How To Sew Clothes for Beginners - DIY Tank Top

Wanna learn how to sew clothes for beginners?

I’ll show you how with this super
cute and easy to make tank top!

Can you believe it’s designed for absolute beginners and sews up in just 2 hours!

When I first found this shirt I was looking for an easy beginner project that people could make as their first #MeMade clothing.

I know that when you’ve just started sewing, making your own clothes can feel very intimidating. So I looked for an option that would be quick and easy and give people the option of trying out what it feels like to make (and wear) their own clothes without having to use a sewing pattern.

This tank top checks all the boxes.

  • It’s Beginner Friendly
  • It’s basically just (2) rectangles of fabric
  • You only have to sew 5 straight lines (plus the straps)
  • And you can easily make one in a weekend!

My only concern was that while it’s super easy to make, would it actually be flattering or fashionable to wear. Now, after making it, it’s honestly one of my new favorite summer pieces!

The overall boxy silhouette of this project looks great on most body shapes and it’s SUPER comfy. Plus, this tank top is so loose fit and flowy that it allows for lots of air movement and doesn’t stick to me in hot/humid/sweaty weather!

Does it get any better than that?

Ready to make your very own DIY Tank Top?

Just grab the supplies listed below and we’ll get started!

**** For all sewing projects, you need the Standard Sewing Supplies. You can find out exactly what these tools are by heading to my 10 Must-Have Tools List. ****

Make Learning How To Sew Clothes Even Easier with…

How-To Video Tutorials!

Prefer videos? Head to my YouTube channel to watch the DIY Tank Top Video Tutorial!

FREE Project Template

Custom-Made for the DIY Tank Top!

DIY Tank Top Project Template Preview

Make this project even easier by having a printable checklist with you.

With step-by-step instructions written specifically for this project, you’ll never get lost or confused about what step you’re currently on or what comes next!

Learn How To Sew Clothes for Beginners:
DIY Tank Top!

~ Photo Guide and Instructions ~

Step 1: Cut out 2 Rectangles of Fabric

How Much Fabric You Need To Make the DIY Tank Top (DIY Tank Top)

To make your DIY Tank Top you will need to cut out (2) rectangles of fabric.

One side of the rectangle should be equal to your bust measurement + 4″ (or 10 cm)

The second side of the rectangle should be your shirt length + 4″ (or 10cm)

For shirt length: Use a tape measure. Hold it up against your body to decide how long you want your tank top to be.

Not sure what your Bust Measurement is?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Just check out my How To Take Proper Body Measurements blog post and you’ll have your Bust Measurement in no time!

Step 2: Lay Both Rectangles of Fabric on Top of Each Other – right Sides Facing

How To Sew Clothing for Beginners DIY Tank Top Step 1

Lay one rectangle on your work surface right side facing up.

Then lay the second rectangle directly on top of the first, but this time, with right side facing down.

The right side is the side of the fabric you want to be seen while wearing your Tank Top.

Step 3: Pin Down the Length of Your Tank Top and Sew in Place

Pin DIY Tank Top Side Seams - How To Sew Clothes for Beginners

Make sure to pin down the side of the rectangle you measured for your preferred shirt length. (Yellow Arrow in photo)

Do not pin the side you measured using your Full Bust Measurement. (White Arrow in photo)

Sew down both sides using a half-inch seam allowance.

*Seam Allowance is the distance from the edge of the fabric to the stitch line.

Step 4: Fold One Edge of Fabric Up 1/2″ and Iron

Fold and Iron - How to Sew Clothes for Beginners DIY Tank Top

Now that we’ve sewn both side seams, you should have a big tube of fabric.

Lay your tube wrong side facing out, flat on your work surface.

Pick one edge of your tube to be your bottom hem.

Fold that edge up 1/2″ and iron (as shown in photo)

Step 5: Fold the Same Edge Up 1/2″ again and Iron

Fold Hem Again and Sew in Place - How To Sew Clothes For Beginners DIY Tank Top

On the same edge, fold the fabric up again 1/2″ and iron in place.

