Refashion a plain tank into something special

Ellen March
Refashion a plain tank into something special



  • Ready-made knit tank top
  • Removable fabric marker
  • Matching all-purpose thread
  • Ballpoint or stretch needle
  • Rotary cutting system (optional)
  • Ruffler foot (optional)

Cut It

Place the tank top front side up on a flat work surface. Using a removable fabric marker, draw a horizontal line 1 1/2" above the hem upper stitching line.

Using a rotary cutting system, cut along the line through all layers. Or cut along the line through all layers using a pair of sharp fabric scissors.

Cut off one fabric tube side seam, creating one long strip.

Sew It

Install a ballpoint or stretch needle onto the machine.

Set the machine for a long basting stitch. Stitch 1/4" from the strip long raw edge, leaving long thread tails at the stitching beginning and end. Pull the bobbin thread to evenly gather the strip until it measures approximately 15". Tie off the thread tails to secure the gathers.

Fold the strip raw ends 1/2" toward the wrong side; press.

Fold the strip in half widthwise; pin-mark the center, and then unfold.

Fold the tank top in half lengthwise with front sides together. Pin-mark the neckline center; unfold.

Align the strip and neckline pins, positioning the strip raw edge right side down over the tank top neckline edge just below the neckline stitching (see blow).

ruffled tank

Set the machine for a 2.5mm stitch length. Stitch the ruffle strip in place over the basting.

Fold the strip toward the right side; press.

Fold the tank-top lower edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Stitch near the raw edge.

TIP: Fuse 1/4"-wide lightweight fusible knit interfacing strips to the tank-top lower edge before hemming to stabilize the knit, making it easier to sew.

{begin sidebar; can go anywhere. Run with photos of each foot TK from Baby Lock}

The Ruffle Shuffle

Ruffling is easier than ever before with these handy tools at the ready.

Purchase a ruffler foot for your sewing machine Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the foot and practice on different types and weights of fabric scraps before delving into a project. Consult your sewing machine dealer for more tips and tricks.

If you have a serger, purchase a ruffler attachment. This tool will ruffle the fabric evenly and cleanly in no time. 





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Cute Idea, but I need the length of most ready made
In order to use this idea, I would probably purchase a second shirt. I would cut the ruffle as described, then make cap sleeves with some of the fabric from the second shirt
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