Colour blocked tank top with a difference

Colour blocked tank top with a difference

Would you believe the sun has actually come out in the UK and it’s even been hot this week??! We seem to have completely bypassed Spring and jumped headlong into Summer **doing a little happy dance**. What better time to have sewn a sleeveless colour blocked tank top. Perfect timing eh? My new top also just happens to fit nicely in with a couple of sewalongs and challenges that I’m taking part in. The first one is the ‘2018 Tops That Pop’ 2-week challenge (#2018topsthatpop), hosted by my friend Faye of Faye’s Sewing Adventures and the second one is Make Your Stash (#makeyourstash) hosted by my friend Kate of Time to Sew @timetosew and her sewing buddy @pilar_bear   

Colour blocked tank top with a difference

So let’s take a proper look at my latest make then…

First the fabrics:

So the quick story behind the fabrics used in my top. Both fabrics had been used in projects that I made for someone else and I was kindly given the leftovers to use as I wanted. The floral fabric is a Claudio Fioretti silk (lush!) and the cream is a lovely quality poly blend fine crepe with a bit of stretch. Now, I don’t like full-on florals and specifically not really representative designs…I rather like the more stylised look of this floral, but even so…I didn’t want too much of it on my top, so I decided to pair it with a plain solid to calm it down. I didn’t have vast quantities of either fabric so decided to pull out my trusty old Vogue tank top pattern which is from OOP V2542 (I last used this pattern for the safari style jacket that I made here) I’ve had the pattern for years and I knew the tank style well and that it wouldn’t need too much meterage.

The design:

Next, out came my sketchbook as I doodled away to decide on the best way to colour block the two fabrics within the basic tank top style. I’m such a sucker for asymmetric styles and started to play around with ideas. I shaped a hemline like one I’ve used before, on a white sweater that I made last year (I think you can just see it in this post) and the neckline is a copy from another top that I don’t think I’ve shown on the blog before…either way I love the way they both look together, so after playing around with a couple more style lines here is my finished sketch.

Design sketch of Colour blocked tank top with a difference

The pattern preparation:

The first stage of getting all of my sections cut was to trace off the basic tank pattern outline from the Vogue pattern, for both back and front pieces. Then I used my sketch for reference as I drew all the style lines and the asymmetric hemline onto the basic traced outline. Oh, and I also added bust darts because I prefer how tops hang on me with them. Next, I cut along the lines and made notes as to where I needed to add extra seam allowances. Oh, a quick note…I also made sure to make matching notch lines in several places along each style line to help with joining the seams up accurately afterwards. Here are the pieces all cut out with the added allowances….note how I have the grain lines marked….this means the front diagonal seam is slightly on the bias (more about stitching that later):

Pattern preparation of Colour blocked tank top with a difference

Sewing up my colour blocked tank top:

As my top is my design and in several sections, I had to work out my own order of sewing up:

  • I decided to add the neck bindings to both front pieces and the back before I joined any seams together. The left front neck binding was on the straight grain and the right front and back pieces were bias cut
  • The next stage was the bust darts and the diagonal seams. I stabilised all of the diagonal seams with a tiny slither of iron on lightweight interfacing prior to sewing. It made a huge difference and they looked nice and even afterwards. You could also try using  Wonder Tape for stabilising too (I’ve run out though).
  • Next up was the shoulder seams, then I added bias bindings to both armholes.
  • Side seams followed on after the shoulders
  • The final step was stitching the asymmetric hem and I used the same method for a tiny hem as I used on my pussy bow blouse. You can read how I did it here

And here are some close-ups of bindings and hemline. As you can see all seams were narrowly overlocked together and pressed to one side…..

It’s such a comfy top and so cool to wear in hot weather, plus doesn’t it go well with my cream jeans? Bring on Summer I say!

