Author Topic: Tank Top Patterns  (Read 11650 times)

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Offline Threads

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Tank Top Patterns
« on: July 11, 2012, 11:30:13 PM »
I picked up half a dozen OOP "wardrobe" patterns.  Shipping wasn't super speedy - about 10 days before they got here.  Some of the designs looked dated but I like having all the "blocks" available to work with, and chose patterns with at least one piece that looked useful from the start (usually shells and sheaths). 

It's part of my never-ending quest for the perfect little tank top pattern that skips on, can be worn under jackets, run up in less than an hour and will use up the tail ends of fabric left over from bigger projects that are too little to save but too big to throw away.

Offline Sue H

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 11:48:02 PM »
Oh, Threads, I'm with you.  Let us know if you find that perfect little tank top pattern.  LOL! 

Offline Threads

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 12:53:52 AM »
It's a balance . . . there is no way to get a perfect fit on a top without the sort of shaping that makes the top impossible to pull on, and once it requires buttons or zippers then it isn't a fast way to use up fabric anymore, its a whole new project.  Although I am perfecting the art of finishing neck, arm and hem with a narrow hemmer foot, so that no facing or binding needs to be cut.

Kwiksew 3848, , (which I bought it with all the other patterns on sale) is not too bad.  And in a droopy silk it would be fine, but the armscye sort of pooches out in a cotton.  It seems very odd to put a dart in the armscye itself, although it seems like that is what it needs.  Next step will be dabbling with little seam adjustments to see it the pooch can be tamed that way.

And one of the "wardrobe" patterns (which I can't seem to find any more) had pleats along the neck that might give a better fit.

Offline Kuby

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 09:20:12 PM »
My challenge with tank tops are getting the armhole snug to my body.

Offline sdBev

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 06:12:22 AM »
...

Kwiksew 3848,,,,is not too bad.  And in a droopy silk it would be fine, but the armscye sort of pooches out in a cotton.  It seems very odd to put a dart in the armscye itself, although it seems like that is what it needs.  Next step will be dabbling with little seam adjustments to see it the pooch can be tamed that way.

And one of the "wardrobe" patterns (which I can't seem to find any more) had pleats along the neck that might give a better fit.
Hmm, I 've these issue as well.  They are more noticeable on wovens than on knits.  Louise Cutting's My Heart's A Flutter shell has  a dart in the armscye which perfectly controls both issues. But it's rather a maverick solution.  I keep looking for the perfect shell too so I can get away from my fix which is usually cutting a small wedge from the side seam between armscye and bust dart.  Love to hear your solution.  It's got to be better than what I'm doing.

Offline Threads

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 04:39:38 PM »
Maybe we should have this discussion moved to a separate discussion on tank tops? 

I improved the Kwiksew fit with some fine-tuning of the widths and angles (and shortening the hem by 3"!), but there is plenty of room for improvement, particularly as others have noted in the gapping at the arm; and it could use a better fit at the waist.  I think if I come in a shade at the waist it will then need a narrow but long dart coming up to the bust, to be determined in the next version.

For the armscye . . . how about a very gentle elastic gathering, maybe 3-4 inches of clear elastic, just on the front, and enclose it in the narrow hem?  I think it would require a careful touch to put in a touch of gathering where it is needed, but that would preserve the slip-over-the-head feature that I like.

Oh, and I will definitely take a look at the Louise Cutting pattern!

Offline Threads

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 09:44:14 PM »
Kathryn posted this tutorial on a different thread - how to fix a gaping armhole.  http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/get-rid-of-a-gaping-armhole

I'll have to fool around with darts and see if something can be done.

Offline Sergerqueen

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 10:26:07 PM »
I am reading this board with interest as I haven't thought too much about the perfect tank top.  Usually, I am in the camp searching for the perfect pants fit! 

I had heard like sdBev that LC's My Heart's Aflutter shell is quite nice. I haven't tried it, however.  I have tried the knit tank top in Pamela's Patterns--Sweater Set.  It is so perfect fitting and to me was worth the price of the pattern.


Offline Karla

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2012, 10:44:22 PM »
Based on some reviews and pictures on Pattern Review, I picked up this McCall's the other day http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6355-products-14410.php?page_id=96.   I'm always on the lookout for patterns that will make me look 20 years younger and 30 pounds lighter.  This one will do neither, but it will let me make some sleeveless tops to wear under shirt jackets; it's designed for wovens and knits, so I thought I'd be able to make some things that aren't designed to stretch snugly across the front of me...which ain't what it used to be.   :(

Offline Janis

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 11:24:54 PM »
This is my perfect little tank top pattern (I don't know if it's actually a tank, but it will do all the things you want):



It is from Cutting Line Design and I'm making one right now ;)

ETA:  It will take you longer than an hour to make if you use a woven and the facings, but it is so worth it because it is such a beautiful top.  But, if you make it with a knit and without the facings (use binding instead), it's a snap.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 11:26:58 PM by Janis »
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Offline MaryAnn

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 11:26:08 PM »
I have had very good luck with Loes Hinse tank top pattern. I have, at times, added a bust dart for a woven fabric. And what has worked best for me is to rotate it into the armhole. She also has you do a very quick and clean neck and armhole finish. When I'm in "production", I can crank one out in less than 45 minutes, from envelope to final press. It also make a very nice dress.

