Pleated Little Girls Tanktop from Mens T-Shirt

Friday, March 26, 2010

YAY for warmer weather! I am making tanktops for the girls and all is right with the world! This one started life as my hubby's gray t-shirt...and is now a lovely little Spring/Summer shirt for my 5 yr old!

Here's what you need:
-Mens t-shirt
-embroidery thread(only if you choose to do the flower embellishment the way I did)

Here's how I did it:
1. Turn the shirt inside out. I measured 11 1/2" from the bottom hem to the middle. That creates the "body" of the tank. Then you need a "chest band" piece. For this I measured a 12" X 7" piece from the middle of the shirt. Then from the shoulder of the sleeve I measured down from the shoulder 5 1/2" and 4" wide. See pictogram:

2. The chest band is a snap. Take your two 12X7 pieces and fold them right side out lengthwise. Then sew the two short sides up so it makes a circle. Like so:

3. This is a weird sounding step, but once you get the hang of it it makes sewing two tube like things together easy! You are going to pin the body to the chest band. The body piece will need to be inside out, and the chest piece will be right side out. Insert the chest band into the top(ragged edge part) of the body piece. The good sides of both should be touching each other. Then find the seams of both and pin on the outside (the body side) of the "tube." Find the middle of the two other sides and pin to the outside. So now you have 4 pins in at equal distance with extra hanging out for the body. Like this:

4. Pin your pleats. I just take it section by section. Start in the middle of each section, make one pleat and keep going on either side from there. Then your pleats will be very even, which is nice! When you've pleated your little heart out it should look like this:

5. Sew it with the pleats facing UP. Then turn it right side in and check it out. Now, theoretically you COULD stop right here and have a cute just have to hem it up probably. But I'm after a tank top, so I'm gonna keep going!

6. Straps. There are probably a million ways to sew straps. I just fold in the two long sides until they meet, then fold that in half again. Iron that down and I just straight stitched them on both sides.
7. Here's where it's handy to have either A) a well fitting tank top already made to measure against or B) a live model. I had B! So I just had her try it on, placed the straps, marked them on both the chest band AND the strap...and then pinned it once it was off my lovely model! This is the back of the tank and, as you can see, I angled the back straps in for a little added interest. The front straps are just in straight.8. Sew them on...again could be done a number of ways, I just stitched across and back--DONE! Cut off the excess strap.
Well, almost...I added a flower. When I cut off the excess strap, I just cut some little triangles from that. Sewed the middles all together. Then I took soe embroidery thread and made a little flower center, and covered up the ugliness of the petal sewing. I did also sew the top petal to the strap by just sewing a few stitches...only catching the back layer of the petal so you wouldn't see the stitching in the front.
So it's tunic-y and pleated and has a flower. We layered it on a short sleeve white shirt today, but it will be standing alone for the summer!!
Thanks to my lovely model who was willing to travel to far off locales (the backyard) and try this on as many times as was needed! Love my girls!


Kalleen said...

Very Cute! I love refashioning clothes too. Good job with all the instructions.

Kaysi said...

WOW!! That is adorable!! It makes me want to go through my husband's clothes :)

Stacey @ Fun to Craft said...

This is darling. What a great tutorial too. Thanks for sharing this at Spring has Sprung at Fun to Craft!

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