When making T-shirts to tank tops, a common occurrence is the armholes or the neck can become too deep and render the shirt unfit for use. However, with a simple modification, the shirt can be transformed into a useful tank top that fits. This alteration can be done to some store-bought tank tops also. This article will describe how to transform tank tops that have neck or arm holes that are too deep so they fit.
For baggy tank tops with deep arm holes, trim back the sides to raise the arm holes. Procure a shirt that fits, and use it as a guide to trim back the sides. This process eliminates a section of the bottom of the arm hole, which fixes or lessens the problem. This works equally on cut tank tops and store-bought tank tops. All other tank tops will employ the strap shortening trick instead of the side trimming. Let’s go over the specifics of strap shortening before we return to specific scenarios.
The strap shortening involves cutting out a section from both of the straps of the tank top, then sewing the straps back together. For tank tops that are only a little deep, cut just behind the shoulder seam for the back cuts and about an inch or two in front for the front cuts. Tank tops that are very deep will need more material cut, and you may have to deepen the neck in order to remove the material while maintaining a good neck hole. If one part of the neck is too deep, the other side may need to be trimmed. Make sure to leave enough bottom material; tank tops that need a large adjustment may end up becoming too short. We will now return to the specific scenarios.
Alter tank tops that are baggy with deep neck holes by altering the shoulder straps until the neck hole is ideal. This works with all cut tank tops. Store bought tank tops need enough arm hole depth to not be too shallow after the straps are modified. Then trim back the sides if desired, but make the final arm holes the desired size. In some cases, modifying both the strap and sides will result in arm holes that are too small unless made lower before sewing the sides. Use a piece of duct tape to “sew” the top of each side together and try on to see if the sides are too shallow. If they are, cut deeper before sewing. Cutting after sewing ruins the knot at the end of the thread and it will come undone.
Alter store bought tank tops to the degree that neither the neck nor the arm holes are too tight. Because of the hems, you do not have the flexibility to make one deeper to allow the other to be tightened more. Therefore, pinch the cloth with your hands while trying the tank top on to see what you can do for it before you proceed. If the tank top can be modified successfully, then perform the modification. Regardless, it will lessen the situation even if it cannot alleviate it totally.
Alter cut tank tops that are too deep in the neck by cutting and sewing so that the neck is good both in the back and the front. If the neck is good in the front and too low in the back, it will need to be cut deeper to line up. Make the modification first, then cut the neck deeper, but err on the side of caution as it stretches once it is cut. For necks that are too deep, cut the back straight across at the level of the strap cut. You will cut it slightly for shape, maybe a half inch deep. Sew it first then modify as necessary. If taking up the neck makes the arm holes too tight, cut them deeper. Always cut less than needed to allow stretching and round the bottom of the armhole so the shirt resists ripping.
For cut tank tops that have armholes that are too deep, cut from the strap so that the arm holes fit. This will make the neck too tight, so cut straight from one strap to the other. Uncurl the inside of the strap at its narrowest point, and use that as a guide for where to start sewing. After the sewing, trim down the front so it goes about two inches deeper than the seams. Try on the tank top. The front may need more trimming. Trim as needed, always cutting a bit less than needed to allow for stretching. Cut the back to round it, but remove no more than a half inch of material.
Your tank tops have now been successfully altered so that they fit properly. By this simple sewing trick, you can make usable tank tops that don’t fit and rescue T-shirt DIY disasters from the bin, saving money in the wardrobe.