By folding the fabric twice, we hide the raw edge inside the fold, creating a professional finish on the bottom hem of our tank top!

Step 6: Sew the Double Folded edge (Bottom Hem)

Sew Hem of DIY Tank Top - How To Sew Clothes for Beginners

Once you’ve ironed out your second fold, it’s time to sew.

Put your fabric on your machine, and stitch as close to the folded edge as you can (see the green stitch line in photo).

After sewing, you’ve now finished the bottom hem!

Step 7: Fold the Second edge down 1/2″ and Iron

Fold Top Edge Down Half an Inch - How To Sew Clothes for Beginners DIY Tank Top

Lay your fabric tube out flat on your work surface again.

Since we just finished the bottom hem, the other edge of our tube will now become our neckband or top of our tank top.

Fold this top edge down 1/2″ and iron.

Yes, this is an exact repeat of what we did on the first step of the bottom hem.

Step 8: Fold the Top edge down 3″ and Iron

Fold Top Edge Down 3" (DIY Tank Top Project)

Now fold the top edge down 3″ (or 8cm) and iron in place.

Again, by folding twice, we hide the raw edge of fabric inside the fold, creating a pretty, professional finish.

Step 9: Sew Top of Tank Top Near to Folded Edge

***Leave a 2-3″ gap***

Sew Near Folded Edge and Leave a Three Inch Gap (DIY Tank Top)

Once you’ve ironed the 3″ (or 8cm) fold on the top of your tank top, we’re going to sew along the folded edge.

This is the same thing we did for the bottom hem, except this time, we are going to leave a 2-3″ gap (5-7cm)

Do NOT sew all the way around. See photo!

We will use this gap to insert our elastic!

Step 10: Draw and Sew A Line 1 1/4″ from previous stitch line

Mark a Line and Stitch One and a Quarter Inches away from folded edge (DIY Tank Top)

Now we need to draw a line 1 1/4″ (3cm) away from the line of stitches we just sewed in Step 9.

(See Photo)

Once you’ve drawn this line, sew it all the way around your tank top. Do NOT leave a gap this time.

Step 11: Insert Elastic

Insert Elastic into Elastic Casing

Now that we’ve sewn two lines of stitches on the top edge of our tank top, it’s time to insert the elastic.

This is easiest to do with a safety pin.

Attach a safety pin to one side of your elastic, then insert it into the gap we left in our first stitch line.

Push the safety pin all the way around the top of your tank top until it comes back out of the same gap.

***If this explanation is confusing, check out the DIY Tank Top Video Tutorial****

Step 12: Adjust and Sew Elastic

Overlap Elastic Half an Inch and Pin in Position

Once you have the elastic inserted into your tank top, check that the elastic is flat (not twisting) inside of your tank top.

Next, try your tank top on.

Use the safety pin to attach the two ends of elastic and see how it fits.

If it’s too big, overlap the elastic more.

If it’s too tight, overlap the elastic less.

Once you have a length you like, pin the elastic in place (see photo) then stitch together using a zigzag stitch.

Step 13: Sew the Gap closed

Sew the Elastic Casing Gap Closed - How to Sew Clothes for Beginners DIY Tank Top

Finally, we need to close the gap where we inserted the elastic.

Stretch the top of your tank top until the elastic is pulled up into the tank top. Then pin the gap closed as shown in the photo.

Now sew near to the folded edge (just like we did in the previous steps), connecting the line of stitches on either side of the gap.

And now the shirt part of your tank top is finished!

Do you have any questions so far? Wanna share your amazing progress?

Head to my Facebook Group!

Ready to finish up this project with some adorable matching straps?

Check out my quick how-to video below!

How to Make Matching Straps!

Hi Friends!

Welcome to DIY Fashion Rebel! 

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even if you’ve never touched a  sewing machine!

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even if you’ve never touched a sewing machine!

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Plus a ton more beginner-friendly tips to help start your sewing journey the right way.


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