Wednesday, May 15, 2013

(almost) No-sew Braided T-shirt Collar Revisited

I've been meaning to revisit the "(almost) No-sew Braided T-shirt Collar" from March of last year.  I didn't have another shirt in my closet that I was interested in altering, so I have kept my eye out when hitting the thrift stores. When I was out a few weeks ago, I finally found a couple of inexpensive T's that I decided to try this again.

When we made these the first time, we both found that the neck felt a bit tight. So, I figured that starting with a deeper scooped neck would still give the braided look without as tight a feel. The T's I picked up each have a fairly scooped neck.
round 2 t-shirt
just a bit scoopy, and not really suitable for teaching in
One issue with this shirt is that I had a hard time trying to incorporate the regular collar (that is slightly ribbed) into the braided part, so it sort of gathers a bit and sticks up above it. Not terrible looking, but I think a shirt with a very skinny or rolled collar might be better as it is hidden by the braid. The peach t-shirt I used the first time around had a thinner collar, as did the t-shirt from the original instructions I followed. I definitely still need a cami underneath. . . it's a bit too see-through to wear without one!
not bad. not great. but not bad.
the original collar is still showing;
tucking it behind the "braid" only made it look awkward

One thing I did to give this collar a little flair was to start the looping process at both shoulders and work my way to the center, where I snipped the middle of one "end" loop, and threaded the other through it, then tacked the two down with a few stitches. This made a rosette-like center, which I kind of like.
center rosette,
(and gathered collar)
I still couldn't figure out how to eliminate the weird gaps at the shoulders, though - partly because I cut extra slits right at the shoulder in an attempt to fix the gaps. Only made it worse, I think. I could fix this by taking scraps of t-shirt or other fabric and make some sort of braided flower-ish thing to sew on to each shoulder, or, better yet, always wear it with a cardigan. Problem solved! I also could have made the slits for the looping longer, to make wider/thicker loops. This t-shirt was really thin, though, so I wanted to maintain some structure. Longer slits may also have helped hide the existing collar.
mind the gap.
or hide it with a cardi
It should be noted that while attempting this a second tine, I spent some time looking at the original blog again, and then at one of the ones the blogger linked. One had very detailed instructions that basically had you gluing down loops that were then "braided" using the same looping method. This definitely gives a cleaner look, she got two rows of the "braid," and it eliminates the weird gaps that formed at the shoulders of ours. Of course, I looked at this one after I had already gone through the process of cutting and looping the collar of this second t-shirt. Oh well. Next time!

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