I was inspired by the "Total Eclipse of the Tank" shirt at ModCloth.com, but I didn't really want to spend thirty dollars for a tank top (I'm a cheapskate, I'll admit it). Plus, I have a movie date tonight and no fun tops to wear. What to do?
This is what we're going to start out with. I used one of my Dad's old tank tops, but use whatever works for you.
It has no shape to it, and no fun details. It makes my stomach look like a marshmallow. Not very appropriate for a date in my humble opinion.
Find whatever complimentary fabric you want to use. The only black fabric I had on hand was this shirt, and it needed to be shortened anyway.
Cut off a strip about three inches tall all the way around. Save the shirt to hem later, on a different day.
Cut out two "ties", about three inches long, from the hem of the piece. Then cut out a pocket shape; this can be however big you want it to be. I tried to stay as close to the ModCloth version as I could.
Next, we're going to fix that neckline! I used one of my other tank tops as a template to eyeball where the neckline should go. I also folded over the half that I'd cut when I got to the middle so that it'd be symmetrical. Feel free to try it in a sweetheart line or square cutout rather than a boring old oval.
Next is the neck ties. I didn't have the time or the material to do a completely new back panel, so I improvised.
Gather the sleeve together at the top of the shoulder and sew one of the black "ties" around it (sew the tie into the fabric some, too, so it won't slip while you're wearing it or when you wash it). Repeat on the other side.
Here's a close-up of the pleating process.
Ta-da! Much cuter now. But we're not done yet!
Now we're going to sew on the pocket. Pin it on where you want it (I had to try my shirt on and then pin on the pocket carefully), and use a whipstitch around the sides and bottom to secure the pocket to the shirt. If you're messy, don't worry about it - the great thing about a whipstitch is that it looks effortlessly cute.
The completed pocket! Bask in its glory and go make some tea or something to sip on for the next step.
The hemline was restricting my hips. Bad hemline. So off with you!
Cut off the hem as close to the stitching as you can get it. Don't worry about unraveling - t-shirt fabric is pretty much the Rambo of the fabric world.
Now, how to make it more form-fitting? I'd rather not look like I threw on a pillowcase for my date.
Measure how much fabric you have to spare on each side, and then once you have an estimate, make a pleat over the extra fabric and secure it with a cross-stitch.
I was going to do it all the way down the side of the shirt, but I got bored and stopped after about four inches of stitching, which ended up being at my upper waistline. Repeat on the other side.
Now, to get an angled look, cut out sloping triangles from the sides of the shirt, at whatever angle you feel comfortable with. I wanted to keep it casual, so mine only took out about two or three inches of length at their deepest cut, but definitely experiment with it!
That's all there is to it! Now we have a date-worthy shirt.
If you make a variation, definitely upload it so that we can see and be inspired by your creativity!
Go make some fun!