How to Make a Singlet

Written by anne redler
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How to Make a Singlet
Your alternative to buying a running singlet is sewing one by hand. (David J Spurdens/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A singlet is a sleeveless top worn by men and women. Runners often use it because it allows the runner's skin to breathe while, at the same time, absorbing moisture and keeping the athlete drier during exercise. All the largest sporting goods names--such as Nike, adidas and Puma--manufacture and sell singlets, yet the simplicity of the pattern makes it easy (and inexpensive) to sew one for yourself. Essentially, you sew together two main pieces of fabric to make a singlet.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Pattern or own tank top
  • Polyester and rayon blend fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Sewing scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric chalk

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Buy an appropriately sized pattern for the singlet, if available. If not available, use one of your own tank tops (with wider shoulder straps) as a pattern.

  2. 2

    Find and buy a sufficient amount of fabric: ideally a polyester and rayon blend in the colour of your choice.

  3. 3

    Pin the pattern to the fabric using straight pins. As an optional step, you can press the pattern to the fabric with an iron to get any creases out. If you do not have a pattern, use clothing chalk and trace an outline around your tank top onto the singlet fabric. Do one side at a time, to create two individual sides of the singlet.

    How to Make a Singlet
    Using or creating a pattern makes the sewing project easier and more accurate. (sewing image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Cut out the fabric with proper sewing scissors, following the pattern or chalk lines.

    How to Make a Singlet
    Ensure you use sharp enough scissors to cut out your fabric. (ciseaux image by razorconcept from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Remove the pinned pattern paper from the singlet pieces, if applicable.

  6. 6

    Place the back and front singlet pieces together with the outside facing inward and put a few strategic pins in place to hold the two sides together for sewing. Make sure the side and shoulder seams are properly lined up.

    How to Make a Singlet
    Use a few pins to hold your garment together while you are sewing it. (pins image by Ekaterina Lozanova from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    Sew the top of the shoulder seams horizontally. Do one shoulder at a time.

    How to Make a Singlet
    The use of a sewing machine makes for a quicker job versus hand stiching. (sewing machine image by pavel siamionov from Fotolia.com)
  8. 8

    Sew the vertical sides of the singlet one at a time with a sewing machine, keeping a straight seam.

  9. 9

    Turn the singlet right side out.

  10. 10

    Try on the singlet for fit. It should be comfortable to move around and exercise in.

    How to Make a Singlet
    Try the singlet on once you are done sewing it! (mother and daughter exercising image by Galina Barskaya from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure you buy enough fabric for a small seam allowance when sewing the side as well as the shoulder seams together.
  • For a more polished look, you can tuck in the fabric around the arm holes and bottom areas of the singlet approximately one-half inch and then sew a seam. This step should be completed before you sew the two singlet pieces together.
  • Running singlets can be made of mesh but mesh fabric is harder to sew with than regular fabric.
  • If you decide to press the pattern pieces to the fabric with an iron, place the dry iron on a low setting so that it does not melt the synthetic fabric.

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