T-shirts are the most usual wear for most of the people. And over time, these become old, faded, stained or not fashionable enough to wear anymore. I’m sure you’ve some in your wardrobe. Maybe your husband doesn’t wear it any longer and you like the fabric and color of it.
So why should you not turn that T shirt into a fashionable tank top?
There are usually two kinds of tank tops:
- Basic tank top
- Racerback tank top.
Both of them are easy and simple to make. You’ll only need some scissors. Then finish the parts using a sewing machine to get a neat look. But that’s not essential as this fabric will not fray.
Now, step by step we will guide you to cut that T shirt and turn it into a Basic Tank Top.
Basic tank top
If you don’t have a tank top near you, don’t worry we’ll show you how to make one without a template tank top.
Step 2: Now take that T shirt and turn inside out. It’s not necessary that the shirt is fit unless you want a fitted tank top. Depends on you. If it’s only bought and not used then wash it as this fabric tend to shrink after washing. You don’t want a tank top that’s too small for you.
Step 3: Take a iron and iron both your T shirt and template tank top. So that there won’t be any wrinkle. What it’ll do is make working with the fabric easier.
Step 4: Lay your chosen T shirt on an even table or place.Then take you the tank top and place it on the T shirt. Align the shoulder of the T shirt with the shoulder of the tank top properly. Make sure the front side is facing towards you and not towards the table.
Step 5: Pin or staple the edges T shirt and the tank top, especially the shoulders. Be careful not to damage the fabric. Staple or pin the fabrics properly so that all the layers are joined together.
This will hold both the cloths together and make your cutting easier and even all through.
Step 6: Cut the T shirt according to the tank top. Use the armholes of the top and neckline as a guide. If you prefer a finished and neater hem then leave half an inch or 1.67 cm as seam allowance. Although a finished hem isn’t a must for tank tops as the fabric won’t fray, a finished hem looks neater and elegant.
Step 7: Detach the tank top from the T shirt and put it aside. Take the staple pins or normal pins out. Don’t turn the T shirt outside in. Leave it inside out at this point. You’ll be working like this until the end.
Step 8: If you want wider armholes and neckline then cut the front neckline and the armholes wider. Some tops have a low front neckline compared to the back. As for armholes, don’t cut too much if you want a neater finished hem. Remember to have a half inch (1.67 centimeters) for seam allowance.
Step 9: Fold and staple the cut edges. Then press them with a hot Iron to make them flat. Remember to fold down the edges by half an inch or 1.27 centimeters. When you fold the edges, fold them outside not inside.
- If you prefer the edges as raw and uneven hemmed, skip this one step. T-shirt fabric is like ajersey material, so it won’t fray.
Step 10: Take the folded edges and stitch them. Use 1/4th of an inch or 0.64 centimeters for seam allowance. It’s up to you which procedure you’ll sue for sewing. Hand or sewing machines any will do. Machines will give durable stitches, however.
- If you choose to use a sewing machine, use a stitching method intended for knitting fabrics. Similar to straight stitches.
- When the sewing is finished, don’t forget to tie the thread ends tightly. And cut the excess thread off.
Step 11: Take the pins out. Turn the tank top right-side out. Try it out. It might be a little loose fit unless you chose a body fit T-shirt. In case, you are interested in making your own tshirts using heat press machine, have a look at this article.
Now that, that’s finished let’s focus on Racerback Tank tops.
Racerback tank top
Step 1: Pick a T shirt you want to cut up. It’s not necessary that the shirt is fit unless you want a fitted tank top. Depends on you. If it’s only bought and not used then wash it as this fabric tend to shrink after washing. You don’t want a tank top that’s too small for you. You want a T shirt that fits you properly before you cut it up and turn it into a racerback top.
Racerback tops have armhole with large width at the back. And a slim portion of the fabric is just in the middle of the back, horizontally.
Step 2: Take a scissor and cut its sleeves off. Start cutting from just below the armpits and finish at the shoulder joint.
Step 3:Mark the hem properly. Then cut it off. Create a kind of long strand with this cut off piece.
Cut just under the bottom hem, follow the stitching to make it even. After cutting you get this large ring of fabric. Snip it close to one of the seams so that you get a long strand of fabric. This will be used later for decoration.
Step 4: Do more trimming of the armholes to make it a racerback. Keep the back of the shirt facing towards you. Trim the armholes until there are few inches of fabric between the armholes. Don’t cut the armholes in front.
- Measure properly so that you trim evenly on both sides.
Step 5:Mark the center of the neckline at the back. Then draw a V-shape at the back of the shirt. Cut accordingly. The meeting point of the V-shape should be in the middle of the armholes at the back. This will help when you will tie up the back.
- Don’t cut at the front. Leave the front as it is.
- If you want a plain back on your racerback then you are finished. You can wear it now. The next steps are for a more fashionable racerback.
Step 6: Take the bottom of the V-shape measure few inches and mark it. Now with the strand, you got before from the hem, tie the bottom up. The fabric strand will accumulate the fabric at the back.
Step 7: Start wrapping the fabric with the fabric strand while moving downward. Wrap tight until the armholes take a “rope” shape. Do it until you reach the bottom.
After that is done wrap that strand towards the upper part and secure it. Simply tuck the end in below the fabric. You can tie the ends of it to get a tight knot, for security.
Step 8: Finished! Now you can wear your racerback tank top. Don’t worry about the border and the hem. Because the fabric won’t fray.
Okay, so we talked about using a template to make a tank top. If you don’t have one lying around then what will you do? Simple, do what is illustrated.
Step 1: Get an old T shirt or buy one from the store. Pick a bigger one so that you have a loose fit tank top. Wash it.
Step 2: Cut the sleeves off. Cut two inches from the armpit up to the shoulder or top of the shirt.
Step 3: Put the shirt’s one side to the floor. Cut the neckline while putting both the seams together.
Step 4: Now cut the backside similarly.
Step 5: Take the scraps and make strands with it. So that you can use these to tie the back side.
Step 7: Lie the shirt down putting the backside upwards. Now use the strands to tie and knot the backside.
Step 8: You’re finished!
To conclude, Remember not to damage the cloth. And pick a T shirt which will compliment your body. Not too loose or too tight. You could follow tutorials found on the internet.