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How To Shorten Straps

Today I am going to show you how to shorten straps on a sports bra or a tank top. Something you may want to think about is not just shortening them but possibly turning them into a halter or a different design like crossing the straps in the back.


  1. Sports Bra or Tank Top
  2. Thread to Match Garment
  3. Pins
  4. Scissors
  5. Sewing Machine


  1. Choosing Your Materials

This step does not really apply because you are really going to go looking for a Sports Bra or Tank Top with straps that are too long. It just happens that the garment you want happens to have long straps.

  1. Cutting the Straps

Once you see that the straps are too long, it is really important to be very careful cutting the straps away from the back of the sports bra or tank top. You want cut the straps as close to the top of the back of the sports bra or tank top as possible. However, you need to be careful to not cut the garment itself otherwise you are going to have to deal with a hole in the garment. Take your scissors and just slice right through the straps. Using very sharp scissors, clean up the back of the garment so that any of the threads and bits of straps that were still attached to the back of garment have been removed. Do the same thing on the other side with the other strap. Be careful to not cut yourself when you do this.

Remember, if the straps are long enough, you can turn top into a halter or criss-cross the straps. But, first you need to put it back on the dancer to see if that will work, if the straps are truly long enough to do accomplish that.

  1. Pinning the Straps

If you still want to shorten the straps, put the garment on the dancer or whoever is going to wear it. Then, take the straps and place them wherever you want on the back of the garment. You might even want to put them exactly where they originally. You might want to move them towards the center a little or towards the sides a little. Just make sure they are evenly spaced from the center mark. An easy way to ensure they are evenly spaced from the center is to fold the garment in half with the fold in the center back. That makes it really easy to see how the straps line up. Pin the straps in place. If the dancer is still wearing the garment, you may want to use safety pins so that the pins do not slip off or stick the dancer when she takes the garment off.

It is best if you pin the straps from the inside because it will make it a lot easier. You will not have to unpin them and will not then have to try and guess where they need to go. You want to make sure the straps are evenly placed and the length of the straps is the same. Keep in mind that sometimes one strap needs to be a little tighter for that specific wearer.

  1. Sewing Straps Down

So once you have the straps pinned in place, you are going to set up your machine. Make sure to stretch the top as you sew because it is going to stretch a lot when it is on the girl. Go ahead and put the pressure foot down on the garment with the strap inside the garment in the exact spot that you want it. Use a wide but short zig zag stitch so that it is nice and tight. Stretch the garment and hold that strap in place. Make sure and go back in the other direction Now there is something with which you are going to want t be very careful. When you pull up on the strap, there may be a gap between the top of the garment and the strap. If so, you will want to make sure to go back and top stitch at the very top of the top or bra so that it does not fold over and look funny

Some tips to remember – make sure to use the same color thread, back stitch for strength, and trim all of the threads.

It is really that easy to shorten the straps on your dance top.

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