I was given an cheetah print singlet to upcycle, which I decided to turn into a tank top for Hannah. So I thought I had better share my quick and easy tank top upcycle with you!
I used one of Hannah’s favourite T-Shirts as pattern, lay it on top of the singlet both right sides facing out. I like to re-use the bottom hem so I line up the T-Shirt with that.
Tuck the sleeves in for the tank shape and just go for it and start cutting!!! Leaving a little room for seam allowance, it doesn’t need much as I’m only overlocking most of it. Save the neck piece to re-use the collar later on. Mine has a longer back than front and I have decided to keep it like that and re-use the original hem.
Fold the tank top in half and trim any uneven areas so that both sides are even.
Do the same for the neck making the front a little lower than the back. There are no rules, if you want a large neck cut the hole bigger!
This is roughly what you should have. Turn the pieces over so that the right sides are facing each other. Pin and overlock (or zigzag) both sides, taking care to line up the bottom hem. Leave the thread ends on the bottom if overlocking.
With the ends you left on, thread them back up the overlocked seam on the underside. This will prevent it coming undone later. My kids are pretty hard on clothes so I like to topstitch the join to give it a fighting chance!
Pin the shoulder tops and overlock together
Time to sew the arm holes. I like to overlock them before folding over and zigzagging. This is optional but I find it easier to control the fold especially with lightweight knit fabric. I use a small zigzag stitch setting.
Nearly there! It’s time for the collar! Trim the old collar out of the singlet leaving a good edge which will be trimmed when overlocking (if you are zigzagging you can trim it after sewing).
You only need one piece the length of your new neck line but you can use them for the arm holes too if you like. Measure the collar piece on your neckline and trim. Remember to allow a little for the new join, it usually sits nicer if the collar is slightly smaller than than the neckline.
Line up the cut ends of the collar (right sides facing each other), and overlock (or sew) together. Thread the end back up (like the side seam before) and topstitch the seam flat to keep it sitting nicely.
Pin the collar to the tank top with the right sides facing each other. The collar should be slightly smaller than the neck hole, make sure to spread the gather evenly.
Overlock the collar to the neckline. Stretch the collar slightly so that both layers line up. Use the guides on the overlocker foot (or sewing machine!) to follow the edge of the old collar to keep it even, try not to catch the original seam of the old collar. Check out the photos below!
Topstitch the new neckline, as you can see above it looks a little puffy around the edge. Topstitching will fix that, again use the small zigzag stitch to retain the stretch.
And there you have it! All finished! Will add some photos of it in action to the gallery soon ☺