Refashion: Smocked V Neck Tee Tutorial

I have a bit of a v-neck tee problem. I love them. I collect them. But I always underestimate how much cleavage they show. They look awesome in the dressing room, but after a few hours and a tussle or two with the baby, the neckline is showing way more than I bargained for. I don't want to wear them with tanks underneath both because I hate how it looks, and because avoiding layering is my new goal.

I am just tickled pink with how this smocking refashion turned out.

I got the idea from a tee I scored on clearance at Anthropologie this winter. And it was both quick and relatively easy.

Click through for the full tutorial.

V-Neck Tee
Graph Paper
Marking Pen (I have this one)
Ballpoint Pen
Needle & Thread or Sewing Machine

Draw out your pattern for smocking (or find mine here). If you don't have any graph paper on hand, click here to print your own. Push ballpoint pen through your marks to create an opening.

Lay out pattern on shirt. Mark through the holes with marking pen.

Pin matching dots together. I used my sewing machine on a zig zag setting and zero stitch length at each marked spot. You can also tack together by hand using needle and thread. Repeat on other side of shirt.

Depending on how much smocking you did, the neck band may now be too large. I took mine in a bit at each shoulder seam and at the point of the V.

UO Tee - Refashioned - $5 | similar here | here | here | and here 
Anthropologie skirt - gift | similar here | here | and here

I love this pattern of smocking but am hoping to come up with a few more options because I have a sizable section of my closet dedicated to tees with too deep necklines.

Have you refashioned anything lately? Leave a link so we can all check it out!  


  1. Ahh, thank you for the good idea! I nearly always resort to the cami under the too-deep V, but when it's humid summer here (I'm not from Texas, but extreme SW MO is almost as bad), I start to melt. I've never done smocking, but I have done some shirring with elastic thread. If you're looking for another gathering option, it's easy and impressive looking. This tutorial ( is for the side of a shirt, but the shirring could easily be done around the shoulders. Hmmm. . .so many possibilities. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Great idea! I've been struggling with a few of my v's as well. The after looks prettier than the before!

  3. I was just contemplating how to hide cleavage without wearing a tank underneath this morning, so this idea for a smocked tee is great. And You look beautiful with your hair back.

    1. Thanks! It's the Gibson tuck. Pretty much wear my hair in some form of it every day!

  4. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!! I love v necks and hate layers and hate messing with my shirt when I'm holding my daughter. Pinning this to try later. :)

  5. Brilliant! I love v-necks too and I'm SICK of layering! Thanks! I love your hair done that way!

  6. Awesome tutorial!

    Do you pin the matching dots side to side or the up and down ones? :)


    1. Up and down, because we are wanting to shorten it vertically. Does that make sense? If you download my pattern here, you can see I have connected the dots to be matched up.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  7. Wow, that looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing! I was just internet surfing and ran across this.

  8. I have a too-large, tee-shirt-like, tie-dye cardigan thing. The shoulder seams are about 2 inches off my actual shoulders. I wonder if this smocking would work for making it fit? What do you think? (a new follower - love your shopping guidance!!

  9. This is excellent, saw it months ago and was in love. Did you ever come up with new ideas for tees with too deep of a v? I, like you, have too many! I also have a baby and agree that after holding them and carrying around, that v always seems SO MUCH deeper.


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