Split Back Linen Tank Tutorial

Split Back Linen Tank Tutorial

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When the weather heats up, few things will serve you as well as a pure linen top. This one is soft to the skin and naturally breathable, and is made with our beautiful lightweight linen that has a fine and smooth texture to it. Not only it is fully lined, meaning that you’ll see no seam allowances on the inside, it also features a pretty back split that will show a hint of your skin and keep you cool.



1.5 yards of IL020 CAFÉ AU LAIT Softened lightweight linen

Matching sewing thread



Pattern paper, scissors, pins, ruler, French curve, chalk, fabric marker, sewing machine


2-3 hours




You can access the pattern by following this link HERE. Remember to add seam allowances as indicated in the pattern. The diagram shows the pattern for US size 6-8 (UK size 10-12). If you need help grading your pattern, please follow this tutorial.

Since the top is fully lined, you’ll need to cut 2 tank fronts on the fold and 4 tank backs. The pieces should be mirror images to each other. The best way to cut them correctly is to fold the fabric in half, pin the back pattern pieces a few inches away from the fold and then cut through both layers at once.


Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.

1. Let’s start by assembling the front pieces together. Pin the outer fabric and the lining right sides together (only the neckline edges and the armholes).


2. Sew the neckline and the armholes at 3/8” seam allowance. The shoulder, side and bottom seams are left unstitched.


3. Repeat these steps with the two back pieces: pin the neckline and armholes right sides together and stitch 3/8” from the edge. The only important thing that is different here – leave a 3” gap on one of the back pieces unstitched (on the neckline seam). We’ll use this gap later to turn the top inside out and it will be then hidden under the overlap.




4. Trim the seam allowances to 1/4″ (6 mm) and press the seams open. Make a few notches (clip to but not through the stitch line) along the curves to release the tension.



Press the seams open


5. Turn your back pieces right sides out and insert them into the front piece (wrong side out).


6. Pin the shoulders together (all four layers of fabric).



7. Stitch the shoulders together at 3/8” and trim the seam allowance.


8. Turn the front piece right side out and discover your neat shoulder seams with no raw edges exposed as they are enclosed between the outer fabric and the lining. Press the seams flat.



Now comes the tricky part – assemble the side seams and sew them together to enclose all the raw edges inside the outer fabric and the lining.

9. Turn your top wrong sides facing out and pin the side seams right sides together: front lining to back lining and front outer fabric to back outer fabric.


10. Stitch the sides seams together at the usual 3/8” seam allowance and then trim and press the seams open.



11. Now pin the rest (the back slit edges and the bottom edges) of the edges right sides together (lining to outer fabric) and stitch.



12. Trim and press the seam allowances open.

13. Pull the right side of the top out through the opening and press all the edges flat.



14. Tuck in and press the seam allowance of the opening.


15. Overlap the two split back pieces and hide the opening by placing the finished piece on top. Pin.


16. Topstitch the two overlapping pieces together as close to the edge as possible.


Give it one final press and admire your fully lined tank with no raw edges at all!

Check out our full plethora of linen fabrics and see which color takes your fancy for this easy sewing project! 




  1. Meghan

    I made this today! It took me more like 7 hours (not 2-3) but this is the first shirt I’ve sewn that I feel is presentable enough to be worn in public, so I’m sure it’s just me. 🙂 It’s a great pattern, I really love it. Thank you!

    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Haha thank you Meghan! Yeah, I guess the time estimate is pretty relative but glad to hear that you are happy with the result!

  2. Cheryl

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I just can’t figure out how to download your patterns and tutorials. Got any suggestions? I may have asked this before, but I recently suffered a head injury, and my memory is about as long as a gnat’s leg. Sorry to be such a bother.

    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Dear Cheryl, sure, let’s see if I can help. When you click on the link containing the pattern, the Dropbox will probably ask you to sign in or create an account. You skip all that and click on “No, thanks” at the bottom corner. You’ll be redirected to the page containing the pattern. You can download it by clicking on the “Download” button at the upper right corner. It’ll be automatically saved to your computer. The process might be slightly different depending on which OS you use (Mac or PC). However, please note that the pattern is not to scale. So using our measurements, you just trace it onto the pattern paper and cut. If you need to grade the pattern, please follow our grading tutorial http://www.fabrics-store.com/blog/2015/06/01/how-to-grade-a-pattern-tutorial/

      1. Chris

        Dear FabricStore friends, please, please consider doing some of your basics/essential pieces in medium, large, and extra-large versions. I bet your sales would go up! 😉

        1. Author
          Rima Khusainova

          Dear Chris! Thank you very much for your advice. Some of our patterns are already available in multi-sized printable versions and we are working hard to get as many of our patterns as possible in multiple sizes.

  3. Marie

    I’ll be cutting UK 10/12, normal commerical patterns size to a ‘B’ cup. What size have you used for this pattern and what measurements have you used for the 10/12?

    1. Masha Karpushina

      Marie, hi, the pattern is a UK 10 with a B cup fit, it would be slightly looser on a UK8. If you would like to make it a size bigger, follow Rima’s suggestion on our guide on how to size up your pattern.

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