You can make A-shirt tank tops from old or outgrown T-shirts through this easy craft. A-shirts, commonly referred to as wife-beaters, generally are tailored to fit tighter than a regular T-shirt. Therefore, to prolong the life of outgrown T-shirts, all you need to do is cut them to wife beater tank tops. Here is how to do this craft.
For the homemade tank top craft, you will need:
Unused or outgrown T-shirts
The purpose of this craft is recycling disused or outgrown T-shirts into wife beater tank tops. This easy craft can save you money on tank tops while utilizing t-shirts that otherwise waste space. The byproduct of this craft is the remaining sleeves and collar, which can be recycled in future crafts. Long sleeved T-shirts can also be used for this homemade tank top craft.
You will need to select the T-shirts for this craft. Unless you want a big tailoring job or a sloppy-feeling tank top, it is recommended that the T-shirts you select for cutting to tank tops be close fitting or even a little tight. If you are making this craft for your boys, select T-shirts they are outgrowing or T-shirts the boys have recently outgrown.
A-shirt craft step #1, marking out where to cut the T-shirt:
Spread the T-shirt out on a flat surface and line up the T-shirt so the seams of the sleeves and bottom of shirt line up. The front of the collar should be a bit lower than the back; that is normal for T-shirts. With chalk, mark out the lines as shown in the second image. T-shirts used should not have a design that is too wide unless you don’t mind the design getting cut off or extending to the edge of the tank top. If you use a wife beater to outline where to cut, you will need to make all the lines half an inch wider than the wife beater.
A-shirt craft step #2, cutting the T-shirt collar off:
Begin by cutting the collar off the T-shirt. Cut the collar as close to the ribbing as possible, cutting the shirt and not leaving any of the collar on the wife beater. Cutting too much shirt off with the collar will leave you with one of those ’80s girl’s T-shirts that fall off the shoulders all the time.
A-shirt step #3, cutting the sleeves off the T-shirt:
Cut the sleeves off the wife beater following the chalk line. Begin the cut just below the sleeve armpit and scoop upwards to the shoulder. The combined effects of the angle of the cut and the fabric stretching will expand the armhole of the tank top so do not cut any lower along the side of the shirt than necessary. Cut to the shoulder, allowing the straps to be two inches wide. It is important to note that T-shirt material will curl under and roll up. A two-inch wide strap will make a strap that is only an inch wide once it curls. If you cut the strap an inch wide, you will have a spaghetti strap tank top on your hands. Refer to the third image for the freshly cut tank top.
A-shirt step #4, finishing touches to the men’s homemade tank top:
Take the straps of the wife beater and pull gently in order to cause the cloth to curl over. Notice how now the shirt resembles a wife beater. (Refer to first image.) Try on the tank top to make sure it fits and the armholes are not too gaping. If the armholes are too deep for comfort, shorten the straps by cutting a block of cloth from the shoulders. Sew the straps together. If that makes the neck hole too small, cut it deeper a little at a time. It is better to go back and cut a little more than to put on the wife beater and find the neck a lot deeper than it appeared. If the neck is too deep, cutting from the strap can fix that. If the tank top fits fine, take the sewing kit and sew the cut ends of the shoulder seams to lock the seams from unraveling.
You don’t have to show off your homemade wife beater if you don’t want to. As the homemade tank tops are more comfortable than regular wife beaters, the homemade tank tops make perfect sleepwear or loungewear and are great for wearing around the house.
If you are wondering what to do with the baggier T-shirts, I’ve found what works best for them is to make regular sleeveless shirts. This article on making sleeveless shirts details the easy craft procedure. You can also make a pillowcase or reusable grocery bag from your T-shirts.