First, let me tell you that it wasn't my idea. Jen posted this on her facebook page and I jumped at the chance to have a crafty morning with her and watch her make it. Jen blogs at Upcycled Education-- a blog I recommend you peruse, especially if you're an educator-- formally or informally. She's full of good ideas and fun finds and her enthusiasm is catchy. And I'm so excited to share this.
Second, it is soooo quick and easy that it takes less than half an hour.
Third, it uses tees you probably already have a million of and don't enjoy the fit of but have a hard time discarding. For example, I have a pile of camp tees. And tees for walks, races, fundraisers, vacation spots. I like the graphics or the message, but don't find the boxy shape so flattering. This makes a boxy tee sooooo much more flattering. (Without adding much embellishment. A camp tee that's been bedazzled has not necessarily been improved, in my book.)
Fourth, this only requires a tee, scissors and thread. All things you likely already have. Overall cost? Nothing. And now you're wearing shirts that have just been sitting!
So my girls and I spent a lovely morning yesterday with Jen and her daughter. There was play time, craft time, snack time, crafty blog chat time.... everything I could want in a morning. I got to photograph Jen making a tank from start to finish. And when I was packing up I scrolled back through the photos to find that most of the in-process photos were gooone. It appears that my 2yo photographer's assistant had done some editing while I was distracted. I'm totally bummed that I don't get to show you Jen's photos. But the saving grace about this project is... it only took half an hour today to recreate it.
Are you ready to see? Just four steps!
One of Jen's tips for this project is that you can use a tee that already fits well. It doesn't have to be oversized because you're not removing any width. That said, if the tee is quite roomy, you might decide to take in the side seams a bit. Which would add a whole 3 minutes overall.
In step 1 you're making five cuts. Each sleeve just inside the seam, one straight across just underneath the collar, one that trims the bottom hem off and one that creates a drawstring just above where the hem is removed. Like so:
Steps 2, 3 and 4 are pretty straightforward. Here's an illustration of your two lines of stitching in step 3. After stitching you may decide to trim away excess fabric. Or not.
Here are the finished project photos that did survive my photo assistant. Here's supermodel Jen at work!
And here are four tee-to-tanks, lined up for a shot. I love the way they look together.
So many options for the straps. Tied on one side or two sides? Knots or bows? Or if you're ready to commit to one length, you could easily trim and stitch the two ends together and slide the joined spot into the casing-- probably the safest bet if you're going to wear this BACK to camp with boys who'd untie it. Gotta watch out for those boys...
And to make the straps? Twill tape, ribbon, knit from another shirt in a contrasting color, multiple strips that are braided... so many possibilities. And comes together so quickly.
Thank, you Jen, for sharing! (And thanks for play, snacks, lunch, chatting!)