How to fix tank top straps if they’re too long – adjust tank top straps using this DIY tutorial with clear video, pictures and instructions.

How to fix a strap that's too long and shorten it

Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to fix tank top straps that are too long. I’m short – not quite 5’3″ – so this is an issue I have every time I buy a tank top at the store. When the straps are too low, the necklines are too low for me, so these are alterations I do often. Luckily this is one of the easiest garment adjustments to make. And once you’re done, you’ll have the perfect fit for your top.

This technique works well on tank tops with straps that are wider than a bra strap. It’s not the best method for thin straps, for those I prefer to shorten at the back of the tank.

Supplies to Fix Tank Top Straps

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You don’t need many supplies to shorten your straps. Here’s what I used:

  • Straight pins (affiliate link) or safety pin
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine – if you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand sew this. See this post for hand sewing stitches and use a running stitch and whipstitch and hand sewing needle.

There are a few simple steps to make the armholes on a sleeveless shirt smaller, which you can see in the video below or on YouTube here. Or scroll below the video for written instructions.

Step 1: Pin the Shoulder Straps

Start by pulling the shirt up at the shoulder seam until the strap is the desired length. Pin at the shoulder. Do this on both sides. Pin the strap. Note that this may not be an equal amount taken from each side of the existing seam. For example, if you have forward shoulders, you may be taking more from the front than from the back of the shirt. Check the armpits and neckline to make sure you haven’t shortened the straps too much.

Pin a strap that's too long

Step 2: Cut

Make sure the straps are the same width at the pinned area. Then cut the excess fabric off of each strap, making sure to leave fabric above your pin for a seam allowance. I left 1/2 inch.

Cutting a too long strap on a tank top

Flip the shortened strap so that the pieces are right side together. You may want to pin them this way.

Sew strap with right sides together

Step 3: Sew

Stitch across the strap where the pin was. If the tank if made from stretch fabric like mine, you don’t need to worry too much about using a stretch stitch here. This part of the tank likely won’t need to stretch much. You also don’t need to worry about fraying with a knit fabric tank, but if your tank is made from woven fabric you may want to add fray check to the raw edges.

Step 4: Topstitch

The last step is to open seam and press the seams allowances flat to the sides of the seam. Then you’ll topstitch those in place.

Sewing to shorten a strap

Again, since this is a small area, a zigzag stitch, serger or other stretch stitch isn’t necessary. On my tank top there were three lines of stitching on the binding from a triple cover stitch, so I sewed along the outermost line and innermost line of stitching.

Pressed open seam on a tank top strap stitched down

And that’s it – now you can wear your tank top without the straps falling off or your neckline being too low.

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