Make a Distressed Chevron Tank
Need something new to wear this summer? Well, we have a fun summer project for you! Get yourself a plain old t-shirt and make your own distressed chevron tank with Heather from Shades of Tangerine.
So we asked Heather, "Why a tank top?" – "In high school, I (Heather) used to steal my dad’s t-shirts and sew basic tank tops while sun bathing in my back yard. There are several versions online, but I still like mine the most. With an old t-shirt and basic sewing skills, you can throw one together in just an hour. Because chevrons are everywhere (and I love them), I decided to experiment with fabric dye and some shipping tape to make my own pattern, and what do you know…it actually looks pretty good."
- White t-shirt (the older, the better!)
- Needle and thread
- Safety pin
- Shipping tape
- A spray bottle of fabric dye
Cut the t-shirt as shown
The largest portion will be the front of your top. Keep the fabric scraps, you will need them later.
Fold your shirt like this
Next, iron the tshirt, paying special attention to the edges. When you lay the shirt flat again, there will be a crease down the center. This crease will be your guide for making the chevron pattern.
Creating the chevrons
Place the cardboard inside the shirt and use strips of shipping tape to create V shapes, using the crease as the center.
My tape chevrons were about a finger width apart, but don’t worry about making them even. Imperfections will add to the distressed look.
Continue taping until the front is covered with chevrons
When you’re finished, it should look something like this. Use your fingers to secure the edges of the tape against the fabric (there is a good chance the dye will still bleed in some places, but that’s okay).
To add the color, fill a spray bottle with dye, or look for pre-bottled dye at the craft store. I used a bottle of orange fabric dye made by Simply Spray. By spraying the color, you can avoid using too much, and the finished result will look faded, worn, and very distressed.
Use paper towel to remove excess dye from the shipping tape
Next allow the shirt to dry for at least twenty minutes. Once dry, flip it over, make the chevron pattern on the back, and spray again.
Using the remnants
As you wait for the back to dry, cut the hemmed edge from your sleeve remnants.
Turn the fabric tube inside out
You’re going to use the safety pin to turn this fabric tube inside out. Attach the pin to the edge of the tube and push it inside. Use your fingers to thread the pin through. As the pin comes out the other side, the tube will be turned inside out. Repeat with the tube from the other sleeve.
Once done, sew them together creating a skinny fabric rope
This rope will become your tank top straps.
When the shirt is dry, remove the tape
Fold over the top edge about half an inch and sew to create a tunnel for your straps. Do this with the front and back section of the top.
Sewing everything together
After sewing the two edges, use the safety pin to pull your fabric rope through both tunnels and sew or tie the ends together to create the straps. Your shirt is now finished; enjoy!
Heather is a DIY blogger who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband and three cats.
What makes her unique is how she views life in shades. Stay tuned for her next DIY tutorial! In the mean time, get to know Heather and read her Shades of Tangerine blog posts.