Do It Yourself: Make a T-shirt into a Tank-Top!I don’t know about you, but I like to collect over sized shirts. From shirts that are slightly too big on me to shirt that look like enormous dresses. In my opinion, they make the comfiest sleeping shirts.

Once I started college though, I really wanted more shirts with my school’s logo on them, and I didn’t have the money to spend. Then at one event the cheerleaders were throwing big t-shirts to the crowd and I caught the one featured in this post.

Now I don’t like diving or swimming like it says on the shirt, but I do like the shirt! So I decided to give it a makeover into a tank-top that would actually fit me so that I would wear it around. And here’s what I did, and how you can do the same to turn your t-shirt into a tank-top!



1. Scissors

2. An over-sized t-shirt

3. 1 washable pen/pencil/marker for marking the shirt.

4. Ribbon (optional)


cut the sleeves offStep 1: Cut the Sleeves Off

Since I was making this into a tank-top, I didn’t want these way-too-big-for-me sleeves hanging around. So in order to get rid of them you have to turn it inside out and then cut along the inside of the sleeve seam.

Don’t worry about the cuts being perfect or not, cut fabric tends to roll and will make it look smooth either way. If it really bothers you, you can always fold it under and sew it later.

Save one of the sleeves that you cut off! (For use in step 3!)


Cut the collar offStep 2: Cut the Collar Off

Before you do this you should have a general idea of how low you want the shirt to come. Make a mark on the lowest point in the center of the front of the shirt with your marker or pen.

Take the shirt, still inside out, and cut from the top of the shoulder down into the center of the top of the shirt, to the lowest point in which you want the shirt to reach (which you should have marked.) Then cut back out to the other shoulder.

If you want the collar to be v-necked (like mine) then you should cut it into a rounded triangle, with the point of the triangle being the lowest point of the collar.

If you want the collar to be scoop necked then you should cut it into a half circle.


Tie the back togetherStep 3: Tie the Back

Now, put the shirt right-side out.

Take the excess sleeve and cut a strip of it. Use that strip (or the ribbon, if you want something a different color than the shirt) and gather the back of the shirt together. Slip the ribbon/strip underneath the back, pulling both straps of the tank-top together in a racer-back like shape. Tie into a bow.


Halfway pointAlmost Done!

Here’s a picture of what it should look like if you were to put it on now (which you should do for the next step anyway) :


Cut the bottomStep 4: Cut the Bottom

Put the shirt on and take your marker/pencil. Draw a thin line about 1 inch below where you want the bottom of the shirt to be.

Optional: If you want a tie knot: Also decide where you want the tie to be (if you want a tie) and make a slightly bigger dot there on the line so you can tell it apart from the rest of the line. I will refer to this dot as your “tie dot”.

If you do not want a tie knot: Cut along the line, and you are done!

If you do want a tie knot: This part may get confusing. Begin to cut on the line. Stop about 2 inches away from your “tie dot” on either side. Cut so that the only part remaining on the bottom of the t-shirt is the area within the 2 inches of the dot. Cut up from the bottom of the shirt until you reach the dot, then remain cutting up 1 inch.


Tie it, again and again and again.Step 5: Tie the Tie

Tie the tie! I had to tie mine a couple of times to get it to look the way I wanted it to. If you aren’t sure.. experiment! Tie it like you tie your shoelaces, or tie it like you tie a rope, or maybe even make a bow! Untie, and re-tie again until you find what you want.

Now cut the bottom of the tie off if it is too long after you tie it.


Step 6: Admire your Handy-work

There you go 🙂 Not too hard, right?

Wearing Note: Depending on how large your shirt was, you may need to wear a bandeau (like I am in the picture) or a thin layering tank top on under the shirt, since once you cut the sleeves off it will become very low cut on the sides and back. It really depends on how big the original shirt was on you, since I’ve had shirts that haven’t done that on me. On the other hand, if you want that effect you can always cut the sleeves lower.


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DIY: Turning a Big T-Shirt into a Tank-Top!
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4 thoughts on “DIY: Turning a Big T-Shirt into a Tank-Top!

  • September 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    the way you tie it together on the back is a very clever idea!

  • September 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

    DIY-ing is my absolute favorite! Great post, Dani! And I love all of the pictures you added, it makes it so easy to follow 🙂 I will share this on my facebook page this weekend, if that’s OK with you!

    • September 19, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Absolutely is ok 🙂 Thanks for the support Morgan!

  • October 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Great idea! I love this 🙂 Thank you for sharing on the Polkadots on Parade Link Up, Ill be sure to follow you!
    Come by sometime, I think you will enjoy my site!


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