Fit for Fitness: Gray Exercise Tank


Wow.  I feel like we just dropped back into “normal blog life” if there is ever such a thing.  Me-Made-May ’15 (MMM ’15) is over, and I got to tell you about the exciting new fabric store opening in NH.  Now we’re back to life and projects.  I’ve got about three projects going on (not counting the thousand in my head), but one I just finished is fitting the gray exercise tank you saw on MMM ’15 day 20.  Did you notice it was a little floppy in parts?

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Interestingly enough, this is the same pattern I showed you here.  Check it out.

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

The differences are that I finished the gray tank top with fold-over-elastic rather than cross-cut strips of this ITY knit that I used on the back of the shirt above.  The other interesting thing about this pattern is that it’s actually for woven fabric.  It’s also a pajama pattern.  (In case you are wondering, it’s McCall’s 6848.)

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

This pattern is quickly becoming one of my most used, but least made for its intended purpose–sleepwear.  😉

So, with all that build-up, you might still remember that we were talking about fitting the gray tank.  Fitting is an area that is still dark in my mind.  I don’t know how to do it, really, but I guess I have to figure it out sometime if I’m ever going to turn the light on, so to speak.

In order to fit this tank, I tried something that I had just tried on a friend’s shirt that had gaping armholes.  I took a triangle out from under the arms.  The triangle was about one and a half inches wide and tapered into the old seamline about six or seven inches down.  I read somewhere that taking the shoulders up can also help with a gaping neckline, so I tried that, too, taking out a small triangle that was about half an inch wide on the side closest to the neck and that tapered to nothing at the other side.  Does that make sense?  Here are some pictures, so you can see what I’m talking about.

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)This is the side seam.

Here is how it looks on:

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)


Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Here is a close-up of the shoulder seam.

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Here is what it looks like on:

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Not perfect, but I got to the point where I felt like I had mostly achieved success (especially since I have such limited fitting experience), and that if I kept fiddling with it, it would get worse or just never be finished.  And I need to finish projects in order to spur myself on toward new ones.

I basted these seams with a straight stitch first to test them out, which got me to the gym once.   (Yea!)  Then once I found that they were good, I went over them with a zig-zag stitch.  I’m sure they would have been mostly fine with a straight stitch, but the zig-zag seemed appropriate (Wow.  I almost wrote that it “seamed” appropriate.  Ha!)  In case anyone is wondering, I used a zig-zag that was 6 in width and 1 in length.  I’m not sure what that is.  Millimeters?  I should really know that.  All I do know is that it worked.  Here’s how it looks finished.

Fitting the exercise tank (Pattern and Branch)

Yea!  An early fitting success.  I’m sure as I go along learning to fit, I can get more and more picky, but in knitting, my mantra is, “Don’t be a stressed out knitter!”  That means that when starting out, you should just ignore your mistakes and keep going.  The more you learn, the easier (and less devastating) those mistakes will be.  As you get better, you can fix more, but in the beginning, the most important thing is to get something marginally wearable done so you can feel proud enough to try again.  Also, as far as this shirt and other knit fabric sewing projects are concerned, knits are forgiving, so I try not to be too hard on myself.

It’s nice to deal with sewing and art problems in the sense that you can make mistakes and learn from them.  Sometimes mistakes make you better, they always teach you something, and sometimes a mistake is just a bump on the road to an even better end-result than you originally envisioned.  Too bad for people like doctors and engineers that they can’t have that philosophy.  Mistakes there can equal death, but in sewing, they make you better.  Hooray for sewing!!!!



2 responses »

  1. LOVE that fabric on the back of your tank. I’ve actually had the exact same problem with some of my tanks and did sew the gap under the arms but didn’t know about the shoulder seam trick. I will have to try that one out- thanks for sharing your tips!


    • Thanks. I got the fabric in the red tag section at Joann’s over the winter. I think the gray tank was more wonky than the multicolored one largely because I used that fold over elastic. Oh well. I hope the shoulder trick helps!


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