September 6, 2016

The quest for the perfect tanktop

In these hot times, I have been sorely missing tanktops from my wardrobe.  The sum of all my sleeveless garments amounts to 3 rib knit tanks from Old Navy, which are strictly for wearing under sweaters.  I decided I wanted to make some breezy tanktops with wide straps for good bra coverage.  I didn't find anything in my pattern stash that immediately fit the bill, but I was able to pick up Simplicity 1113 on sale.


I really liked the volume and ease of the shape, but didn't want a contrast band, so I combined all the pattern pieces to make one giant piece each for the front and the back.  Using a nice light jersey knit, I put together the simple silhouette and was relatively happy with the final product. Until I put it on, at which point it was promptly put in the Goodwill bag and was gone before I even thought about taking pictures. My bust is by far my biggest point, so it should go without saying that this tank hung straight down from there, resulting in a terrible look for me.  At least it wasn't too much time gone.

My next attempt was inspired by Ebi from Making the Flame, who has made several versions of M6078 successfully.  I cut out the L based on the measurements and whipped it up.  It's seriously easy - two pieces, with the pleats at the shoulder taking the majority of the sewing time. The fabric I used here is awful, so I had no intent of actually keeping the final product; I just wanted to test the pattern. (I actually used it to make a Renfrew back in 2012 and wore it a decent amount, but apparently my fabric standards have gone way up since then.)

Why am I staring off rapturously into space?  Who knows?  


Yeah, my timer camera skills are not on point.  Also you can see how badly the back neck stretched, even with Wonder Tape.

Final verdict: Not bad. As always, I could use a little more fabric in the bust, even in a stretchy knit. But not was I was looking for, either.  In my mind, this style of top looks best in a dressy fabric and worn with a nice skirt or a suit.  I also think a fabric with more weight to it would hang more nicely in the drape.  But now I have a pattern to keep in my back pocket for just such an occasion.

So, the quest continues but I keep learning. I know I need something that gives me some waist definition, so it can't be just a sack.  My next attempt will probably be based on Simplicity 9214, which I've only used for the shorts pattern before, and basically try to draft more flare/room into the bottom half of the tank, after it's past my chest.  Whether or not this happens this year is still to be determined.  I cut out two other projects at the Stitch Camp, and got some exciting new fabrics recently, so I should be set for a while.  But really, I know better than to think that I'll sew according to any kind of plan at this point. Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend if you're in the US!

P.S. This blog post brought to you by sewing on the edge's first podcast - I've read her blog forever, and I'm looking forward to more episodes!  (Not sponsored or something, just wanted to share!)