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Braided Racerback Tank From a Tshirt

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This summer has already been sweltering across much of the US. To help beat the heat I've schemed up a super-easy sewing pattern to make a cute, finished tank top out of an old t shirt. Really it’s a stretch to call this a sewing project– there’s just one little 6″ seam in the whole thing. So it’s a totally approachable undertaking, even for a sewing newbie.  I've made a graphic to give you an overview of how it all comes together.  Read on for the detailed, nitty-gritty instructions. 

(Oh, and naturally I also have the project posted on my blog.)
 
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Step 1: Select a T shirt

Picture of Select a T shirt

Start with a t shirt with no side seams. Printing is okay, as long as it  doesn’t make the fabric stiff or pucker. Also check how the printing looks on the inside of the fabric (the finished tank is turned inside out)– some designs show up through the fabric.  Old, beat-up t shirts work great!  100% cotton will work for this pattern, but I think that a cotton/poly blend often has a nicer drape, and is more resistant to unraveling.

Sizing:
Select a shirt that has a width 3-6″ larger than your bust measurement. So: 30″ bust= 36″ t shirt (or 18″ across); 36″ bust = 42″ t shirt (or 21″ across). The bigger the t shirt you use in relation to your size, the more drape the tank will have. This pattern works for size 30-42″ bust. (There is no reason this technique wouldn’t work for smaller or larger sizes, but the pattern pieces will start to be out of proportion. You could also experiment with scaling up or down the pattern pieces for extra small or large sizes.)
Thanks for those easy-to-follow instructions.
Soozannah1 year ago
What a great idea! Good for u! Great for me as I have a bunch of t-shirts that are too hot to wear (most of the time - I live in California). Now I can! Thanks!
nachnuch1 year ago
Very nice
This is so cute and that image is great for pinning! It's so fancy :)
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