Woven tanks seem to be going around the interwebs these days, and I was anxious to try one this summer. I was tempted by the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio and Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt Woven Tank Top and Dress, but I thought I’d better see what I had in my own pattern library before running out and buying something new.
When my Mom cleared out some of her old patterns, I took Style 2879 home with me. I remember that she used it to make me this beautiful white eyelet tank that I loved in high school. View B seemed like a good one to try from some fabric I had around. I had a plan…
Remember this scarf?
I got the fabric at Grey’s Fabric and Notions in Boston one summer, and I loved it so much that I didn’t want to cut it down to the size that the scarf was actually supposed to be. So…it turned out to be huge. But! I convinced myself that I liked it and I just needed to figure out how to style it…and then I proceeded not to wear it much. It just wasn’t right.
So, my idea was to use the fabric in this tank top, putting a seam down the front and keeping the scarf’s lining as the lining for the shirt since this fabric is fairly thin. Brilliant, right? I thought it was a good idea. 🙂
This fabric choice necessitated a few changes to the pattern. I wanted all my seams to be enclosed or finished somehow (I’m still so proud of myself when I do that!). I also decided to add a strip of ribbon down the front, which did add some extra width to the shirt. Without it, though, I would have had to sew the center seam with no seam allowance, merely butting the two pieces up against one another. I didn’t want too many peek-a-boo possibilities, so opted for the ribbon. Luckily, while it did move the darts out to the side a bit, they were still fine and by folding the ribbon in half, I could check to see that they would be fine if I also actually sewed the shirt as it was meant to be sewn (Good to know!).
I did have some problems with binding the neck and armholes. I used bias tape that may have been wider than what was optimal and also changed the seam allowance so it would be easier to apply. This was a mistake on my part because, when I finished, the edges were bound, but they stuck out in a strange enough way that I was contemplating hemming the shirt and sending it to the thrift store. Sometimes you hit a point in a project that, even though you know you could fix it, you just don’t want to. Luckily my Mom stepped in and saved the day (and the shirt) by suggesting I fold the bound edges to the inside and topstitch. And it worked! Yea! Onward!
My only other change was to hem the bottom with a very narrow hem using some random bits of bias and hemming lace (or whatever it’s called). The given hem depth was 1.5″ and I wanted the length to be as it was before hemming. This solution was close enough to achieving my goal. Next time I’ll just lengthen the shirt by 1.5″ or 2″. I even found a button in my vintage button stash that sort of looked like it had triangles in it to coordinate with the print on the shirt.
Here are a few detail shots of the outside, including the side slit.
So, I declare this shirt a success! It was a good first try of this pattern. I reused some lovely fabric and lining, giving me a lined tank, and I found a woven tank pattern in my pattern library.
The real test will come next summer when I see how much I wear it. Now that I’ve shown it to you, though, I’m packing it away. I’m working on my last summery piece now, and after that, I turn to fall and winter clothing (and maybe even a Christmas present or two–we’ll see!)!