I’m back today with a *hopefully* easy to follow reversible tank top sewing tutorial. This sewing tutorial is my tried and true way to sew up a simple tank that is comfy and lovely! I just made a beautiful knit dress with this method and thought it would be the perfect time to share a tutorial on how I construct this design.
P.S- the new dress will be on the blog soon and this method (and the dresses) will be mentioned in my Monthly makes video on YouTube. I used my sample to make a second dress too! This was made using leftover fabric from my Vogue 1914 Knit Set and lined in the copper colorway of the same fabric. I wanted to make this easy to see my method by using a different color for my lining. Usually I use the same fabric to line my makes.
There’s nothing revolutionary about this method- I’m sure others use this too- but I love using this to create a nice clean finish. Living in Florida I wear tank tops all the time! This method gives me a beautiful finish and is so quick and easy to make. Any sleeveless top pattern will work for this. I drafted this one myself to make my Havana Stripe Dress and the Blue Knit tank (part of a 2 pc set) I wore to Greece and the white tank I wore during MMM.
All the Details
- This method is shown on a knit garment, but can be easily done on a woven garment.
- Sew on your regular machine (zig zag or stretch stitch) or completely on the serger (my preference).
- I prefer a 1/4″ SA, trim or use the seam allowance on your pattern.
- On wovens, I usually understitch the lining to the Seam Allowance before turning.
- After serging I take my long tails and weave them back into the seam.
- Finish with a stretch stitch, twin needle or coverstitch as desired.
- For the dress versions – I combine the bodice with a skirt, either self drafted or my recent favorite Burda 116 Midi Skirt. simply sew the skirt to the bodice right sides together. I often add 1/4″ elastic for added stability (gently stretched).
- You can also crop the lining and add elastic to make a built in shelf bra. When I do this I usually make the lining slightly narrower at the underarm to the bust for a better fit.
Any question? Let me know in the comments.
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Main Body Fabric:
What happens when organic cotton and tencel have a beautiful knit baby? This super soft stretch jersey is the answer! Medium weight with excellent recovery and resilience, this special knit is a great choice for any project where you want stretch and give, like t-shirts, close-fitting knit tops, bodysuits, dresses and leggings. We especially love it for loungewear and soft bralettes and undies, since it breathes so well and feels amazing next to your skin.
Organic Cotton + Tencel Stretch Knit Jersey- Rust
Rust colorway OOS, but many other colors are available.
This post will be very picture heavy. I may film a tutorial in the future- but for now let’s keep it simple and get sewing!
Reversible Tank Top Sewing Tutorial:
Start by grabbing your pattern! I drafted this one myself but any sleeveless top will work.
1. Cut 1 Set each- Main and Lining
Now we’ll pin the front to the back at the shoulder seams for the main and lining pieces- right sides together. Sew at your desired seam allowance (mine is 1/4″).
(I had written WST in the original post that went out by email-sorry- it’s now corrected)
2. Pin & Sew shoulders
Below you can see my serger seams in teal thread on the left (interior view), and turned out to the right side on the right.
Lay out both pieces with right sides up:
Place the main fabric on top- right sides together and pin around the neckline:
3. Pin & Sew neckline
Serge or sew all the way around the neckline.
Interior view- serged neckline:
4. Sew the Armholes
Now you’re going to flip the main pieces into the center of your neckline to turn right side out. The gallery shows the full process:
Use the Burrito Method: Flip to the Left <—–
Now we’re going to sew up each of our armhole seams- burrito style! Start by rolling your tank top toward the left side.
We’ll roll to the left until we have the main side (teal) touching the lining (rust) gather the excess fabric to the center ( you can tie it off with scrap fabric if needed) and then pin right sides together starting at the shoulder seam (images 3-4). Then pin down the entire side front to back. Sew all the way along this seam being careful not to catch the rolled fabric.
* We’re sewing only the armhole at this point – the side seams remain open.
Now we’re going to pull the fabric through the center to turn right side out.
Once you’ve pulled it out you can see we have the entire right armhole sewn.
Now we’re ready to sew the opposite armhole in the same manner. The right side is done so roll that toward the center to the left.
Roll to center and then pin you’re two shoulder seams together. I like to push my seam allowances to opposite sides to reduce bulk at where the two seams join. Pin around the entire armhole and sew or serge together. next you’ll pull it out through the center of one side.
You can see now both armholes are sewn completely and the side seams remain open.
5. Sew the Side Seams
The next step is to pin our sides seams together, main to main (TEAL- right sides together) and lining to lining ( RUST- right sides together). I always put my first pin at the underarm seam and work my way up and down.
I think you can see really well in this image (below) how the teal is sewn on one side and the rust on the other. Now you just sew or serge these seams.
Now it’s simply a matter of turning the top right side out.
Enjoy your reversible tank top!
You can turn under the ends and topstitch or coverstitch closed or add a waistband to finish. Or sew this on to a skit to make an easy tank dress. Watch my YouTube video this Saturday to see the finished dress!
Here are a few detail shots :
I hope you found this Reversible Tank Top sewing tutorial helpful! Let me know if you have any questions. Until next time, Happy Sewing!