Although T-shirts make great sleeveless T-shirts and tank tops, they can be tied at the shoulders after they are cut. Tying a T-shirt at the shoulders raises armholes, tightens collars that are too loose, and adds a distinct look to the tank top. Tying at the shoulders is also a great way to save T-shirt tank tops that were ruined by cutting too deep or wide., This article will detail how to successfully make a good tied at the shoulders tank top from a T-shirt.
Tying at the shoulders can save T-shirt tank tops ruined from the two most common errors when making tank tops. If the sleeves are wide or if they are cut below where they attach to the shirt, armholes can end up a lot wider as the cloth stretches at least a couple inches after it is cut. Neck holes cut wider than the collar initially, cut deeper than the collar initially, or cut in the back the same depth as the front all end up becoming too wide and fall off the shoulder. This is because the cloth spreads out just like at the armholes once the material holding it back or up is cut. These shirts can be salvaged by tying at the shoulders.
To make a T-shirt that hasn’t been cut to a shoulders tied tank top, start by cutting the sleeves off just inside the shoulder seam, removing the seam with the shirt. Cut one side at a time to keep the shirt even. Cut off the collar, one side at a time, just before the seam. Try on the shirt and see how the collar and shoulders fit. For a tied T-shirt tank top that is wide at the shoulders, cut the collar wider by an inch on each side but not deeper. For a more narrow tank top, trim back the sleeves a couple inches. For a good balance, the cloth strap should be about an inch and a half wide and rest squarely on the shoulders. There should be three inches of good strap before the strap gets considerably wide.
Cut open the straps, leaving an inch and a half on either side, and tie a double knot in each strap. Gently but firmly tug on each knot to tighten it; if it comes out it needs to be redone. Finished knots shouldn’t be about to come undone but shouldn’t have more than an inch of excess fabric.
Try the shirt on. It will probably be narrow because of the neck being tightened, because we did not cut it deeper earlier. Cut an arching/scooping angle into the front, but only cut in small increments. As you cut, the shirt will get wider first, then will start getting deeper in the front. Only trim the back if it is riding up the neck. Do not wait to trim the back until the front is ready, as trimming the back may make the front too wide. Cut the armholes deeper as needed. If you over-cut, untie the straps and re-tie tighter. This should be avoided, as each tying of the shoulders shortens the length of the shirt.
You now have a tied at the shoulders tank top that adds variety and creativity to the summer wardrobe. Making tied tank tops saves old T-shirts and failed tank tops from going to waste, and saves money on the summer wardrobe.