Last weekend’s XTERRA volunteering resulted in one very wonderfully fitted and two ridiculously oversized free technical t-shirts.
Because I’m more a fan of shirts I can run in without feeling like a flappy, swishy kite, I kept the well-fitted t-shirt as-is but decided to improve the others by turning them into racer-back tops. I knew that the stretch was unique enough that I would likely get a strange fit if I tried to mimic a super fitted/stretchy tank top, so instead I decided to pattern my tech tanks after a less fitted Nike 50/50 cotton/rayon tank.
Since I had two shirts to use (blue and yellow), I cut the different colored y-shaped piece out of the opposite t-shirt. I made a mostly blue tank first and plan to make the mostly yellow one once I buy yellow thread.
Last, I folded over both the tank and shirt at the center-back and traced/cut out the back piece. I’m always a little off when estimation seam allowances since I’m too impatient to use my sewing gauge and just eyeball it – this means the fit of my new garment is always a little off from the original, but it’s not generally a big problem with stretchy garments that I’m only wearing to workout.
I sewed the y-piece and shoulder seams first to check the fit/alignment at the sides, then sewed up the sides, and lastly turned the neck, armholes, and bottom hem under and sewed the edges. I used a straight stitch with mild stretching as I sewed to allow a bit of give in the seams. Zigzag looked a little messy and didn’t work as well on the light fabric – it’d probably be better if using a modern machine with zigzag stitch at the needle instead of trying to use a zigzag presser foot like I did.
I did a little hem slit at the bottom, not included in the original tank top but necessary with the slightly fitted hip area in this version: