How-to: An Upcycled T-Shirt Tank Top Tutorial

upcycled T-shirt tank top tutorial

Want an easy wardrobe make-over project, one that’s also quick to make, looks good, and is suitable even for the novice sewer?

An upcycled tank top is a quick and easy sewing project to make from any old T-shirt. Because you’ll be cutting into the T-shirt and re-sewing the side seams, it’s suitable for any T-shirt that’s a little (or a lot) large on you; you can even cut down an adult’s T-shirt into a child’s tank top. It’s a good project for shirts that have stains or tears on the sleeves or near the bottom hem, or for making over long-sleeved shirts into summer wear. Here’s how:

lay out a well-fitting shirt as a pattern for the tank top

1. Iron the clean, dry T-shirt that you want to make over into a tank top, using the hot iron to help you futz any misaligned seams back into alignment (twisted side seams can be a big issue with some T-shirts that have been cut on the bias to drape better, but ironing will fix them right up). Choose from your own wardrobe a slim-fitting T-shirt or tank top to use as a pattern, and also iron it well.

2. Fold each shirt exactly in half, taking care that the neckline is perfectly symmetrical on each shirt. Line your well-fitting shirt up on top of the old T-shirt, taking care that the center and top are perfectly aligned. Fold the sleeves up on your well-fitting shirt, to extend the line made from the bottom hem of that shirt up to the shoulder. Use chalk to outline a cutting line that’s approximately 1/2″ away from the shirt to include a seam allowance.

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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