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Sewing & Craft Alliance


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Holiday sewing projects and patterns

Patriotic Tank Top


  • One plain tank top in a color that will coordinate with red, white, and blue decorations
  • One 6" (15cm) square of paper-backed fusible web
  • One 6" (15cm) square of blue Ultrasuede
  • One 6" (15cm) square each of red and white/off white cotton fabrics for fringe
  • Triangle/Star pattern

1. Try on the tank top to test the location of the design. Cut out three paper triangles. Pin the triangles onto the tank to determine their best locations.  Check that the line created by the upper edge of the triangle patterns follows the neckline curve of the shirt: adjust the triangles if necessary. Your tank may have wider shoulder straps than the one I used, so you may prefer to add additional triangles to encircle the neckline. Once you've decided on your design layout, trace the triangles onto the shirt with a water-soluble marker.

2. Trace three triangle shapes onto paper-backed fusible web. Fuse the shapes to the wrong side of the blue Ultrasuede and cut out the shapes, following the lines you drew. Cut out the star shapes following the pattern or leave the triangles solid.

3. For this shirt, you will tear the red and white fabrics used for the fringe instead of cutting them. From the red and white fabrics, tear four strips 1/2" (1.3cm) or wider. Tie a knot near one end of each strip.

Remove the paper backing from the Ultrasuede triangles and place the shapes around the neckline of the tank top, following the lines you drew in
Step 1.

Insert the unknotted end of the fabric strips beneath the edge of the center triangle making sure that the edges of the fabric strips do not show through the strips to the cutout star.

Pin the triangles and fringe strips to the shirt and try it on again to make sure the length of the fringe is flattering. Add fringe to each of the other triangles, if you wish.

4. When you are satisfied with the fringe length, fuse the triangles onto the shirt, using a press cloth to protect the surface of the Ultrasuede. The ends of the fringe will be fused under the center triangle.

5. To finish your tank, sew around each of the triangles to secure them to the garment. I selected a decorative machine stitch for this garment but straight stitching works well with Ultrausuede.

Even after washing, the torn fringe will look good. You may want to trim away the extra threads that loosen off the sides of the fabric strips. Press the fringe after you launder the shirt for a crisp look.

Project compliments of Mary Mulari Productions
This project is from Mary Mulari's Garments with Style, now out of print

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