Racerback Tank T-shirt Pattern, for the Warm Days Ahead

racerback tank t-shirtThis racerback tank t-shirt pattern is our sixth pattern on our workout wardrobe series.  I hope you have enjoyed the collection so far.  Follow me on Instagram @soseweasyoffical and use #soseweasy so I can see your take on this racerback t-shirt pattern.

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


Fabric Suggestions:

Pattern Download

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You can download the pattern for this Racerback Tank T-Shirt from our account at Payhip.

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Pattern Layout

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.

Finished measurements:

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.

How to lengthen a sewing pattern using the Hi-Low T-Shirt to illustrate

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.racerback tank top

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.

The High-Low T-Shirt: How to Hide Your Panty Line..

For woven bias tape follow these easy to make a t-shirt, where I use the same fabric as the racerback tank top.

Peek-A-Boo: A Free & Easy T-Shirt Pattern

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 it allows your skin to breathe 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.

I 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.

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70 Responses to Racerback Tank T-shirt Pattern, for the Warm Days Ahead

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Mayra, is there any way you can make a sleeve pattern for this top? I am an older lady and like to have sleeves. Lol if you could make a separate pattern that would be awesome!!!

  2. Cathie says:

    Beautiful – super excited to try this. Can I use Cotton Lycra for the bands instead of FOE?

  3. Emily Dempster says:

    Myra, maybe a silly question, but is the 1/4″ seam allowance included in the pattern or do I need to add it?

  4. Sabeth says:

    I love this look. Thank you so much for tjis lovely pattern.
    Best greetings from Germany

  5. Diane K says:

    Really like the look of this pattern. I’m going to try it! Thank you!

  6. Pat says:

    Beautiful pattern but could you not allow us to consolidate the pages for printing on a plotter? I usually get my pattern printing done on A1 or A0 and then do not have to cut and paste several pages together. Love your blog!

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Thank you Pat, This would mean I have to add another PDF to the file, as it is, it is free for you but hosting, time, supplies, photography, editing and publishing, email service and security that is all on me.

  7. Katlin Donnelly says:

    I think there is a piece missing. The front armhole, between pieces 7 and 8, above piece 12.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      You should have 16 pages refer back to the pattern layout picture and you will be able to make sense of it.

  8. Lynn LD says:

    Does this pattern work with non-stretch fabrics, say; Polycotton / cotton / crepe de chine?
    I’m a very basic sewer and I am not confident I can master stretch jersey with a beginner’s machine.
    Many thanks – I love the style and think it would make a great casual summer top or smart and cool top for work.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Lynn, trust me when I tell you that if you read all the articles I am suggesting to make this top you will be able to work on Knit fabrics. Knit fabrics are where the future of sewing is. Buy yourself a jersey needle and you will be able to jump in and have fun with this type of fabric. Read the instructions a couple of times to make sure you understand them. Got a question? leave it as a comment. I always read all the comments.

  9. Linda Sharp says:

    Thank you for sharing – I can’t wait to try this!

  10. Megan says:

    I can’t find the link for the free download?

  11. Lucy and Bob Maro says:

    I think I would like to make this top but not the racer back style. I don’t wear sports bras and I don’t like my straps showing. Can this be modified? Or do you have another top like this but with a regular back?

  12. Gill says:

    Would this pattern work if you made it in a soft cotton?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      No you need the stretch for the top part. But, if you are under size 8, you could try to make it on a bias using a larger size. try that and let me know how you did. Send me your picture and I will add it to the post for people to use it as reference. Happy sewing!

  13. Barbara Henley says:

    The directions refer to notches ie. start with the second notch left to right, however there are no notches on the pattern.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hello Barbara, Just make the outer side and make a pleat int he middle with the remaining fabric, if you follow the instructions you will make a boxed pleat and do not need the notches.

  14. Hope Jansen says:

    Hi Maura, you mention in the instructions that woven bias tape could be used on this project. I have some patterned woven bias tape I would like to use, with a plain knit. Do you think it will be a problem that the bias tape doesn’t stretch although the fabric will?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Hope, I would use the tape, it will give stability to the neckline. Just make sure the neckline is large enough for your head.

  15. Marita says:

    for some reason the numbers 7, 8 and 11 are not matching up. everything else is perfect

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Marita, it sounds to me you are scaling the pattern. You need to print the 2″ x 2″ square test first. Print using adobe reader on Actual Size.

