DIY running tank top/singlet from too large tech t-shirt

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.

 I folded the tank at its front-center to get one side of the front piece and traced/cut that piece out of the front half of the t-shirt.

  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.


Not winning any seam contests but just fine for running

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: 

 The finished product:


This pose is great for showing off IT band bruises ;P


fake running up the stairs, wheeeee!



4 thoughts on “DIY running tank top/singlet from too large tech t-shirt

    • Glad you like it! Definitely feel free to shoot some questions my way if you end up trying the project, I’m happy to answer them and would love to see how your version turns out πŸ™‚

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