This racerback tank t-shirt pattern is our sixth pattern on our workout wardrobe series. I hope you have enjoyed the collection so far.
It is spring already, Yikes! I woke up today as if I had been struck by a bolt of lightning and realized half the year is gone. Where? Do I want to know? Not sure… Time seems to slip through my fingers lately.
Moving on… that is the point of this wardrobe to move with comfort. This racerback tank t-shirt pattern is very functional because you can use any double jersey fabric and make it. It is not meant to be tight on your belly and is higher at the front than the back. It goes perfectly with the sports bra we have already worked on. A box pleat on the back will help accommodate a larger chest area.
This racerback tank t-shirt pattern has only three pieces so it is easy to assemble and sew. This top is easy to make in a couple of hours.
- 1/2 to 3/4 yards of jersey knit fabric (or any four-way stretch fabric) (MOST drape softly)
- Double point or twin needle
- Thread to match
- 2 yards of 3/4″ bias tape or fold over elastic
How to download and sew the racerback tank t-shirt pattern
Use Adobe Reader to download and print the pattern. Print on Landscape and use the Actual Size setting.
The seam allowance is 1/4″ and there is 1/2″ of hem. Use a serger to expedite the work if you have one. Using a normal home sewing machine will be fine too. If using a sewing machine only, use a ballpoint needle and a very small zigzag. I have used an elastic but you can also make your own bias tape if you have enough fabric. I did not, so I went with the fastest easiest way and used the same elastic I used in the sports bra. If you find the top not long enough, follow the same procedure on this tutorial on how to lengthen a top.
|Size||Chest||Hem Width||Front Length||Back Length|
|S||41 1/4″ (105 cm)||78″ (198 cm)||26 ” (66 cm)||29 ” (73.6cm)|
|M||43 3/4″ (111 cm)||80 1/2″ (204 cm)||26 3/4″ (67.9cm)||29 3/4″ (75.5cm)|
|L||46 1/4″ (117 cm)||83″ (210 cm)||27 1/4″ (69.2 cm)||30″ (76 cm)|
|XL||48 3/4″ (124 cm)||85 1/2″ (217 cm)||27 1/2″ (69.8 cm)||30 1/4″ (77 cm)|
Fitting your tank top
Pin the paper pattern on the shoulder and on the side and place it on your shoulder. If you are not happy with the length follow the tutorial on how to lengthen a top.
Step One: Sewing the back
This racerback tank t-shirt is made of two pieces, the top, and bottom. We will be working on the bottom half first, where the pleat is located. The first thing we have to do is to make the pleat.
Take the second notch from left to right and fold it to the left. We will be reversing the procedure to make the other side of the pleat. Take the second notch from right to left and fold it to the right.
You will need five notches to make the box pleat.
Place the top half piece print side down.
Sew the two back pieces together use the serger or the sewing machine. As you can see in my picture I am using a very small zigzag. Turn the back piece print side up.
Step Two: Sewing the front
Place the front piece and pin it at the shoulder to the back piece.
Sew the sides at 1/4″ using your serger or a small zigzag in your sewing machines.
Step Three: Adding double-sided elastic to the neckline and armhole
We will be using the same procedure for the neckline and the armholes.
Measure the neckline and cut the elastic two inches smaller than your measurement. In my case, the neckline is 26.5″ so I will require a 24.5″ elastic.
Sew the elastic at 1/4″ to form a band. Divide the band in half. Place a pin or mark it with tailor's chalk.
Divide the neckline into half. Pin the elastic band where the arrows are shown below. The arrows represent the neckline divided in half. Pin the elastic seam allowance to the back of the top seam allowance, this is to reduce the bulk. Otherwise, it will be too difficult to fold the elastic if both the top seam allowance and the elastic seam allowance are facing each other. You are going to sew the elastic down using a medium to small zigzag. The bigger the stitch the more noticeable the zigzag will be, but it needs to be big enough to maintain the elasticity.
Start at the shoulder but away from the seam allowance and pull the elastic as you sew, don't pull the fabric. This is not difficult if you use your right hand to pull the elastic and your left hand to guide the fabric. Never pull the fabric at the back of the machine with your left hand when sewing knits. This will cause to distort the fabric and possibly break your needle.
If you're using bias tape from the same fabric follow the same instructions on Step Three on the high and low t-shirt.
For woven bias tape follow these easy to make a t-shirt, where I use the same fabric as the racerback tank top.
Step Four: Hemming the tank top
My fabric is a rayon knit and requires a very thin stretchable interface to be able to use a twin needle which by the way would be the ideal way to hem this top. But, since is a soft fabric and drapes well I have decided to skip the stretchable interfacing. This is because the fabric has a busy print, the pattern is flared at the bottom and I am using rayon knit. Rayon knit is perfect for the summer because allows your skin to breath and it is super soft.
I have serged the hem folded 1/4″, folded again 1/4″ and used my ballpoint needle with a small zigzag to sew the hem. The lack of interfacing will leave the hem slightly wavy, which is something that I would never recommend if the fabric had a solid color. If you do not feel like being adventurous use the technique on this tutorial (step five) where I hem this summer dress using homemade strips of stretchable interfacing.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I have the perfect walking shorts for this top. Until next time. Please let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below.