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 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
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.
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.
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):
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 were the shoulder seams, and then I added bias bindings to both armholes.
- Side seams followed 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!
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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