You’ve found just the right shirt: fantastic print, perfect color, and a soft fabric that flatters your figure. The only problem is that perfect piece of clothing has a turtleneck attached that is either too tight, too loose or just plain distracting and unattractive. Luckily, a simple neckline redo is only a few snips away.

Things You'll Need

Remove the Turtleneck From Your Knit Sweater

Turn the sweater inside out. You will notice that the turtleneck was knitted separately from the sweater and then the two pieces were stitched together.

Use your scissors to snip the threads joining the neck to the sweater.

Pull out the yarn you’ve snipped. The yarn should unravel easily, leaving you with two separate pieces — the neck and the body of the sweater. If you are happy with the distressed look of the crew neck on your sweater, then you are done.

Finish the Neckline of Your Knit Sweater

Roll the neckline to the inside of the sweater.

Pin the roll around the inside edge of your new neckline.

Use the needle and thread to hand sew the rolled edge of the neckline to the inside of the sweater. This will keep the sweater from unraveling and give your new crew neck sweater a clean finish.

Remove the Turtleneck From a Sewn Top

Turn the turtleneck inside out. The neck has most likely been serged to the body of the shirt. This means there is a lot of thread for you to remove.

Rip out the threads attaching the turtleneck to the body of the shirt with your seam ripper.

Remove the strands of thread from the separated pieces of your top. If you are happy with the distressed look of the crew neck on your shirt, then you are done.

Finish the Neckline

Cut a length of bias tape long enough to go around the new neckline of your crew neck shirt.

Sandwich the unfinished edge of the shirt inside the fold of the bias binding and pin in place. Be sure to fold under the end that overlaps so you have a finished end.

Sew around the neckline attaching the bias binding to the shirt. Be sure to catch both sides of the binding when stitching and double stitch for durability.

Dress Up the Neckline

Lay the turtleneck portion you removed from the sewn top flat on your work surface.

Cut the turtleneck in half lengthwise, leaving you with two loops of fabric. Cut one side of each of the loops open. Now you have two flat strips of fabric.

Pin one end of one strip to the other, right side facing, and stitch the ends together. Now you have one long strip of fabric.

Arrange the strip of fabric on the neckline of the shirt so the center seam of the long strip is centered on the back of the neckline. Pin the edge of the fabric strip around the edge of the nick hole. Leave the front 6 inches unpinned, with the ends of the fabric strip hanging down.

Sew the fabric strip to the neckline. Double stitch for durability.

Wear the new collar flat with the ends dangling or tie the ends together in a soft knot.


  • Don’t toss out the turtleneck, even if you choose not to reuse it to decorate the crew neck on your top. You can still use it as a headband or ear warmer.