Colour blocked tank top with a difference

Colour blocked tank top with a difference

Next up in my sewing queue is hopefully a double layered coral pink top…again, my own design and one that you could adapt using a basic long sleeved tee pattern…stay tuned for all the details coming to my blog. Meanwhile, don’t forget that I love to read your lovely comments so if you want to chat about pattern hacking and having a go at designing I’d love to talk.

Catch you soon!

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Colour blocked tank top with a difference

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24 Comments

  1. Karie
    April 21, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    You truly are a master seamstress. This top is GORGEOUS and the fit, style, and fabrics are perfect. Thank you for the detailed information on how you created it.

    • diane
      Author
      April 21, 2018 / 3:34 pm

      Bless you, Karie. Thanks for that lovely comment x

  2. April 21, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    I’m just taking a pattern making class with Alexandra Morgan here in Victoria BC Canada and LOVE it. We’re so lucky to have Alexandra here (she has a youtube channel as well that you might enjoy watching) – it’s a basics/essentials class but I’m learning so much. At first my husband’s eyes popped when I told him I was taking pattern making 🙂 considering the rather unwieldy amount of patterns I own…but it was the working with them that I was the most keen to learn and I am. I see now after a couple of years sewing (I’m a returned to sewing sewist after an almost 40 yr hiatus!) under my belt why this naturally surfaces as the next step in upping our game.

    • diane
      Author
      April 21, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      Oh, it definitely does Kathleen. I’m pleased to hear that you’re loving your pattern making course. I want to revisit some of my pattern making skills because the short diploma course I took several years ago used a rather complicated method of working out certain curves and I want to investigate other methods. I would also like to make another sloper for myself because my shape is a bit different to a few years back. Thanks for the heads up about Alexandra. I’ll check out her channel.

  3. April 21, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    What a beautiful, creative design! This looks comfortable and so unique. I enjoyed following your link to learn a different way to hem a blouse.

    • diane
      Author
      April 21, 2018 / 6:44 pm

      Thank you ever so much Tammy! I’m glad you found that hem link handy too.

  4. April 21, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    This is so nicely designed and sewn top and trouser. I’ll see how can I go about it and make a similar one for my mom.

    • diane
      Author
      April 21, 2018 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks, Maria. I’m pleased to hear that I’ve inspired you.

  5. April 21, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Wow.. what a beautiful top.. Love the color blocking.. Excellent job.. Happy sewing.

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 9:45 am

      Thank you so much, Judy! Happy sewing to you too 🙂

  6. April 22, 2018 / 4:18 am

    Lovely, Diane! That’s a clever way to take a basic tee to the next level, but what’s even better is that you used the lovely leftover bits from other projects – -so satisfying!

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 9:47 am

      Thanks, Linda xx. Yes, it’s really satisfying to use leftover pieces. In my eyes, you’re the queen of scrap busting so you definitely inspired me!

  7. Vicki
    April 22, 2018 / 9:14 am

    Pretty!

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 9:47 am

      Aww, thanks Vicki x

  8. April 22, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    I love your top. It sings summer to me. I think it looks rather classy with the combination of plain and pattern. Like you, I’m not too keen on all over pattern. 10/10 just beautiful.
    (Hopefully this will post: my first try didn’t)

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      Thanks, Anne (no problem with this comment coming through 🙂 ), it feels so Summery too! I hope I get plenty of chances to wear it this year.

  9. April 22, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    This is just stunning! I love your choice of fabrics and your pattern mods. Perfect with your jeans! Roll on summer indeed!!

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      Aww, thanks ever so much Sue!

  10. April 22, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    This top is stunning Diane! I love your designs.

    • diane
      Author
      April 22, 2018 / 2:04 pm

      Thanks Faye! And for doing this challenge. x

  11. April 23, 2018 / 7:43 am

    I love it Diane. You could sell this pattern! Looks really classy and the fabrics are perfect.

    • diane
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 9:53 am

      Thanks, Maggie, you’re so kind x

  12. Celeste
    April 24, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    Beautiful job. I love how you used the two different fabrics

    • diane
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Celeste! So glad you like my top.

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