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DIY: How to Make Your Own Muscle Tank (Cut-out Shirt)

You usually only see guys at the gym wearing muscle tanks... which are just regular t-shirts with the sleeves cut off. But girls can definitely wear these as well! It spices up your old, plain t-shirts, and you can definitely show off your own muscles without baring it all with just a sports bra. I also think these tanks add a boy-ish tone to your gym outfit, which can be pretty sexy if done right. The photo on the left is your typical muscle tank, and the photo on the right is a modified version. You may want to practice on a shirt you don't care too much about in case you make mistakes. Feel free to add and/or remove any steps to suit your taste!  
(Before picture)

Step 1. Cut off the sides of the t-shirt all the way down, leaving only 5-6 inches from the bottom. Depending on how narrow you want the straps of your tank top, you can choose to cut closer or farther away from the neck hole. 
Step 2. I personally like racer backs a lot more than regular straight tank tops. You can  create this by cutting inward on the upper back. Tip: It helps to hold the cut-out from one side to the uncut side to make a more even cut. But perfection isn't a necessity with cut-out shirts.
Step 3. Stretch out your cuts. This allows the fabric to taper in, which helps hide your uneven, crafty-looking cuts.
Step 4. Use any long piece of fabric that you cut earlier to tie the upper back of the tank top. 
Step 5. Double knot the fabric. Make the first knot loose but the second knot tight only on the first knot. This sounds confusing, but a looser band on the tank top looks more appealing. The tight second knot is just to secure the first knot in place and not the entire scrunch of the tank top. You may cut off the ends of the knots.
Step 6. Rotate the band so the knots face inward. The looser first knot makes this possible.
Step 7. Cut off the edge of both sleeves. Then cut the loop in order to make a long, straight strand to use as ties. Stretch these out as well.
Step 8. Tie bows through the sides. This will scrunch the bottom of the tank top, shortening the length of the tank.

The two pictures at the top of this post show the shirt with and without these bows.
... and you're done!!
I actually chose not to keep the knot on the upper back of the tank top. There was too much going on with 3 knots altogether. Unless you're making this shirt for something like a college football game, I would choose either the bottom two knots or the upper back knot alone... whichever you prefer. I preferred the bottom 2 knots since it shortened the tank a bit for me. If you'd rather have the upper back knot but still want a shortened tank, you can cut an inch or two off the bottom. Just make sure you do that as your first step before you cut off the sides. That way you can still leave 5-6 inches on the bottom. The last think you want is a poncho. lol.

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  • Avery Michelle

    I made all my old shirts into these so i can wear them for soccer it was a great idea and explains it all sooo well! thanks soooo much! :D

    July 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

  • Hi Anonymous, I actually cut past the inseam cuz I wanted narrower sleeves. But the width of your sleeves are certainly up to your preference! =]

    October 1, 2011 at 5:52 PM
  • Anonymous

    This is super great. I love cut-offs but they never looked right. Thanks again :) I'll be rocking them all summer ;D

    March 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM
  • Anonymous

    Why is it that girls have all the cloths in the world, yet they feel the need to take men's? Stay the hell out. Men would look bad in woman's cloths vice versa. Its un femine and if it is found sexy its for a whole different reason than you think.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

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