Published on May 31st, 2011 | by Becky Striepe


How-to: Take in a Tank Top

tank before
One of the things that intimidates people about sewing is it seems like a very precise art. Of course, some sewing projects can be that way, but not every project requires complete precision and control. In fact, there are lots of beginner sewing and mending projects that require a lot less skill than you might think! Taking in a too-big tank top is one of these.

If you’re an avid thrifter, I’m sure you’ve run into a scenario like this: you find exactly the piece you were looking for except for one tiny problem. Maybe there’s a busted seam, or you scored a skirt that would go from dowdy to cute if it were a few inches shorter. Or maybe the perfect summer tank top is a size XL when you’re more of a medium. Don’t fret! It’s easy as pie to fix all of these, and today I’m going to show you how to take care of that last little problem in less than an hour. If you’re a seasoned seamster, it will take you closer to 30 minutes or even less!

Taking in a tank top is much easier than with other tops, because there are no pesky sleeves to get in the way. If you’re looking to take in a t-shirt or button down top, things get a little bit more complicated, so we’re going to stick with this tank top situation. Besides, with highs in the 90s here in Atlanta right now, I can’t really think about any kind of sleeve.

Next >> The pinning

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to How-to: Take in a Tank Top

  1. Jessica says:

    Newbie to fiber arts here, so please bear with the silly question. Would this technique work for a hand-knitted garment, as well? I recently knitted a camisole that ended up too wide in the waist. If it helps, I used an acrylic/viscose blend yarn. Thanks in advance for any help!

    • Shannon says:

      Sadly, mostly likely not… you may be able to add a seam depending on the tightness of your knit! Acrylic is really difficult to work with as it does not give much! Sorry sweetie! you could always try to wear a longer shirt underneath the camisole just to elongate and sort of camoflauge the width…

  2. Caroline says:

    Very nicely done, thank you!

  3. Andrea says:

    This is AWESOME. The pictures help immensely. With a recent 25-lb weight loss, I’m finding most tops not fitting anymore, looking kind of slobbish actually. With this, I can alter my faves.

  4. Lyndsey says:

    Hi would you not take in at both sides to keep the top even and the centre in the centre?

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