Recycle a T-Shirt into a Tank Top

Do you have a t-shirt you love that is ready for a new lease on life? Watch Dominique Jernigan from the 7th Bone Tailoring team as she explains how to recycle a t-shirt into a tank top. Dominique is a professional tailor, traveling the world with her sewing machine to work with the world’s biggest brands and icons. Watch as Dominique shows you her easy, laid back tips for up-cycling a t-shirt into a tank top.

Recycle a T-Shirt into a Tank Top Video Tutorial

Materials to recycle a t-shirt into a tank top

  • T-shirt
  • scissors
  • regular thread
  • double needle (knit or woven)
  • sewing machine, Dominique sewed her tank top on a BERNINA 1008
  • pins
  • chalk and imagination

This video is for beginning to advance sewists ready to let loose and quickly whip up new fashion from an existing wardrobe. No pattern needed, Dominique will show you how to use your eye to cut out the new shape. Learn how to use a double needle.

Inserting a double needle is easy, just insert the double needle (flat edge to the back) as usual. To thread the machine use two spools of thread and utilize both thread stands at the top of your BERNINA sewing machine. If you do not have two thread stands at the top, you can place a sturdy jar or cup behind your machine to hold the second spool of thread. Once the thread is in place, guide both strands of thread through the normal placement. Once you are at the needle, pull each strand individually to untwist them. Now thread each strand individually through the left and right parts of the double needle. To start sewing, hold onto the two strands as one. Treat them as one strand for the duration of your sewing. Your choice of needle size will be based on the fabric you are using.

Recycle a T-Shirt into a Tank Top

Watch Dominique how she recycles her t-shirt into a tank top

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5 comments on “Recycle a T-Shirt into a Tank Top”

  • Love this idea! What stitch length do you recommend? Most of my t-shirts are 50/50. What width is the twin needle in this video? 1/4 in.? And what stitch do you use? a zigzag or a mock overlock?
    Ready to start cutting!

    • Hey Betty!
      The double needles come in a few different widths, this one is set at 1/4 apart. I used a stitch length between 2.5 and 3 for almost everything! When you sew with these double needles the machine is set for a straight stitch, the zigzag is made from the bobbin thread connecting with both top stitches! It’s a very fun technique that makes anything you sew feel very professionally finished! Happy sewing!


  • Love the idea and that she is using a MECHANICAL Bernina! All your articles are great, but this is a Winner! Thanks for sharing!

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