Hey y’all. Last week when I shared the free boxer pajama shorts pattern, I said that I’d have something coming up for the tank top in the pictures with the shorts. Well, today I’m sharing the tank top tutorial and the free pattern.
Like I said in that post, my sleepwear of choice is boxers and a tank top. But most of my tank tops are 100% cotton and so old that they've lost all their stretch. So while I was at Joann, I also picked up some rib knit to make a new tank top for sleeping. However, this turned out so cute that I totally think you could wear it outside the house too.
Want to make your own? You'll need
- This pattern is sized for about a 34" bust. However, since it's stretch knit, it would probably fit down to a 32" bust. If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post. Or, you could do this technique on the Texana Tank pattern (available in sizes up to 3X) in my shop.
- 2/3 yd of rib knit. 2x2 rib knit with some spandex mixed into the cotton is the best. You want the rib knit to have at least 50% stretch and good recovery for this pattern. That means that you should be able to stretch a 10" long piece to 15" and have it snap back to 10" long.
- 1/2" wide double fold bias tape. I made my own and you can too. See the bias tape tutorial here.
- To download the pattern, subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!
(PS - if you have trouble finding either your confirmation email or the email with the pattern link, try checking your spam, trash, junk, bulk, social and/or promotional email tabs or folders. Free pattern links are also included in every weekly newsletter; these go out on Friday afternoons. Due to the number of subscribers I can't email pattern links to individuals.)
Please note that all my patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this without a limited production license) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.
To begin, print and assemble the pattern. Cut 1 front and one back of the pattern. Place the front and back right sides together (rib knit doesn't really have a right/wrong side, but in case you're using some other kind of knit pay attention to right/wrong sides) and sew across the shoulder and side seams with a stretch stitch.
Next, place your bias tape along the front neckline of the tank right side out. Start at one shoulder seam and leave at least 1/2" of bias tape hanging beyond the shoulder seam. Make sure the folded edge of the bias tape is along the raw edge of the neckline. Using your iron and a lot of steam, slowly press the tape along the neckline, moving a little bit at a time and stretching the bias tape into the same curve as the neckline. The steam will set the curve in the bias tape.
Pin the bias tape in place, then flip the tank over and continue pressing the bias tape along the back neckline as shown below. Cut the tape about 1" past the shoulder seam - this way you have bias tape to overlap when you sew it in place.
Remove the pins and turn the tank top wrong side out. Unfold the bias tape, and start at the same shoulder seam as you did for the pressing. Fold the short raw edge of the bias tape under 1/4", then begin pinning the tape along the neckline.
When you get back around with the tape, overlap the bias tape over the folded edge at the shoulder and cut off any excess.
Stitch the bias tape, using a straight stitch, and stitching in the crease line closest to the raw edge of the tank top neckline.
Turn the tank right side out and fold the bias tape to the right side. The folded edge where you started will remain folded so the raw edges are enclosed inside. Pin the tape all around the neckline, covering the seam from the previous step. Stitch close to the edge, using a straight stitch.
The picture below is what the neckline should look like once you're done stitching. Repeat these steps to add bias tape to the armholes.
Finally, turn the bottom edge of the fabric up 1/2" to the wrong side and stitch, using a stretch stitch, to hem.
And you're done! Now wear your tank top to lounge around. Or run errands. Or whatever - it's totally cute.