How to Cut an Oversize V-Neck Into a Tank Top

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Your boyfriend's old v-neck shirt can become a new tank top for you.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

An oversize v-neck shirt has lots of potential for a refashioning project, giving you plenty of fabric to work with and the option to create a new design with a tight or loose fit. A tank top is an easy refashion, especially if you use an existing tank that you like the style of as a pattern. Typical jersey t-shirt fabric will not fray when cut, so you can simply leave the edges of your new tank top raw, or optionally hem them for a more finished look.


Things You'll Need

  • Tank top

  • Straight pins

  • Fabric marker

  • Measuring tape or hem gauge

  • Fabric scissors

  • Sewing machine

  • Thread

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Step 1

Spread the oversize v-neck on a flat surface so that the side and shoulder seams are straight. Smooth the fabric out so there are no wrinkles.

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Step 2

Lay the tank top over the front of the v-neck shirt. Arrange it so the shoulder seams of the tank are aligned along the shoulder seams of the v-neck shirt. Pin the tank to the v-neck shirt at the shoulder seams. Don't worry about the position of the neckline at this stage.

Step 3

Tug the side seams of the tank outward so the body of the tank is as wide as possible without over-stretching the fabric. Pin the tank to the v-neck along the side seams.

Step 4

Trace along the side seams and outer edges of the arm sections of the tank -- 1/2 inch from the edges of the fabric -- using a fabric marker. If you want a looser fit, trace 1-inch or more away from the side seams of the tank.


Step 5

Unpin the tank from the v-neck shirt. Cut along the traced lines with fabric scissors, cutting through both the front and back of the shirt at the same time.

Step 6

Turn the cut shirt inside out so the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin along the side edges then sew new side seams using a narrow zigzag stitch. Leave a 1/2-inch seam allowance.


Step 7

Try the tank on, and stand in front of a mirror. Decide whether you want to leave the existing v-neck intact or cut a new neckline. If you want a new neckline, take off the tank, smooth it out flat and trace a new neckline onto the front and back of the fabric. You can do this freehand by tracing around the neckline of the tank top you used before, or use a round object as a template, such as a plate. Cut out the new neckline.


Step 8

Try the tank on again. Decide whether you want to leave the existing lower hem intact for a longer tank, or trim the tank to a shorter length. If you want to make it shorter, place a pin or draw a dot with the marker to indicate the level of the new hem. Take the tank off, smooth it out flat and cut 1-inch below the mark, making sure it's parallel to the old hem.


Step 9

Decide if you want to leave the cut edges raw -- in which case they will naturally curl at the edges -- or if you want to hem them for a neater finish. To hem the tank fold the fabric edges along the outer arm sections and the neckline to the wrong side by 1/2-inch. Pin and sew using a narrow zigzag stitch. Fold the lower hem to the wrong side by 1-inch, and sew.


If you're not sure how tightly fitted you want your new tank top to be, cut it larger at first, and try it on. You can easily make the top narrower by sewing new side seams, but it's impossible to make it larger after it's cut.

Make your new tank top an empire style by tracing, cutting and sewing new side seams that start at the armpit and flare outward diagonally to the lower hem.

Add style by trimming off the original hem then making parallel, vertical cuts up to the hip or waistline to create a fringe.


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