How to Sew a Cute Tank Top Out of an Old Tablecloth

Jessica Shaw
by Jessica Shaw
9 Materials
1 Hour

Today, I’ll show you how to sew a tank top from this tablecloth! No one would ever say this DIY tank top used to be a tablecloth. So, if you want to learn how to sew a tank top yourself, grab your tablecloth, and let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Tablecloth
  • Sewing machine
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • 1-inch elastic
  • Iron
Holding the tablecloth to the body

1. Make the DIY tank top pattern

This is an easy top to sew without a pattern. All you need are a couple of measurements! Hold up your tablecloth and figure out how long and wide you want your top to be. 

Marking measurements on the fabric

Fold your fabric (tablecloth) in half and start marking your measurements. Remember, since the fabric is folded, only mark half the width. Mine was around 12 inches wide, including seam allowance.

As for the length, I cut mine about 18 inches long. Also, you want to leave some room at the top since we’ll add elastic there. So, you want some extra room to be able to fold it down. 

Cutting out the DIY tank top pattern

2. Cut out your pattern

Now, cut out your pattern along the markings you just did. 

Tracing the pattern for a front and back piece

Place this piece on top of your fabric and cut another piece; this will be for the back side of the DIY tank top. So, you should land up with one front and one back piece.  

Pinning the side seams

3. Sew the sides

Lay both pieces right sides facing and pin the side seams. Then, sew to secure. 

Measuring the elastic channel

4. Measure the tunnel

As mentioned, we need to fold the top edge down. This depends on the width of your elastic. I’m using a 1-inch elastic, and I want to give myself extra room above and below it. I ended up folding my fabric down by 2½ inches. 

Pressing the fold

Next, press on the folded line. 

Laying the elastic along the channel

5. Make the channel 

Lay the elastic around where you’d like to place it. 

Marking the channel for the elastic

Draw a couple of lines above and below the elastic. Basically, you need to create a little channel where you’ll feed the elastic through. 

Sewing the elastic channel

Go ahead and sew a straight stitch along these lines. 

Leaving an opening for the elastic

Before you reach the end of the bottom line, leave an opening to feed the elastic through. I left about a 2-inch opening. 

Measuring the upper bust

6. Measure the elastic

Measure your upper bust, where the top edge of the tube top will lay. 

Cutting the elastic

Cut the elastic, leaving about an inch of room for seam allowance. 

Inserting the elastic with a safety pin

7. Insert the elastic

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the channel you just created. 

Feeding elastic through the top

So, find the opening and start feeding that elastic all around the top edge of the shirt. 

Overlapping the short ends and sewing

Once you get to the end, overlap the short ends and sew them down with a zigzag stitch. 

Easy tops to sew without a pattern

When the elastic is sewn, simply pull on the top; this will help tuck the elastic into the top. 

Closing up the opening

Also, ensure everything is lying correctly, and that all of the bunches are evenly distributed. Then, go ahead and close up that opening. 

Cutting straps for the top

8. Make the straps

Cut 3-inch wide straps. I made mine a little longer than needed, so go ahead and figure out how long your shoulders should be by measuring them out. 

Pressing the straps

Fold your strap in half and press it down. 

Pinning raw edges

Then, pin the raw edges and sew them all along that pinned edge. 

Turning the straps inside out

Take a pencil and feed it through the closed end of the strap to turn it inside out. You can use whatever method you want; I really like the pencil trick. 

Pressing the straps flat

Now, go ahead and press these straps flat. 

Attaching the straps to the top

9. Assemble the DIY tank top

Place the straps onto your top and secure the ends with a pin. 

Sewing the straps onto the top

Sew the straps onto your shirt. 

Hemming the bottom of the top

10. Hem the bottom

Last but not least, go ahead and hem the bottom of your shirt. Turn it up by about ½ an inch and press along the fold. Now, sew it down. 

DIY tablecloth top

How to sew a tank top from a tablecloth

How to sew a tank top from a tablecloth

That’s how to sew a tank top the easy way- no pattern needed. Look at this adorable DIY tank top, perfect for the summer! I love the color and style of this tank top.

Sewing a top like this was surprisingly easy, too. Thanks for joining me on this upcycle; I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 

Suggested materials:
  • Tablecloth
  • Sewing machine
  • Marker
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 12 comments
  • Kris Kris on Jul 23, 2022

    I just wish your things could help full figure women.

    • Alana Montgomery Alana Montgomery on Jul 23, 2022

      You could always make it longer and then put elastic in the bottom of it just like you did the top for us full figured women

  • Janice Janice on Aug 30, 2023

    SO cute! Thanx for sharing!