i've had this shirt for years, free from a promotion at an old job, but it was a men's size Medium so it was always too big. kept meaning to "fix" it but, ya know, life gets in the way and i always have a million things on my crafting to-do list.
so anyway i got a creative itch and just started going through my box of shirts to be fixed, and figured it was time to do something with it :)
start with a too-big shirt. also grab a tank top that fits you well in the basic shape you want your "new" tank to be, but is not real stretchy. fold that tank down at the underarm area, and line it up on top of your shirt and cut, making room for seam allowance
as you can see here, i folded my tank at a different spot cos it's one i made (and just haven't fixed yet), but it goes up a little too far under the arms. also, it was a tad tighter than how i wanted my new shirt, so i adjusted my cuts there, too- it's a little wider than what the seam allowance would be
so there's that all cut out. also, not pictured, i cut off the hem at the bottom and rounded it off for a feminine look. i like that unfinished look, but you can keep your hem if you want, cut yours rounded off and hem it at the end, or whatever.
next, cut out 2 strips of scrap t-shirt material in a contrasting color, to be a band that goes around the top of the tank. or do the same color as the main part of the shirt. or you don't have to do this part at all. i literally made this all up as i went along; feel free to do the same :)
if you do these bands, make sure they are a bit longer than the width of the top of your tank, just so you know you have enough. we trim it off later. then fold them in half (wrong sides together) length-wise and iron.
now take one of your shirt pieces (either the front or back) and lay it right side up and pin this band to it. you want your raw edges to meet. now do the other shirt piece.
now sew them together right at that raw-edge. i used a zig-zag stitch because i felt it would be stronger (i don't have a serger). also, my machine was already set at zig zag so i took it as a sign to just keep it. (i'm lazy, i can imagine anything as a sign for me not to have to do more work than necessary.)
after sewing the band at the top, flip the band piece up and iron to hold it in place (sorry no pic of that). now get both your front and back shirt pieces and put them right sides together and sew up the sides. cut off the extra pieces of the band.
now try on your creation and make sure it's the right fit. (i ended up having to take the sides in a little under the pits)
grab a couple safety pins and pin in the front where you want your straps to go. do it to the back as well (it helps if you have a buddy do that part. i didn't, so you can see in the completed pics that one side is a bit off. oh, well!)
now we need to make the straps! to complement the messy-shirt style i like so much, i decided on braided straps. not just any braided straps, but braids made from scraps of shirt tied together. so i cut some skinny strips of fabric from both the brown and black fabric. each piece is about half an inch wide and anywhere from 4"- 8" long. then i tied those tiny strips together into 6 long strands (3 for each strap we're gonna braid), alternating and not alternating colors as i saw fit.
you could do just super long strips braided, too.
here's one of the straps braided. tie it off at the top and the bottom just so it doesn't come undone. have some patience with braiding, those knots get in the way and make it get all tangly, but go slow and easy and work around those knots, keeping the ends out so they stick out everywhere for a messy look.
now we need to sew the straps onto the shirt. holding the shirt right-side out, fold down that band at the top and use the seam you made as the anchor for your strap. make sure where you're sewing does not have a knot from the strap in the way of your needle or presser foot. do that at all 4 spots (both front and back)
okay now we need to sort of reinforce that strap a bit, cos i felt that if i left it as-is, that band would keep wanting to flip down and drive me nuts. but i also didn't want any stitches showing through the brown band if i stitched through the braid and band. so, since the band is 2 layers thick, i decided to hand-stitch through only the back side of the band and the braid. i am terrible at hand-sewing! but it worked well, so do that for all 4 spots.
done! now you try that baby on and check yourself out!
looking good *thumbs up*