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How to Sew a Summer Tank Dress
The temperature's rising, but maybe you've tired of the ol' tanktop-and-jeans ensemble. Maybe you want a go-to summer dress but still want it to be comfortable for when it gets really hot. Revamp a tanktop with the addition of an old men's tee,** and live in soft-washed cotton comfort all summer.
**I've adapted this recon from the book Kakkoii Kuchuuru Rimeiku ["Cool Couture Remake"], by Hiroko Yamase [Bunka Publishing, 2009]. The book is in Japanese, and I've converted the sizing to Western sizing, and changed the methodology here and there. Hope you like it!

Posted by carlyjcais from Portland, Oregon, United States • Published See carlyjcais's 60 projects »
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  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    Prep Time

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 2
    Step 2

    Wash and dry both your tanktop and t-shirt if they haven't been washed before. Turn the t-shirt inside out and cut off the label at the back of the neck. (not pictured) Cut off the shoulder seams all the way to the sleeve seams.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 3
    Step 3

    Start Sewing

    Sew the ends of the t-shirt's sleeves closed, just inside the sleeve cuffs. These will become pockets.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 4
    Step 4

    Fold down about 1/2" along the slit shoulders (the raw edges) of the t-shirt, all the way around, front to back, neck ribbing to neck ribbing. Stitch down, creating a 3/8" hem.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 5
    Step 5

    Turn the t-shirt right side out, tucking the sewn sleeves inside. Fold in half and mark the center front and center back at the neck ribbing. Do the same with the tanktop.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 6
    Step 6

    Measure 4" straight down from the mark you made on both the front and the back of your tanktop. Make another mark at each point.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 7
    Step 7

    Place the tanktop inside the t-shirt. Line up the center front of your t-shirt on top of the mark you made on the center front of the tanktop. Pin in place.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 8
    Step 8

    Pin the neck ribbing of the t-shirt to the front of the tanktop, following the natural curve of the t-shirt's neck. (I folded the edges of the t-shirt under about 1/2" again, since I liked the way that looked.)

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 9
    Step 9

    Repeat Step 6) and Step 7) to pin the back of the t-shirt onto the back of the tanktop.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 10
    Step 10

    Stitch the t-shirt to the tanktop, following the lines of the neck-ribbing of the t-shirt. Sew TWO lines of stitching to secure: one line at the very top of the neck-ribbing, and one line at the point where the ribbing connects to the t-shirt. Do for both front and back of your piece.

    Embellish It! (Optional)

  • Step 11

    Use a piece of ribbon as a tie for the waist, stitching at the back to secure. (not pictured)

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 12
    Step 12

    Add studs, hotfix embellishments, sew-on jewels, or fancy trim to the the tanktop neck, the t-shirt ribbing, or the hem of the garment to doll your piece up.

    You're finished!

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 13
    Step 13

    Without the belt, hands in pockets.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 14
    Step 14

    Belted with a velvet ribbon.

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 15
    Step 15

    Tip: If you feel the weight of the t-shirt distorts the tank too much, sewing the sides of the tee to the tank will help eliminate the "pulling."

  • How to sew a t-shirt dress. Summer Tank Dress - Step 16
    Step 16

    Wear with some espadrille wedges and a cool pair of shades for a chic casual look as the mercury rises.
    And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and men's shirt revamps!
    Thanks for reading - and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I'll do my best to help you out!
    xoxox
    Carly J. Cais

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Comments

carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Thanks mandiCHU!Happy
xoxo
Carly
Reply
mandiCHU
mandiCHU · 2 projects
berry cute:]
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
@killer dork:
Oh, definitely! A t-shirt version would look great too, like as a shorter tunic with leggings as you wrote.
I love your username btw, LOL!:-D
Thanks for your comment!
xoxo
Carly
Reply
killer dork
killer dork · 5 projects
i am so going to do a tee shirt verson of this. i don't have a big enough shirt to make a dress but i think it will be nice as a shirt with leggings. so thank you. also i love all your stuff by the way!
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Thanks Tea&&Muffins! Please post a photo if you do end up making it...I'd love to see!
xoxoxo
Carly
Reply
Tea&&Muffins
Tea&&Muffins · Milton Keynes, England, GB · 1 project
This is so awesome and it is such a good idea! May just have to try it! XD
Reply