low life, high tech.
Yet another tshirt from a band I love that was size XL and waaaaay too big. So, I picked up my copy of "Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt" and decided to make a tube top out of it.
Basically, you just measure and cut rectangles to match. I made sure to get the graphics on the front and back for mine. (Save the extra material from the bottom, you need it at the end!) Then I measured and pinned a 1/2" hem along the top. I hand stitched the sides and top because I don't have a sewing machine. (Boo!) Then, I took the extra material from the bottom and cut a long, continuous thin piece to use as the drawstring. I stretched it out some to get it nice and thin, and then tied a knot in each end. Then, I fastened a large safety pin to one end, and used that to help thread the drawstring through. Ta-da!
[I plan on making this a how-to, as soon as I can come up with some sketches that don't look horrific. I started crafting because I *can't* draw, so please bear with me...]
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First, take your XL (this may work with L as well, I have only done it with XL so far.) and lay it out flat. Divide your bust measurement by 2, and mark that length in chalk for the top of your tube top. Decide how long you'd like the shirt to be, measuring from where the shirt will sit. I made mine 12" long, with a 1/2" hem allowance on the bottom and a 1" allowance at the top for the drawstring casing. Mark that in chalk as well, then carefully cut through both layers of fabric to make the front and back of your top. (Be sure to keep the leftover fabric!)
(This step will be simple for those of you with access to a sewing machine!)
Sew the front and back together.
If, like me, you do not have a sewing machine and are doing this all by hand, I found a whipstitch does work well. (Hooray Google image search!)
Leave 1/2" at the bottom so that you can hem it, as well - otherwise the cotton can tend to roll up a bit. If you don't mind that, then feel free to skip the bottom hem :)
Next, take the 1" allowance you left at the top, and fold it in half. pin it down straight, and sew. Then, in the center of the front of the casing you've just sewn, cut a small slit with scissors. This is where the drawstring will come out and be tied.
(For some reason the terrible diagram pic I drew isn't loading properly. Hopefully you know what I mean - if not, message me and I'll try to help further!)
Now, you make the drawstring.
Remember the extra shirt material you saved? Take the piece that was the bottom of the shirt. Cut off the hem and then... cut a continuous strip, in a spiral sort of motion. I don't remember exactly how long I made mine, but it's better to be too long than too short, I suppose. You can always cut some off.
When you have your length of tshirt, take it and stretch it. This will cause the edges to roll up and help the strip keep the tube top up.
Tie a knot in each end. Then, using a large safety pin in one end you can easily guide the string through the casing.
Put it on, pull taut, and tie in a bow.
There you go, cute summer tube top!