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Basic Tank Top or T-Shirt Bodice Pattern

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Basic Tank Top Pattern Wall

Basic Tank Top Pattern WallBasic Tank Top Pattern BirdBasic Tank Top Pattern FishPatternmaking can feel very intimidating, especially if you've never done it before.  Yes, there is a lot of measuring and math involved, but in the end it is so rewarding.  Creating a pattern and then something from that pattern is not only amazing, but, also, you won't get a better fitting garment.

Creating a pattern for a shirt seems more advanced than doing a skirt or even pants, but we start things easy and you'll be surprised at how simple it is.  Our tutorial shows you not only how to take the measurements needed to make the basic bodice, but then how to use those measurements to create your own draft for a well-fitting bodice.  This bodice is for a tank top or t-shirt and should be made with knit fabric.  There are no fasteners so you need to use a fabric that will have some stretch to it.  You can't get a more basic top than this, but one that is still very versatile.

Check out our basic tank top assembly tutorial to see how to create a tank top from your draft (Coming Soon).

Please note:  This draft is for the bodice only.  We will, eventually have a tutorial for drafting the sleeves so you can take the basic t-shirt bodice draft and add sleeves for a complete t-shirt.

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18 thoughts on “Basic Tank Top or T-Shirt Bodice Pattern

  1. ProfessorPincushion

    Yes, you definitely can. On the center front line, from the top, mark where you want the bottom of your neckline to be, so the bottom of the “v”. Instead of drawing a curved neckline up to the shoulder line, you’ll be just drawing a straight line. It’ll just be half the V because the Center front area is placed on a fold. I would still do a curved neckline for the back bodice though. 🙂

  2. ProfessorPincushion

    If you feel more comfortable with a looser tank, you can always add some ease. For example, it’s ok if it’s tight around the bustline but you would prefer it looser at the waistline. You can try adding a 1/2″ extra at the waistline area and if you do this for the front and back that’s giving you 2″ extra for design ease. It’s your pattern, you can do what you want 🙂

  3. debznz

    hubby will help me, he is really excited about it too, reckons its the best fitting top i have made, being a big girl i have a tendency to wear big baggy shapeless tops and dresses. this top pattern is very form fitting O.O ( which my first instinct was to cry ‘ oh no its too tight ‘ lol

  4. ProfessorPincushion

    Don’t get discouraged as this can happen. Put on your tank top, inside out, and start pinning in the areas where you have the gaps until you get a better fit. (It might be easier to have a friend help you out with this part.) You’re basically taking in the side seams. Once you’re done, carefully remove the tank top. Measure the amount that you’ve taken in at specific areas and transfer this to your block. Then test your pattern again by using cheap knit and just basting the pieces together enough so you can try it on again. good luck! 🙂

  5. debznz

    hi there again,

    i made the pattern for this and constructed a singlet from it, it is gaping at the armholes near the bust (like it needs darts), and is gaping at the back at the armholes too. also the shoulders are not sitting flat to my shoulder. Any advice as to how to alter the pattern to fit me better? thank you


    Hello every account you do end I do not understand I have difficulty with the English what to do at the end Account

  7. sdvoor

    Firstly, you are incredible. My life has changed since I stumbled across your U-tube channel. As a brand new sewer, I crave the methodology and detail of your tutorials. This tutorial is exactly what I have been looking for! Quick question: I have a ton of large cotton men’s band shirts that I want to transform into cute girly tanks. I like the idea of using my measurements to create patterns however, the fabric of these men’s shirts are 100% cotton, not knit. What would be your recommendation for this?

    Thanks so much for passing on your expertise and creativity to us all! Your time and effort are much appreciated. xo

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