Women’s Free Tank Top Pattern

How to Sew a Tank Top

Hi sewing friends! For me, some new workout wear always helps to keep me motivated in my fitness goals, and this is the time of year when we might need that extra boost to keep with them! For years I struggled with finding the perfect tank tops – either they’d fit my shoulder/bust area and be too tight in the midsection, or they’d fit comfortably around my midsection and hips but be gaping in the armscyes. I hate working out in anything that’s not comfortable, and if you can relate, today’s post will remedy that for you! I’m teaching you how to sew a tank top and sharing a women’s free tank top pattern that will keep you moving in style and comfort!

How to Sew a Tank Top

The pattern is sized womens’ S/M – the finished bust measurement is 32.5″ and the finished hip measurement is 39.5″. For me, it’s the perfect fit of nice and snug in the top while still being roomy in the waist and hips. I love to throw my favorite hoodie over it when I head to the gym.

How to Sew a Tank Top

I’m also sharing two different iron-on Design Space projects you can use to embellish your tops with your Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2!

How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

This free tank top pattern is super quick to whip up (seriously, you’ll be surprised!), and once you learn how to sew a tank top, you’ll never go back!

How to Sew a Tank TopWhether you like to run, do yoga, or lifting weights is more your jam, you’ll have fun whipping up your own custom tank tops!

How to Sew a Tank TopI used contrast knit fabric for the binding on each top I made, but you could also use the same fabric if you’d like. I share two different techniques for how to sew knit binding below, so be sure to read through both options to decide which is best for you and the fabric you’re using!

How to Sew a Tank TopLet’s get sewing!

How to Sew a Tank TopHow to Sew a Tank Top

Supplies: (affiliate links below)
apparel knit (at least 40% stretch) – 1yd (56″+ wide)
apparel knit for binding (at least 40% stretch) – 1/8yd
Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2 and fine point blade
Cricut iron-on
Cricut EasyPress 2 (optional for fusing iron-on to fabric)

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FREE PATTERN (size S/M). You’ll be taken through the checkout process (no payment info will be asked for) and the download link will then be automatically sent to your email address. If you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your junk folder and that you typed your email address correctly.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS CRICUT DESIGN SPACE IMAGES.

Print pattern pages at 100% (no scaling) and assemble together, matching borders and diamonds.

Cut pieces out as instructed on pattern pieces. You’ll have a front, back, neck binding, and 2 armscye binding pieces. Pattern includes two different binding methods – read through instructions below to determine which you’d like to use and some tips of binding length before cutting binding pieces.

Note on sewing with knits: Be sure to either use a serger or a stretch stitch / long and narrow zig zag stitch (and a ball point needle) if you’re using a regular sewing machine. I used a combination of my serger and my regular machine’s stretch stitch. You can also use a coverstitch for top stitching the binding if you’d like. It’s important to use a stitch that will allow the fabric to stretch when it’s being worn.

*All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.*

Right sides together (RST), stitch front and back pieces together at shoulders. Press seam allowances toward back (press open if sewn with zig zag stitch).

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

RST, stitch front and back pieces together at side seams. Press seam allowances toward back (press open if sewn with zig zag stitch).

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

Next, we’ll bind the neck and armscyes.

Ideal binding lengths will differ from fabric to fabric, but I use a calculation of 90% of the neckline length (at the stitch line) for the pattern piece length. If you’re using a fabric with poor stretch recovery, you’ll likely need to shorten the binding length a little (in Option 2 below I shortened it about an inch), and if you’re using a true binding fabric, you might need to lengthen it a little. The key is to compare the binding to your fabric and make adjustments from there – the binding should need to stretch slightly to fit the sewing line on the tank top, and have the ability to hold the neckline in without bunching or gaping.

How to Sew Knit Binding Tutorial Option #1 – Traditional/Single Fold

(Scroll down for another binding option – this method is my preferred unless you’re using lightweight knits that don’t have great stretch recovery like the floral fabric I used in Option 2 below).

Fold binding pieces in half RST, matching short edges. Stitch along each edge, forming a circle with each. Press seam allowances to one direction (press open if sewn with zig zag stitch).

How to Sew a Tank Top

Use pins to mark center front of neck binding (be sure to not confuse it with one of the armscye bindings as they’re similar in size – the neck binding is slightly longer) and front/back of neckline. The binding seam will serve as our center back mark for the binding.

How to Sew a Tank Top

RST, pin binding to neckline, matching center front and back. Gently stretch binding to evenly pin rest of binding to neckline.

How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

Stitch binding to neckline. Press binding and seam allowance away from neckline.

How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

Fold binding over seam allowance to wrong side of neckline, covering stitch line on wrong side. Pin or clip (these are my favorites!) in place.

