Monday, July 2, 2012

T-shirt to Tank Remake


There are so many cool ways to re-make or re-construct t-shirts.  I loved the dress with crochet trim I showed you last week.  This time, I was ready to make something a little patriotic and cute.  Inspiration came from Sweet Verbena, again!  and Create and Delegate.  I found this mens sleeveless tank at Wally World for $3.88 (love that!).  I picked up an XL because I want lots of room in my tops. It's a lot easier than losing weight, agreed?
I started by cutting off the shoulder and collar section.  You can cut straight across, if you want.  I then pinned the top edge in pleats as seen in this  Create and Delegate tutorial. I chose to make my pleats a little larger since the shirt is an adult size.  So, measure 2 inches from the center point toward one side and fold to meet the center point and pin.  Measure again 2 inches from the point of the fold beneath the first fold and fold again meeting that underneath fold.  Repeat once more and do the same from the other side of the center point.
Sew a seam to hold the pleats 1/4 inch from top edge.
Fold over and sew a 1 inch hem on front and back top edges.  I used a straight stitch since I am not worried about stretching.  Fold the inside end under as you sew the end since the curve of the shirt makes the inside slightly wider than the outside.
Measure how short you want your tank to be on you, then cut off the bottom of the shirt to meet that measurement.  My measurement was 3 inches.  Then cut off the bottom hemmed section of the shirt.  My remaining 2 inch section was perfect to make the straps.  You may choose a wider section for wider straps, depending on the length you choose for the shirt. To use wider straps, make the hems at the top front and back larger.  I could not due the the placement of the decal.
Cut the strap piece at the side seam to make on long strip.  Then, after placing a safety pin in one end, feed the safety pin end through both the front and back pieces.  Space out your gathers on the front and back pieces evenly. Try on the tank and determine the front and back gathering spacing and the length you prefer for the straps. 
Pin the strap piece together where it is comfortable on you and.  Cut off the excess and sew the ends together.  Slide the straps through the front and back section hems to hide the strap seams.  Make any needed adjustments to the gathering spacing (trying it on again).  
Then hand stitch the end of each of the front and back top hems on the inside to the straps to prevent slipping.
Try it on again, wrong side out.  Determine where you want the armholes to close under your arm and pin it and take it off carefully.  Fold the tank in half to make sure your armholes are even.  Lay it out flat again and pin from the armhole pin in a diagonal line to the bottom corner of the tank.  This created a full bottom edge.  If you prefer a slim style, pin the shirt straight down to the bottom of the tank.  Sew along the pins and cut off the excess fabric.  Leaving the bottom edge raw allowed the tank to lay softly against the body. You can sew a hem if you prefer more structure.

Let me know what you think.  This was a lot of fun to make, and I'm excited to wear it on the 4th of July and beyond!  I'd love to see what you create.  Send me your pics and feedback.

This post has been linked-up with: Positively Splendid, Tatertots & JelloFabric Bows and MoreChristina's Adventures,  These Peas Taste Funny, and The 36th AVENUE.


  1. Soooo cute! I'm definitely doing this! Maybe a Thunder T?

  2. Great idea! Send me a pic and I'll post it.

  3. Hi I have just discovered your blog and I think it's great, I love this T-shirt/tank re-make, I'm always looking for way's to re-vamp my hubby's T-Shirt's to fit me, :-), I usually convert them to yarn to make shopping bag's,