Ever indulge in an impulse shopping episode where you buy something that is not really your size but it’s so darn cheap you find yourself buying it anyway? I did. I got this really cute striped T from Old Navy for about three bucks after discount but it was just a tad too big. So I decided to grab a good pair of scissors, my ol’ trusty sewing kit and got my creative juices flowing. I initially decided to recreate it into a simple tank top by cutting out the sleeves but because it was a size too big for me, I forgot the arm holes would be equally too big for me. It was too late when I realized that very important detail and I was left with a super revealing tank top but lucky me, I had an idea. This great idea of mine would be to re-recreate it into a gathered racer back top because by gathering the back of the tank top, it would immediately shrink it into a smaller size. It’s like magic! So, what you will need in this project would be a top of a bigger size, a sharp pair of scissors, a needle and thread in the color that matches your top.

The first step would be to locate the seams connecting the sleeves to your top.

Then, you cut the sleeves off without touching the seams to avoid fraying.

You will end up with something like this.

Open up one of the sleeves.

Take that sleeve and fold it once.

It is up to you how thick you want the band (that gathers the back of your top) to be.

Sew a straight line across with your matching thread.

Cut a straight line below the seams and the excess cloth on both ends to form a flat “tube”.

Then, turn the “tube” inside out so that the seams (white dashes) are not visible.

Wrap the “tube” around the back of your tank top to form a nice gather.

You can make it a loose or tight gather depending on the length of the cloth from your sleeve.

Then, stitch the two ends of the “tube” together and sew this gathering device onto your top.

Make sure you get the stitches to stay in the wrong side of the top to avoid visibility of the seams.

And there you have it, a diy gathered racer back top!