Monday, July 27, 2009

Reversible Tank Top Beach Tote (No sewing machine required!)

If you're like me, you probably have a lot of stuff in your closet that you never wear. Well here is a way to upcycle those old tank tops into useful and oh-so-cute reversible beach totes. And the best part is, you will not need a sewing machine (which is good, because I don't have one or any clue how to sew)!


1 used tank top ( This is one I had in my dresser that I never seemed to wear, but just couldn't part with because of the cute fishy design)

Liner Fabric (I used 2 fabrics quarters, available at your local fabric store)

Fabric Glue (I used Fabri-Tac which I was told is the best)



Step 1. Turn your tank top inside out and lay on top of your liner fabric. Cut the liner around one side of the tank top leaving about 3/4 inch margin. Apply a one-onch long bead of glue to the inseam of tank top. Fold about 1/4 inch of the liner material over once and then again to wrap up and over and glue to the tank top. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat up along the entire side of the tank.

Step 2. Trim the liner material along the arm holes about 1/2 inch beyond the tank. Flip the tank an liner over so the liner material is on top. Then cut some reliefs so that you can fold the material around the curve. Make sure the relief cuts are not too deep or they will show. Cut them just slightly before the fold. Fold the liner material underneath itself along the length of the arm hole to get an idea of how it will look. You can pin it if you want to hold it in place (I did not). Then gently lift the liner in place and place a one-inch long bead of glue on the hem between tank top and liner. Repeat to the shoulder. Leave about 3/4 inch excess material at the shoulder. We will finish this step at the end.

Step 3. Repeat step 2 along the neck-line and second arm hole. My tank was a one shoulder style so, I only had one arm hole to do.

Step 4. Make sure the liner material is laying nice and flat and that there is no slop. Flip the tank and liner back over (tank side up) and Repeat step 1 for the second side of the tank top.

Step 5. The second side of the bag: Lay the 2nd piece of liner fabric on to of the unlined side of the tank. This is almost like step 1, except you only need about a 1/2 inch margin of fabric liner cut along the side of the tank top because you will only fold the material underneath itself once much like step 2. Continue along the side of the tank.

Repeat steps 2 & 3 and 4 to complete the second lined side of the bag.

Step 6. Finish the shoulders by folding one side of the liner under itself and gluing to the inseem of the tank. On the other side of the tank, fold the liner under itself and glue to the other side of the liner. Repeat for second shoulder.

Step 7. Finish the bottom. With the tank still inside out, trim the liner and tank to the same length. Roll up the liner so you can work with the tank material (It's ok to detach the glues seam a little if you need to). Fold about a half inch of the tank over onto itself. Then bring the liner back down over the tank and fold underneath. Gently lift the liner up and apply a bead of glue between the two materials. Repeat across the bottom on each side of the bag.

Step 8. You're almost there! Turn the tank right side out, and sew a blanket stitch along the bottom to give it a super strong and decorative finish.

The key to this project is to fold the fabric in such a way that you never see the fabric glue. If you do this successfully, you will have a completely reversible design!


Anonymous said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

super cute!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sorry Goodwill. No more tank tops. Instead, I will have new beach totes. Great Idea. from, db

Helby said...

Funny, I just made my own bag from a tank the other day! Great minds think alike

Danielle said...

A top CCC rating from me :
Clever, Creative and Chic.

LeLe said...

I have the perfect top to do this. Well, it's not a tank top, but a Led Zepplin t-shirt I bought online that is way too small and I doubt I'll ever be able to wear it! So cute!

Anonymous said...

Wow good idea. And since it has a narrow opening in the other side it should stay on your shoulder well.

P.S. Love the bus in the background

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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sophie said...

So so cool! One disadvantage though is that we cannot put heavier stuff in it.
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Anonymous said...

Hi Sophie, with the stitch on the bottom, it's actually pretty strong. Try it!


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