Last week I posted on Wardrobe Refashion about a particular type of neck finish for t-shirts and someone asked for details. I think I've almost got the hang of how to do this and it's seriously easy. What I like about this edging is that it exploits both the give and the non fraying properties of t-shirt material. I think it would work on 100% cotton and cotton lycra mixes. And it's more stable than a plain cut and unhemmed finnish. This is the second I've done, on a cheap Savers tee, but I think I'm nearly ready to use it on a made from scratch t-shirt. Although I did make a fairly ghastly mistake on this one. It's fixable, just means I need to take the sleeves off and reset them. Which is way more effort than I intended. Anyway I'll explain later, so you don't have to go through that particular trauma yourself.
Firstly cut off the ribbing and decide whether you want a vee or round neck. I went for a vee neck. If the t-shirt sleeves sit below your shoulders, consider widening the neck quite a bit. This will mean that you can use gathering which I think is still fashionable and that the shoulders can be pulled in. (I dislike dropped shoulder t-shirts, but if they're your thing, please ignore me.) Save the fabric you cut out in as complete piece as possible.
Remove the gathering cotton. If you didn't sew over it like I did, the gathering cotton should pull out easily once you unpick a few stitches. Otherwise you need to carefully prise it out with the unpicker. Once all the gathering cotton is removed, turn the neck edging so the raw edge is pointing to the neckline and both seams are pointing towards the body of the garment. Top stitch with two rows of straight stitch. I use the foot of the sewing machine as a guide for even stitches. I then repeated the process for the sleeves but left the original hem, as that was OK. There is another photo of the completed t-shirt here.
Then the t-shirt will go in the wash and afterwards will have a lovely curled edge.