How to Sew a Tank Top

From right side, topstitch close to edge of binding, ensuring that raw edge is being caught on the underside with stitches.

How to Sew a Tank Top

Press neckline/binding with steam – if your binding is looking a little wavy or stretched at this point, a good steam and press should help it bounce back into place!

How to Sew a Tank Top

Trim excess raw edge of binding if needed – depending on how much your fabric stretched over from the front, you may need to only trim a little or not at all.

How to Sew a Tank Top

Repeat steps above to attach armscye bindings, first marking centers of both binding and armscye (halfway point from side seam on armscye will be approximately 1.5″ past shoulder seam on back armscye), then pinning binding to armscyce, followed by stitching binding to armscye, and finishing with folding binding to wrong side over seam allowance and topstitching in place. Once again, trim extra binding raw edge if needed after attaching.

How to Sew a Tank TopHow to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

Repeat with remaining armscye and binding.

How to Sew a Tank Top

Scroll down past binding option #2 to finish with your tank top with hemming and iron-on!

How to Sew Knit Binding Option #2 – Double Fold

As mentioned above, this is not my preferred method unless you are using a lightweight fabric with poor stretch recovery for binding. As that was the type of fabric I was using for one of these tank tops, I wanted to show both methods so you can decide which is best for you and your fabrics. Beware that this method creates a bulky binding if used with fabrics that aren’t lightweight. It does give a nice clean finish on the inside of the garment though which I like.

Fold binding pieces in half RST, matching short edges. Stitch along each edge, forming a circle with each. Press seam allowances to one direction (press open if sewn with zig zag stitch).

Wrong sides together, press each binding piece in half, matching raw edges.

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

Use a pin to mark halfway point from seam on one armscye binding piece (seam will serve as the other mark). Use a pin to mark halfway point from seam on armsyce (will be approximately 1.5″ past shoulder seam on back armscye). Pin binding to wrong side of armsyce, matching pins/seams and raw edges. Gently stretch binding to pin remaining binding edge to armscye.

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

Stitch along pinned edge (if using serger, be sure to use 1/2″ seam allowance), gently stretching binding to fit armscye. Press binding and seam allowance away from tank top.

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

Fold binding over to right side, just covering seam line, and pin or clip in place.

DIY Workout Tank Top Pattern - Free!

From right side, topstitch close to edge of binding to secure in place. Press armscye/binding with steam – if your binding is looking a little wavy or stretched at this point, a good steam and press should help it bounce back into place!

How to Sew a Tank Top

Repeat steps above with remaining armscye/binding pieces.

Repeat armscye binding method to stitch neckline binding, first marking centers of both binding and neckline, then pinning binding to neckline, matching pins (binding seam will be at center back of neckline), followed by stitching binding to neckline, and finishing with folding binding to right side, covering stitch line, and topstitching in place. Don’t forget to press with steam afterward for a nice clean finish!

How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

Finishing Tank Top

Now that you’ve completed binding Option 1 or 2, press the bottom edge of tank top 1″ toward wrong side and stitch in place.

How to Sew a Tank Top

To embellish tank top with iron-on, use your Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2 and this Design Space project to cut the iron-on (I shared both tank top options so just cut one if you’re only making one top). Remove the negative vinyl and weed as needed.

How to Sew a Tank Top

Center the iron-on on the tank top. Use your EasyPress 2 (you can use an iron as well but the EasyPress 2 makes it so much quicker and more efficient!) to fuse the iron-on to the tank top. I used the recommending setting of 315 degrees for 30 seconds and it attached perfectly. Be sure to also heat from the wrong side after for the strongest bond!

How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top How to Sew a Tank Top

There you have it! Now that you’ve completed our women’s tank top pattern and learned how to sew a tank top, get out there and work hard – and have fun while you’re doing it! Head here for more fun tutorials and free patterns!

How to Sew a Tank TopHow to Sew a Tank Top

Comments

  1. Liana Bacashihua says:

    Thank you for the free pattern!! I definitely plan on making one for myself and as I mentioned on Facebook, I think I will also try making it as a nightgown!!

  2. Lori Elwell says:

    This pattern is awesome. I stitched this up in less than and hour!!!! Thank you!!!

  3. How do I print or save the instructions for the Tank top. I don’t see a print or save PDF button

    • Hi! You can try to copy and paste the instructions, but for our free patterns, they’re designed to be read on a computer or tablet as we don’t offer a pdf (only the pattern pieces are part of the download).

  4. I loved the pattern! You have done a wonderful job. I am looking forward to making a new one for me. Thanks a lot for the tutorial.

  5. Thank you for the pattern! I am curious to know why a Large was not offered.

    • You’re welcome! We normally only offer one size for our free patterns, and because I’m a size M that’s worked the best for this pattern because I can test it on myself :).

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