How-to: Replace the Straps on a Tank Top

shirt, handmade bias strip, old strap, new straps
tank top, handmade bias tape, old strap, new straps

1. Calculate your ideal strap length. To do this, I had the kiddo put on the tank top, then I pulled up on the strap, pinching it in the middle, until the front and back of the tank top hit where I wanted them to, about the middle of the shoulder on this particular top; your particular measurement will depend on the cut of your own top. I measured the over-the-shoulder-distance from the front to the back of the top (7.25″), and added .5″ for a seam allowance.

2. Cut off the old straps. I cut just below the seams, to avoid sewing through extra bulk when I attach the new straps.

3. Choose the new straps. For the top’s new straps, I made bias tape out of a matching quilting cotton in my scraps bin. Other options include store-bought bias tape, sturdy ribbon, or even upcycled materials like belts or tote bag handles. 

With right sides together, the strap points to the shirt's bottom hem. After sewing, I fold the strap over itself and top stitch it down; it's now facing the right direction to be sewn to the other side of the shirt.
With right sides together, the strap points to the shirt’s bottom hem. After sewing, I fold the strap over itself and top stitch it down; it’s now facing the right direction to be sewn to the other side of the shirt.

4. Sew on the new straps. Put the strap and the shirt right sides together, edges aligned, with the strap pointing down to the bottom hem of the shirt. Sew the strap to the shirt using a very sturdy stitch, then fold the strap back over itself so that it’s now pointing over the shoulder, and top stitch it down to the shirt front. Repeat for the other half of the strap, and then for the other strap.

The finished tank top should be just the right length, with no more droopy shoulder straps.

Is your tank top also too roomy in the torso? Here’s how to take it in!

Have a T-shirt but WANT a tank top? Here’s how to convert it!

Don’t like that particular T-shirt to tank top tutorial? Here’s another one!

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; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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