The Reluctant Stylista

I mentioned some time ago that I love reconstructing name shirts because they’re usually boring, too large and well, free, so you don’t have to feel guilty cutting away at the fabric.  This is my first DIY T-shirt tutorial online–I hate doing videos so you’ll have to do with photos.  If you get lost somewhere, just comment below!

So for this tutorial, I decided to do a side-knotted tank top.  This is perfect for medium-small T-shirts.  You can also do it with a large one, but you may have to do more cutting on the sides to suit your shape if you’re petite, or else the knots will be longer.  I chose my Boracay Pubcrawl shirt for this because 1) I’ve seen a lot of cool reconstruction of this shirt in previous pubcrawls so I wanted one of my own 2) it’s not too big on me that I can do this style 3) I couldn’t reconstruct the back part because I need it to get discounts at Boracay bars and 4) reconstructed shirts are perfect for the beach.

Note that your tank top will usually be smaller than the original T-shirt size.  The hem of this was a bit longer so it didn’t rise up to my navel.  If you’re not quite ready to bare your midriff, then choose a longer shirt or create smaller knots.


How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

What you need: a pair of fabric scissors and an old cotton shirt

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial


Step 1: Stretch out the shirt before you. Cut out the collar and the hem.

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial


Step 2: Cut out the sleeves to your desired armhole shape.

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

Start with a straight cut if you want, to see what suits your body type.  I made mine a little more concave because I’m a mesomorph and I tend to look muscular with boxy or straight silhouettes.  You can even cut deeper to show off your waist, which I also like because it gives me more shape.

Step 3: You can start cutting the sides, creating fringes.  You can do it two ways.  In this instance, I cut out strips of the side part crosswise like so (do this for both sides), then I snipped them lengthwise all the way up:

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

But you can actually cut from hem to armhole lengthwise then proceed to cutting the side fringes if it’s easier for you that way.

If you want to narrow down the shirt, you can cut the strips longer crosswise.   In these photos, I had mine too short, so I had to cut the fringes longer when I started knotting.

Step 4: Start knotting.  I used double knots.  If you want to follow the curve of your torso, which I didn’t do for mine, do so by making longer fringes.  Cut off the excess fabric where the knots are deeper into the curve.

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

You’re done!  Congratulations, you now have…


Smart Mop


Well, if you do mess it up, you’ll have a very nice dish rag. Otherwise, you’ll get something like this:

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

How to do a side-knotted tank top DIY tutorial

A wearable dish rag. HAHA!

Enjoy cutting!

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20 Responses to “How to make a side-knotted tank top from an old T-shirt”

  1. Bea says:

    Likeee! I will try that on my Anino shirts. Hahaha!

  2. Jean says:

    Nice, this is very doable! I’ve been wanting to deconstruct my t-shirts for a long time. Maybe I can start with this cut. Oh btw, I also went to Boracay Pub Crawl but it was last Halloween. ;)

  3. Eula says:

    This is too cute! Thank you for sharing. :)

  4. Nio says:

    A Smart-mop!!! GENIUS!!! GENIUS!!! :D

  5. jean says:

    I like the smart mop…. he hehe – coz that’s what my shirt might end up when i do this. Nice one DIY
    (pub crawl shirt) :)

  6. April Pulido says:

    hahaha!!! Smart mop for the win!!! I’ll try this on summer. thanks for sharing!

  7. Dodong says:

    awesome! Can you also do it with Polo Shirts? ;-)

  8. kyla mores says:

    This is very creative. It is nice to know that even your t-shirts are already old but still you make it fantastic in any different way. This can save money as well because you don’t need to buy another new dress anymore. Just make it creative and stylish like this way and it will be so fantastic.

  9. taumaya says:

    i like it im trying to make one now

  10. Tiffany says:

    Just did this to my little girl’s t-shirt from church and its super cute! Love it =)

  11. 2⃣1⃣ says:

    OMG this is awesome. My cousin did it to her shirt n Ioved it. Definitely doing it tho. Thanks for sharing


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