Turtlenecks can be cut to tank tops, but because the cloth behaves differently, the method varies somewhat from when making tank tops from T-shirts. This article will detail how to make a tank top that looks good out of a turtleneck.
Start by cutting the sleeves off just inside the shoulder seam. Make a hole right at the bottom of the sleeve under the seam, then cut around the sleeve. Do not cut the armhole any lower than the seam. Cut the entire neck off of the turtleneck, right along just outside the seam. Try on the turtleneck and stretch it gently to see what you are dealing with.
Here you have a few areas of attention. The sides often jut out below the armholes, the neckhole often stretches out then bunches in front, and the arm straps may be too wide. It is time to correct these areas. This is simple and straightforward to do, and so we will look at each area.
To eliminate the cloth jutting out under the arm, it can be trimmed back or trimmed off. If the armholes are too shallow, deepen them by cutting a triangle off of the side hem and then slightly rounding so it looks a little more natural. The armhole will not be perfectly round, but that’s all right. If the armholes are already at a perfect depth, cut off in a line along where the side of the shirt needs to be, and when you reach where the armhole starts, curve into the shirt to re-establish the armhole at that depth. If the armholes are already too deep, keep cutting straight until you strike the armhole, then trim the armhole to make it look more rounded. Sew the side together to re-establish the side hem.
Next, deal with the neck area. Rather than widen or deepen the neck, you will trim it to a hybrid of crew and V-neck, much like a basketball jersey. Turtleneck material cannot hold a good cut crew neck shape as it stretches out and becomes sloppy. By angling the cloth downwards , it prevents it from flattening out. Cloth cut at an angle tends to hold its shape better. Do not conclude with a hard V but have about a two inch area that transitions the two angles in a more rounded arc. This neck alteration usually is sufficient for deepening the neckline.
Now it is time to trim back the shoulders. Mark where the tank top should ideally end and then cut about a half inch outside that. Try it on and see where less or more needs to be cut and adjust the lines, and make the final cut. Because turtleneck material does not fray or curl, cut along the exact dimensions that you want the final tank top to have. Save the sleeves and collar for future crafts.
You now have a very comfortable turtleneck-material tank top that will perform well and look good for many years, saving on the clothing budget and re-purposing unwanted turtlenecks.