Kristie and I have found lots of ways to save money over the past few years, and one of my favorites is when it comes to clothing. In all of 2014, I didn't buy any new clothes! Just thrifted, bought consignment, or sewed my own. It started as a New Year's resolution and slowly transformed into a new way of thinking that I'm carrying into 2015. I started to wonder what else I didn't have to pay for, that I could make myself instead. It felt really good to opt out of our landfill culture by not consuming as many brand new products.
Obviously laundry became more important as I learned how to extend the life of the clothes I already owned, clean and care for used (new to me) clothing, and how to pretreat fabrics before sewing with them. I found I like using method 4x concentrated laundry detergent the best because it's so effective (no more musty thrift store smell after only one wash!) while still being hypoallergenic and biodegradable. Not only that, it works really well in cold water, which saves energy! (Detecting a theme here? This was probably the New Year's resolution that saved me the most money haha.)
My sewing skills have definitely developed a bit more over the past year, too, thanks to that resolution, and I'm happy to say I'm trying more and more new patterns and projects. I wanted to share this zipper back tank top tutorial with you...
You will need:
- 1.5 yards of fabric
- Sewing machine
- 5" zipper
1. Wash 1.5 yards of fabric with method 4x concentrated laundry detergent, dry, and iron flat. Fold the fabric longwise and trace a tank top you own that fits you well (leaving a 1/4" seam allowance).
2. Cut two pieces -- one that has the same neck as the front of your tank top, and one that has the same neck as the back (see below -- both pieces are folded down the middle).
4. Next, cut a collar piece that matches the shape of your collar, and two sleeve pieces that match the shape of your arm holes.
5. Do the same for the back piece. Set the collar and sleeve pieces aside.
6. Next, cut a 6" notch down the middle of the back piece, in between the shoulders. This is where the zipper will go. Pin and sew the zipper in place as shown below.
7. Pin and sew the other side of the zipper to the other side of the notch to match. (I had a little bit of trouble getting pictures of this step that effectively communicate it, so let me know in the comments if you have any questions.)
9. Next, lay your shirt pieces on top of one another, right sides of the fabric facing in. Pin at the shoulders, and down the sides, and sew.
10. Turn the tank top right side out again. Cut your back collar piece (see step 5) in half to match the placement of the zipper on the back piece.
11. Pin the collar pieces along the collar of the tank top, wrong side of the collar pieces facing out. Do the same with the front collar pieces and sew to attach.
12. Once they're attached, fold the collar pieces in, pin, and sew.
13. Topstitch all the way around to make sure those pieces stay folded in. (You might want some extra security like I did -- I basted these pieces down a little later.)
14. Follow steps 11-13 to attach the sleeve pieces to the armholes.
15. Finally, double hem the bottom, and you have a new tank top with a zipper accent!
I have even more exciting things to tell you -- method is partnering with ASOS on a curated spring lineup featuring clothes that are easy to clean. Check it out here (I reeeeeally like the denim flare dungarees). And if you want to try method laundry detergent too, use the code "THREEFORME" for $3 off your online purchase here!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.