There are so many great ways to take something that was once old and useless and change it into something wearable again. Recently I came across the basic tank tops at Forever 21 that cost about $1.80. I thought it might be fun to change it into something trendy and fun for summer. This project is a little bit advanced so I would recommend only attempting it if you have some knowledge and experience with sewing. I have created a video to go along with the instructions so if you need a visual representation, please refer to the time references and link I have provided. Now for the tutorial!
Supplies you will need to complete this project:
Plain Tank Top
Marking Tool (Fabric Chalk or Water Soluble Marker)
Seam Ripper (for mistakes!)
Step 1: Put the tank top on yourself or on a dress form and mark the place where you would like to shorten the tank top to. Use a ruler or a measuring tape to keep your line straight as you mark around the entire front and back of the garment.
Step 2: Take the tank top off the dress form (or yourself) and place it flat down on a table. Use a ruler to straighten out the marking you made and make sure the front and back match at the side seams so it is an equal line all the way around.
Step 3: Measure the width of your elastic. Mine was 3/8ths of an inch. Double this measurement (3/8 + 3/8 = 3/4). Measure from the line you just made towards the hem of the tank top the amount of your doubled measurement. Draw another line from this line 1/2 an inch away. This will act as your seam allowance so that the top will be at the correct length.
Step 4: Cut a small notch at the side seam where the seam allowance line was drawn and cut the straight line one layer at a time to create the crop top. Put the bottom of the top aside to use as the ruffle later.
Step 5: Fold the hem of the crop top making sure the seam allowance line and the first line you created meet. Pin, making sure that the seam allowance line and the crop line are matching.
Step 6: Set your machine to the zig zag stitch and sew along the line (not over the line but beside it). Back tack on the machine at the beginning and end, leaving about a 1/2″ space between the beginning and the end stitch. If you forget to leave an opening for the elastic like I did, simply seam rip a small amount like I have shown.
Step 7: Wrap your elastic around yourself or your dress form ensuring it is the length you want it and cut at the correct length for you.
Step 8: Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the casing that you have just created. Holding the safety pin and pushing it through, pull the fabric over the elastic and continue to feed it through the casing until you find the safety pin again on the other side. Remove the safety pin, holding both ends of the elastic so as to not lose either end.
Step 9: Sew down the elastic ends to each other, back tacking a couple times to ensure a sturdy attachment.
Step 10: Close the casing by zigzagging over the opening.
Step 11: Put the crop top back on the dress form (or yourself) and measure from the highest point to the lowest point. My measurement was 11″. Take this measurement and transfer it to the bottom portion that was previously pushed aside. Mark your measurement on this piece from the hem upwards on both side going all the way across. Cut at the line you drew, one layer at a time.
Step 12: Find the middle on one side of the piece you just cut. Mark it from the top to the hem, drawing a straight line. Cut along this line only through ONE layer.
Step 13: open up the piece so that it is longer width wise than length wise. Find the middle of this and mark it. Take the crop top off and match the marking to the centre front neck line. Pin.
Step 14: Pin the top of the bottom piece to the neck line, stretching a small amount as you go. Stop pinning when you hit the side seams.
Step 15: Sew with a zigzag stitch along the neck line, back tacking at the side seams.
Step 16 (Optional): Tack down the ruffle 2 inches down at the side seams using a straight stitch. Tack at the hem 1/2″ up from the bottom with a straight stitch.
Voila! Now you have yourself a cute summer top that’s good for a bathing suit cover or with a high waisted skirt! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you would like me to create other tutorials, please request in the comments here or on my youtube channel! Thanks for stopping by :).