an iron-erasable pen (which is why I really love that tool!). That’s it! Your shirt is ready to wear!
Being 6 months pregnant can make it so hard for me to find tees that are long enough to fully cover my belly, so being able to make my own version from a shirt that was already long enough was a big help! This is such an easy DIY to do to update an otherwise boring tee, and I love how customizable the neck shape and depth can be. What do you think? See any scissors in the future of some of your favorite shirts? xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.