Continuing my quest for new pieces for a (very) warm weather wardrobe, I got an idea while shopping my local Hobby Lobby craft store.  I love the look of drapey tank tops for layering like this one from Forever 21:

I had a tank in my closet that had a similar fit and overall silhouette, but it had spaghetti straps and a v neck, and I wanted a scoop neck tank like this one.  So I said (because I am crazy), instead of going out and buying an overpriced flimsy piece of crap tank, I can make a flimsy peice of crap tank myself for cheap!

There were no sales at the fabric store for jersey knits (read: t-shirt material), and I knew because this tank wasn’t fitted and was a long tunic length, that it would require extra fabric and would be too pricey.

So as I was perusing the craft store, I noticed they sold plain t- shirts for $4!  I snagged 2 XL-sized tees in bright springy colors (and matching spools of thread) and headed home with my new project buzzing around in my head.  God, I love a new project!

Turns out it worked pretty awesomely.

Here’s what I did.

1) I laid out the t-shirt inside out and laid the tank from my closet on top to use as a pattern, making sure it was completely flat and the seams lined up on the edges, like so: (please excuse my horrible pictures, my camara was stolen, so I’m using my phone!)

2) I traced all the way around the tank in pencil, widening the straps and rounding out the neckline, making a pattern piece like this:

3) Now I cut out the piece, leaving about a 1/2 inch all the way around for seam allowances (I just eyeballed it).  Becasue it is a loose, casual look and jersey material, I wasn’t concerned about it being perfect.

4) Then I repeated the procedure on the back of the t-shirt with the back side of the existing tank.

5) Next I sewed the shoulder seams and side seams.  When sewing knits I have found the easiest way is not using any fancy knit stitches on my machine, but just using a regular zigzag and a walking foot.  I don’t know if all machines come with a walking foot, but mine did, and I highly recommend using one for knits, as it “walks” the fabric through from the top, just like the machine does from the bottom as you sew, so it doesn’t stretch the fabric and create weirdness on your finished garment. Thank you to this youtube-r for great tips on sewing knits!  Just so you know, I used a zigzag stitch width of about 1.5mm and a length of about 2mm.  If your thread matches the fabric, you won’t notice the zigzag on the finished piece.

6) Then I folded all the neckline and armhole seams under and pinned and sewed them.  Again, I didn’t pay too much attention to keeping it an exactly x- inch hem, I just eyeballed it and tried to keep it uniform throughout.  Because knit fabric does not fray, you don’t have to worry about turning the hem under twice or any other kind of seam finish.  Just turn up once, and sew.  You may want to trim the seam allowances so it is prettier on the inside.  Same for the bottom hem.

And that’s it!  Well, actually, not, because I added a little pocket to this one, which is also very easy.  Hope you like it!

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