DIY · Sewing

DIY Women’s Tank from Men’s Muscle-Tee

I wanted to wear a funny tee-shirt for the 4th of July and the only ones I could find last minute were men’s. So, I figured I’d buy one and make it work.  Here is the before shot:


Obviously, the fit was quite bad. However, I had a tank top that did fit. So I turned the muscle-tee inside out and laid it on a flat surface (cardboard). I laid the other tank top on top of it and traced the sleeves and the bottom edge with my magic fabric pen. This pen has two sides, water-soluble and air-soluble. I like the air-soluble part. It doesn’t fade so fast you can’t work with it, but it has washed out better than the water-soluble side and I didn’t have to worry about when I accidentally marked my good tank top.

I am more bottom-heavy; a typical pear-shape. So, what I decided to do with the side edges was to taper them out. I drew a diagonal line from the new armpit to the new bottom edge. Then, I pinned along the line and folded up the bottom edge to carefully try on the tank before doing any cutting and sewing. It was a very delicate maneuver to get it on and off without stabbing myself or losing any pins in the process.

After trying the tee on, I decided the location of the pins was fine and went ahead and stitched up the sides (unfolding the bottom edge first). After stitching the sides, I removed the pins and trimmed the excess fabric with my rotary cutter. I also trimmed the bottom of the shirt, leaving one inch in excess fabric for folding and pinning. See below.

I then sewed up the bottom and cut out my new sleeves. I left the sleeve edges raw instead of adding an edge because I realized this was a 5 dollar shirt I was just going to wear for one day and it didn’t need to be that perfect!

The sleeves had a little gap at the end, but it is a muscle-tee.  I also added some slits in the back, but couldn’t get any pictures of that on. Here is the finished tank top:


Big difference, huh?  Sorry for the sloppy pictures of myself in my pajamas. I wanted to make sure I had pictures for the blog, but didn’t really think about how I looked in them! I had a BBQ that afternoon so I had to work quickly. There’s lots of tutorials online for cutting up your old t-shirts and making them into tanks, but none involve sewing so I thought it was worth showing how I did it. Having a cheap 5 dollar shirt to work with made me feel a little more confident with my scissors.

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