Tank Top Refashion

I really like getting hand-me-down clothes for my kids. So expensive if you buy them new! My cousin sent me a box of clothes for my daughter…weeeeeeeee! (Thank you, Emily!) 

One minor problem – the clothes are for the wrong season.

Now that won't stop me from puttin' them to work anyway! Here I've refashioned two tank tops into one 3/4 long sleeve shirt. Better suited for cooler weather right?

Start with two tank tops. One will be used for the main shirt and the other will be cut up to make the sleeves.

Make the sleeve pattern first. Lay the tank top you are not cutting up on paper. Trace the edge of the arm opening.

Use another long sleeve shirt to gauge how long to make your sleeve pattern. Draw a line where the sleeve ends. Extend each line by 1/4 inch for sewing clearance. Draw a line connecting the wrist to the shoulder on both sides.

Note: You really only need a 1/4 inch clearance for the underside of the sleeve because we will cut along the fabric fold. I'll show you below. Since there will not be a seam on the top side of the length of the sleeve, there is no need for 1/4 inch clearance.

Cut out the back and front of the other tank top. Cut out your pattern. I trimmed my pattern to 3/4 sleeve because I did not have enough material to make a full length sleeve.

Fold the back of the tank top in half. Lay the pattern on top. Cut around the pattern. Do not cut the fold. This will save you from having to sew another seam.

When open, your cut out should look like the picture on the left above. Fold it back again and line it up with the other tank top to confirm measurements. Make sure the fold is on the top part of the arm.

Fold under and pin the wrist. Using a zigzag stitch, sew the entire length. The zigzag stitch will allow stretching to occur when worn. I had to hold the footer up slightly while sewing to allow the material to move smoothly. Do not sew over the pins. Remove them before sewing over.

Pin the length of the sleeve. There is no need for the material to stretch in this direction. So, sew with a straight stitch. Cut away the excess material.

Keep the sleeve inside out. Turn the tank top inside out. Line up the sleeve with the fold on top. Pin in place to the arm opening.

Sew with a straight stitch all the way around. Cut away the excess fabric. Don't forget to remove your pins before sewing over them!

Do the same for the other sleeve. Turn right side out.

Using left over fabric, make a cute little flower to add to the collar line.

The Real Deal: It cost me nothing!

  1. So sweet!  And look at little Peaches standing up!

  2. You are a genius. I've only been lurking on your blog for a week or two, and it was definately in my top ten before…but you are not officially my favorite craft blog! I've already told all my facebook friends…now on to the rest of the world!

    • Well, now that is quite a GENEROUS compliment! Thanks for spreading the word, Shari!

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  4. Ahhh! There are so many sites/videos instructing on how to make a long sleeve into a tank but not the other way around. Plus your instructions are very clear. Thank you. I have a teenager and I am making a cosplay outfit for her ( character: Saria) I traced a cap sleeve tshirt because it had shape rather than a boxy tshirt and omitted the cap sleeves. Then I need to add the long sleeves in a different color than the body and your page is just what I need.

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