Threadbanger Post: 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!
*1 tanktop that fits you well
*1 men’s t-shirt (preferably XL)
*thread matching t-shirt
*velvet or satin ribbon (1″ – 1.5″ wide)
*pronged studs, sew-on jewels, hotfix nailheads, or fancy trim
1. 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.
2. Sew the ends of the t-shirt’s sleeves closed, just inside the sleeve cuffs. These will become pockets.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.)
8. Repeat Step 6) and Step 7) to pin the back of the t-shirt onto the back of the tanktop.
9. 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)
9. Use a piece of ribbon as a tie for the waist, stitching at the back to secure. (not pictured)
10. 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.
Without the belt, hands in pockets.
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.”
Wear with some espadrille wedges and a cool pair of shades for a chic casual look as the mercury rises.
I’d love to hear your feedback everyone!
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