Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anthropologie look-a-like tank tutorial

I finished it!  Here is the tutorial on how to make a simple knit tank top and if you choose embellish it to get that Anthropologie look.  You can whip one of these up in under an hour with less than a yard of fabric!  The embellishing is up to you.  I listed instructions on how to make knit flowers and gathered straps but the possibilities are endless! 

Please join the sew grown flickr group to show off what you create.  I would love to see it!

Happy Sewing! 

Things to know:
The pattern for this tank top is created by tracing an existing tank top and when using knits it's best to use a ballpoint needle.  I use an 80/12 Jersey Ball Point.

Step1:  Create pattern.
Trace an existing tank top onto your knit fabric.  You do this by first folding the knit fabric by the needed width then fold the tank top in half and place the inside fold of the tank on the fold of the fabric.  Make sure the stretch of the knit is running side to side not up and down then tuck any extended back parts under.  Repeat for the back and cut out front and back pieces.  Make sure you add seam allowances.  I used 1/4" seam allowances. 

Step 2:  Sew front and back together.
With rights sides together sew front to back at shoulder seam and sides.  Finish seams with serger or zig zag stitch.  Iron seam allowance to the back. 

Step 3:  Measure for neck and arm trim.
Turn shirt right side out and measure the full circumference of the neck and one arm hole.  Cut a fabric strip 1" wide by the circumference of the neck plus 1" and 2 strips of knit 1" wide the circumference of the arm hole plus 1".    Make sure the stretch of the knit is running with the length of the strips. 

Step 4:  Prepare neck and arm trim.
With right sides together sew ends using 1/2" seam allowance.  Iron open seam allowance.  Next fold the fabric strips in half right sides together and iron.

I know, my quilt block is gross, but I'm attached.

Step 5:    Attach neck trim to shirt. 
Have your shirt right side out and with raw edges aligned pin the neck trim seam to the left shoulder seam of the tank top.  (The folded edge of the neck trim is facing down and the raw edge of the tank and neck trim are aligned).  Finish pinning all the way around.  If the neck trim is a little short you can stretch as you go to make it fit just make sure it's not more than an 1" or so too short or the stretching will distort the neckline.  If the neck trim it too long you will need to unpin it and make adjustments. 

Stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.  Add a reinforcement stitch to the inside of your 1/8" seam allowance to add durability or you can serge if your lucky and have a serger.  So jealous!  Iron seam down. 

2 stitch rows to add reinforcement

Step 6:  Attach arm trim to shirt.
Pin arm trim to first arm hole lining up raw edges and arm trim seam with arm pit seam.  Pin all the way around.  Stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.  Reinforce stitch sewing 1/8" seam allowance on the inside of your first stitch.  Iron seam allowance in.  Repeat other arm. 

Step 7:  Finish bottom hem. 
I did an overlock stitch along the bottom then folded and ironed 1/2" up and stitched 2 straight stitch rows.   You can leave it unfinished as well. 

Now it's time to embellish!  My shirt turned out to be to wide at the straps so I added and secured some gather stitches.  I also wanted a little gather along the neckline so I gathered about 6" along the front middle.

To gather increase your stitch width as long as it will go and stitch 2 rows across the sleeve leaving long free ends of thread.  Next pull the thread ends and cinch up the fabric.  Tie knots by hand with the free thread ends on the inside and outside. 

To make the knit flowers you cut long strips of knit approximately 1" wide (again the stretch of the knit running along the length of the strips) and wrap it around 2 fingers 4-6 times depending on the size flower you like.  Next pass the long free end through the center and fluff the flower.  Secure it by hand stitching.  First the center back then hand stitch up through the middle working your way to the outside rows of the flower making sure all rows are secure.  Once the flower is secure hand stitch it to the shirt similar to how you would attach a button. 

Wow, I need a mani!

To add ties to the shoulders you will cut 2, 1/2" strips of knit the length you prefer (mine are12") with the stretch of the fabric running the length of the strip.  Align the center of the tie with the center of the shoulder strap and hand stitch the tie to the wrong side at the shoulder seam.  Pull ties around to the front and tie in a knot.  Trim ends at an angle.

That's it!  I hope you enjoyed!  Now it's time to show off your work!  flickr group

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1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous! I love the embellishment, and the little gathering at the front is sweet.

    I have a few too-big-for-me thrifted tanks I'd been planning to try that with, seeing how lovely it looks on your tank will give me the extra nudge I need to dive into that stash of things for restyling!


Thank you for your comments! It so great to hear from you and it is what keeps me motivated to create.