The Rio Tank Top Hack

May means summer time is around the corner and it also means that one of the Sew My Style 2020 featured pattern is the Rio from True Bias! The pattern is designed with a short sleeve, but let me show you how you can EASILY make this into a tank top. With this post I will be showing you how I do a wide racer back look, but you can adjust this any way you like.

*Disclaimer: I am a #SMS20 leader so the pattern was sponsored for this blog post. But all opinions and text are of my own and honest. Fabric is NOT sponsored. None of the links are affiliate links.

Pattern pieces you will need:

  1. Bodice front
  2. Bodice back
  3. Neck binding

This can be applied to both versions (top and dress).


  1. Draw out the seam allowance around the armseye, shoulder and neckline. This will help with visually seeing the stitching lines.
  2. Shorten the shoulder seam on both front and back bodices down to 1/2″ wide. (Closure to the neckline)
  3. Redraw the armseye connecting the new shoulder point to the bottom of the armseye. Repeat for the other bodice.
  4. Add seam allowance to the new armseye.
  5. Measure the new armseyes stitching line.
  6. Create a armhole binding pattern piece. Take your total armseye measurement and figure out 80% of that measurement. Dimension of the armhole pattern piece should be the width of the neckbinding (2.25″) X 80% of your armseye length plus seam allowance for either side.

Armhole Binding:

2.25″ width X (80% of armhole length + twice the seam allowance) length = dimension of armhole binding.


I am using a double brush poly in a denim color from Amelia Lane Designs. Ribbing sourced from Joann’s.


Following the instructions of the pattern. The following is just an abbreviated version for this hack.

  1. Sew one shoulder seam.
  2. Apply the neck binding.
  3. Sew the second shoulder.
  4. Apply the armhole binding on both armholes.
  5. Sew both side seams
  6. Hem top or dress.

Easy as that!

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Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

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4 thoughts on “The Rio Tank Top Hack

  1. Hi Michele! Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy following your sewing blog and Instagram account. The way you sewed the binding in this post is over the top amazing! In all my many years of sewing, I’ve never seen it done like this. I’ve always done the “traditional” fold the binding, stretch it to fit the neck, serge on. Of course, the serged stitches show. Your method here is gonna be a game changer for me and take my sewing to a new level! Thanks so much for your insight! Susan



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