Today we’re going to show you how to sew a custom tank top using a yard of Spoonflower’s Modern Jersey (or something else stretchy) and the easiest pattern around… tracing your favorite tank top! Making your own tank tops is so fun and easy that once you know how you’ll never buy them from a store again. So go rummage through your drawers and find a well-loved tank top…we’re about to make something awesome! And don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more DIY sewing and design tutorials!
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Here’s what you’ll need for this project:
- 1 yard of Spoonflower’s Modern Jersey (or other t-shirt weight material)
- a well-fitting tank top
- fabric pen
- rotary blade or scissors
- sewing machine and serger (if you don’t have a serger, using a zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine is A-OK)
- Optional: Walking Foot – We don’t go over this in the video, but a walking foot is optional because while it’s not necessary, it helps with buckling/tension issues that knits can have. Paula uses one every time she sews with a knit. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, nothing about the tutorial will change.
Designs used in this tutorial
– tablecloth: XO-Eraser by Portage_and_main
A note about sewing ‘in the round’:
Before we get started, I want to make a note about necklines and arms–I do my necklines and arms differently than most patterns call for: I sew everything flat while most patterns do things in the round (which refers to sewing things with circular hems like sleeves, pant cuffs, necklines, etc.)
Sewing necklines and arms ‘In the round’ gives you a more professional finish, but is harder for beginners. My method saves you from headaches that tend to discourage beginners BUT it might make things seem out of order. However–I promise it’s fine. Just trust in your old friend Paula.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s create our perfect, custom tank top!
– Start out by pre-washing and drying your fabric according to the Spoonflower care instructions. Then trim off the white selvage edges.
– Lay fabric face up. Fold each edge in a quarter- so you have two useable folded edges.
– Fold your tank top in half and lay it along one of the folded edges. Trace around your tank top with your fabric marker and be sure to leave enough room for a ½” seam allowance!
– Do the same step for the back of your tank with the other foldable edge of your modern jersey.
– Cut out the front and back pieces in your Modern Jersey, They should look like this.
– Sew ONE shoulder seam together, then serge over the same shoulder seam. Serge the raw edge of the neckline and the completed arm hole
– Now we’re going to top stitch over the raw edges we just serged. Fold the serged edge of the neckline towards the unprinted side of the fabric, and then top stitch along the edge. Do the same with the arm hole.
– Your tank top should now look like this, with one side of the neck and armhole completed. Sew and serge the seam of the second shoulder, then repeat the process of sewing, serging, and topstitching to finish the second armhole.
-Next up, the side seams. Pin in place, Sew ONE side seam, and then serge to finish.
– Now we’re going to get a little crazy and finish the bottom edge BEFORE we finish the second side seam. Just trust me, it’s going to look awesome 🙂 Serge the bottom edge of your tank top.
Fold the serged edge towards the wrong side of the fabric about ½”. Pin every few inches to keep in place.
Then top stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance to hem the bottom edge.
-Finally, we’re going to sew and serge the second side seam.
And that’s it. Put on and admire your awesome new tank top! You now know the infinitely useful skill of custom tank top making. All of your friends will be very jealous now, so be nice and put your new skill to good use by making them presents. Leave your questions and comments below. Happy making!
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