  16. Michelle says:

    Just sewed this up. First time using FOE. Came out great! In the pattern instructions it says to cut 2 pieces 4″x22″. Why? I don’t see where you use them? I have two random rectangles now lol

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Michelle, Mea culpa! Mea culpa!!! this keeps happening and I have to say it is because I recycle the PDF for Cratfsy. Entirely my fault, but thanks for the feedback.

  17. Michelle says:

    On the pattern pieces it says to cut 2 pieces 4″x22″? But I don’t see where they are used in the instructions. What am I missing?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Michelle, You do not need that at all! the actual material list is in the instructions, I have to change that page which is really just to show you how to print the pattern.

  18. Rachie Bull says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! Is this number 6? I thought the running belt was 6. Oh well, when you post a list I’ll definitely have to find any I’m missing 🙂

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I might have made a mistake on the numbers i will update you on the patterns published so far.

  19. the 2 inch scale box on the pattern measures up correctly but my quarter dots aren’t perfectly aligned. are they supposed to be?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes, Natalie, they are supposed to align. I do not use USA paper dimensions and you will have to trim the paper.

  20. Millisa Hales says:

    Sixth pattern? Is there a link to the other five? I have definitely missed a few! I really am enjoying these patterns, thanks for taking the time to share them.

  21. LINDA DUPPERON says:

    Hi, printed the pattern yesterday and made the top today. I really like it. Easy to sew and easy to wear. I did a rolled edge on the hem. Worked like a damn. Thank you so much for this pattern. Going to make more.

  22. Mary says:

    Can you tell me what other workout wardrobe series patterns you have share and how I can find them? Thank you!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Mary, I will post them all together for you to be able to save to your computer. Thank you for your patience.

  23. Rose says:

    I have the pattern pieces put together except 13 and 14 don’t seem to fit across bottom of 9 and 10 as seems to show. Plus 14 has part of a rectangle with arrow pointing down to line like it should connect somewhere that says fold here.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Rose looks to me you have printed the pattern on portrait rather than Landscape. Please have a look at the post where the pattern layout picture is. If you are still having problems send me a screen shot at mayra@so-sew-easy.com. Happy to help you.

  24. maxermoo says:

    Can you (or maybe you already do and I just can’t find it) please include finished garment measurements for each size on your patterns? I think many of us would find those numbers to be extremely helpful, especially considering I know how much wearing ease I like to have in my garments, so starting from a finished measurement is always better than trying to figure out dimensions from an arbitrary size chart.

  25. I Trigonis says:

    Thank you. Great comfy top!

  26. Louise says:

    Love the soft flare look. Where can I find the sizes and also can it be adapted to a light cotton fabric?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes the soft flare is very useful to keep cool, I just updated the post and the finished measurements chart is there.

  27. Pamela R Sivils says:

    where can i find the size chart. really want to make one but don’t want to waste material if it won’t fit.

  28. June Hall says:

    Great pattern! Thank you!! Printed it out and can’t wait to try it. Where do you get the elastic binding?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI June, i placed a link on the material list. You might have to buy a few different colors but it is worth it, for swimsuits, bras and tops. I will be using the elastic a lot!

  29. It’s a great looking top, but I’ve noticed on a lot of your patterns I’m not seeing the sizing, why is that?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi, Karen, I forgot the finished measurements but they are there now. Kindly let me know what pattern are you referring to?

  30. Pyrrh says:

    Would love this with a cap sleeve option. 😀

  31. Clovis says:

    This top looks cool. I might have to find time to make it.

  32. Mary says:

    Flattering top! Can’t wait to download the pattern!

  33. Kaaren Lynch says:

    This a terrific tank! Just what I need for summer. Love all the details.

  34. Joyce Casey says:

    I love this shirt! I’m not sure what I’ve missed so far but I hope to go back and find the sports bra!

  35. Jaimie says:

    super cute top! Is there a size chart or a finished measurements chart available to help me choose what size to make? Thank you!

  36. WheelyBad says:

    Thank you! I think this is a lovely top, certainly not just for working out in! There’s such a lovely variety of stretch fabric out there made from all sorts of fibres and this would show them off beautifully. It’s a really flattering design. I’m wondering if made out of a suitable fabric it would make a lovely cover up to go over a bikini top for those of us who prefer/ need a two piece swimsuit but don’t like how much of ourselves ends up on show! Thanks again, it’s fantastic 🙂

  37. Maite Castro-Chaca says:


  38. I love the shape of this Tee a lot – the racerback is not too deep and the drape allowed by the looseness of the fabric in front and back plus the high/low hem! A winner I’m definitely going for 🙂

  39. Betsy says:

    This looks beautiful & comfortable. Can you please tell me where the sizes are located in the pattern (other than small, medium, large, & x-large)?

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