Saturday, September 12, 2009

Summer Tank Tutorial

My sister gave me some of her old shirts and I have been refashioning toddler tank tops from them. It's REALLY easy, and the girls love them!

What you need:
Old shirt
elastic thread

I used a tank that fits as my template. You can use the existing hem at the bottom to eliminate another step, so I lined the tank up at the bottom. Cut straight up sides, leaving 1/2" for seam allowance. For the neck and arm holes, make them bigger than you think you will need. They will shrink up and be modest.

Cut the front lower than the back. Because there is no tag, it's nice to make it obvious, then hubby doesn't put it on backwards... Again, cut this larger than you think is necessary.

Sew side seams and top seams, taking time to match the stripes if you have them.

Now for the fun part... make sure you have wound your elastic thread by hand onto your bobbin. The elastic thread will ONLY be on the bobbin. Regular matching cotton thread on top. My machine is happiest working with elastic thread when I change my tension to a '5' and my stitch to the longest length. With fabric right side up (remember elastic thread is in bobbin), start sewing in armhole about 1/8" away from edge of fabric. Be sure to back stitch. Sew all the way around, then back stitch to finish.

You should start seeing it gather a little. I chose to sew twice around, the second time with 1/4" seam allowance. Do this for both arm holes and the neck hole. It should now look like this, and you're done!

Here is where the bribing comes in - my kids aren't crazy about changing their clothes, so it's a challenge to get them ready for a photo shoot. Today? Moo was easiest to bribe and happy if we just went outside.

Bug is wearing a blue striped shirt I also made this way, but she had spilled something pink down the front and I chose to only give you a back view.
Notice no shorts? She is just recently potty trained and shorts seem to just be a hassle... but she did complete her outfit with pink "lady" shoes four sizes too big.

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