How to Cut a T-Shirt Into a Tank Top

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Have an old t-shirt that you want to make into a stylish tank top for the summer? Follow these simple instructions to make a trendy new piece of clothing from an old favorite.

Checkout this video:

Choose a T-shirt

The first step is to choose a T-shirt. You’ll want to choose a T-shirt that is a little bit loose, and not too fitted. You’ll also want to make sure that the T-shirt is made out of a thin material. Cotton is always a good choice.

Look for a T-shirt that is the right size and shape.

The best T-shirts to use for this project are ones that are a little bit tight on you, and not too long. If the T-shirt is too loose, it will be harder to cut and will not look as good when you’re finished. If it’s too long, you can always cut off the bottom hem before you start cutting the sides.

Make sure the T-shirt is made of a stretchy fabric.

This will ensure that the tank top will stretch and move with you throughout the day, without becoming uncomfortable or constricting. A good quality cotton fabric is ideal, as it is stretchy and breathable. Avoid T-shirts made from polyester or other synthetic materials, as they are less likely to stretch and may be uncomfortable to wear.

Cut the T-shirt

Before you begin, gather your supplies. You will need a T-shirt, a pair of scissors, and a marker. If you have a rotary cutter, that will make the job easier, but it is not necessary. Start by putting on the T-shirt and deciding where you want to cut it. Mark the spot with the marker, then take off the T-shirt.

Cut off the sleeves of the T-shirt.

1. Cut off the sleeves of the T-shirt. If you’re using a shirt with a pre-existing neckline, stop cutting about an inch (2.5 cm) from the neckline. If you want to make a racerback tank top or a halter top, cut even closer to the neckline.

2. Place the shirt on a flat surface, like a table or the floor. If it’s easier, put the shirt on yourself or have someone else hold it in place for you.

3. Measure 2–4 inches (5.1–10.2 cm) down from the sleeve hem and make a small mark with chalk or a fabric marker. Draw a line from this mark to the center of the shirt’s back neckline, then continue this line all the way around to where you originally made your mark on the other sleeve.[1] This will be where you make your first cut for your tank top’s armholes.

4. Measure 4–6 inches (10.2–15.2 cm) down from where you just made your first armhole cut and make another small mark with chalk or a fabric marker on both sides of the shirt.[2] Draw lines connecting these marks to create U-shaped armholes that are about 4–6 inches (10.2–15.2 cm) wide at their widest point—wide enough so that they won’t droop when you put them over your head later on.[3]

5. Cut along the lines you just drew to create U-shaped armholes in your T-shirt.[4] You can smooth out any rough edges with scissors if necessary, but try not to cut too much off—you can always trim more later if you need to, but you can’t add fabric back once it’s gone!

Cut a horizontal line across the front of the T-shirt, about halfway down from the neckline.

For a traditional tank top look, cut a horizontal line across the front of the T-shirt, about halfway down from the neckline. If you want a racerback tank top, make this line closer to the neckline. If you want a more cropped tank top look, make the line lower down on the shirt. Use a ruler or a fabric pen to mark where you want to make your cut.

Cut along the marked line with sharp scissors. If you want, you can finish the raw edges of your T-shirt with a serger or by using pinking shears.

Finish the tank top

You will need scissors and a T-shirt. First, fold the T-shirt in half so that the sleeves are touching. Next, cut off the sleeves of the T-shirt. Once the sleeves are cut off, you should have a tube-like shape. Next, cut a horizontal line across the back of the T-shirt about halfway down.

Try the tank top on to make sure it fits.

Try the tank top on to make sure it fits. If it’s too big, take it in at the sides. If it’s too small, add some fabric to the bottom hem. Once you’re happy with the fit, cut along the arm holes and sides to remove the sleeves and create a tank top shape.

Trim any loose threads.

Use sharp scissors to snip off any loose threads along the new edges of your tank top.


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