Offline mom2five

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2012, 12:06:25 AM »
I love Louise Cuttings top and I also love The Sewing Workshops MixIt tank.  I've made it in a woven and a knit and I'm happy with both. 

Offline blue mooney

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 11:50:31 AM »
I have an old Burda envelope pattern that includes a woven tank that does not gap at the armholes, so such things do exist. It does have a bust dart, though.

If you're not looking for a purely dartless tank, and your pattern fits you well otherwise, can you pinch out the needed armhole dart and then rotate it into a bust dart? Making the darts only adds about 10 minutes to your construction time, and the fit is generally better.

Oh, I almost forgot - the Sewing Workshop Mixit has a dartless tank in it. The overall fit is pretty loose, but on me the armholes do not gape.

Offline sdBev

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 02:34:53 PM »
Karla The pic  makes it look like the neckline is gaping on the skinny model. I know if it looks bad on the model it won't work for me without a lot of work.  But I'm weird. It could do just fine for you.

I don't mind sewing a horizontal bust dart.  One dart isn't really all that much effort.

Didn't realize that Pamela's Twin Set included a tank. Her T-shirt pattern is perfect for me.  Think I need to buy Twin Set.

Offline Sewshopper

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 02:55:40 PM »

Offline sdBev

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 03:11:17 PM »
Lyla Messinger has a very well fitting camisole pattern.

http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=55297151052135529&Store_id=584&page_id=23&Item_ID=1023

Karleene
She usually has very interesting patterns.  Is that a princess seam in front? Does it also have a princess seam on back? 

Offline jo37

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2012, 03:21:33 PM »
Lyla Messinger's Margarita tank does not have princess seams in the back, but those are princess seams in the front.  I have made it three times now and it is fast and easy. It is my go to tank pattern.
JoEllen

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2012, 04:08:24 PM »
I love the Margarita tank. I made it from a wool/silk print fabric in combo with a solid wool jersey, and the fit was great, right out of the box.



Back view:


I inserted a center back zipper which was not called for in the pattern because the wool/silk print portion is a woven. If the top was made from all knit fabric, I would not have needed the zipper.

Kathryn
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 04:12:58 PM by fzxdoc »

Offline sdBev

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2012, 05:54:51 PM »
WOW Katherine, GORGEOUS!

Offline Kuby

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2012, 06:12:23 PM »
Kathryn,

The dress is beautiful! You should send a photo of this to Lila. I know she would be very pleased.

Offline Linda 75142

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2012, 06:15:42 PM »
Lyla Messinger has a very well fitting camisole pattern.

http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=55297151052135529&Store_id=584&page_id=23&Item_ID=1023

Karleene

I have just recently ordered and received this pattern.  Have it all traced and need to find the right knit.
Linda T

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Offline Susan in Saint John

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2012, 07:54:25 PM »
If you can get your hands on a copy of "Fantastic Fit for Every Body" by Gale Grigg Hazen [ISBN 0-87596-792-2 published in 1998], pages 182-185 give you a step by step procedure to fit a tank top.  Gale does it with a full copy of the front and back pieces in paper with the neck and armhole seam allowances trimmed off.  The pattern size is chosen so that the bust circumference is correct.  Essentially you are draping the shoulders on the body.  For the upper chest to lay flat, the shoulder seams will be off set from each other.  You need to alter the front so that the shoulder seam will line up with the back shoulder seam.  Now that the shoulders are correct, trace off the revised front pattern, pin the shoulder seams together and see how much excess fabric is in the front armhole -- the front armhole will be lower than the back armhole.  The front armhole needs to be raised the amount needed to match the back armhole and the shape of the armhole redrawn.  My process is to ease this extra length on the front side seam in the area where a bust dart would normally be to make the front and back side seams the same length.  Gale goes on to state that for an extremely large bust, you will have to add a bust dart as well.

I have been working on getting a TNT knit top pattern these last few weeks.  I definitely need some sort of bust shaping and would prefer not to have a dart.  I have concluded that fabric definitely makes a difference.  A fabric with vertical stretch is going to need less shaping than one that is woven or a one-way knit.  Peggy Sagers, Silhouette Patterns, uses a french dart in all of her knit patterns because it is less noticeable.   Peggy also reminds us that the shoulder angle is also a dart which can get rid of wrinkles in the armhole.  In a tank top, that's something that is really easy to try!

I think it was on this thread http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php/topic,13875.msg229293.html#msg229293 that there was a discussion of how Connie Crawford's knit t-shirt pattern doesn't need darts if you make it in a moderate stretch knit.  Someone reported on a class with Connie that she'd attended.  The t-shirt size is chosen by the full bust and then the shoulders and neck are fitted by draping.  When I've tried this, the excess fabric wanted to go towards the centre front and I didn't know how to get rid of it.  But, I was watching Connie's DVD on Pattern Fitting and Truing today and she showed how to eliminate a dart formed by excess fabric in a neckline.  Perhaps that will work on a knit top?  In some ways, my most successful attempt has been to drape my paper tape dress form with a knit.  I was able to eliminate all the wrinkles in the upper body but I did need to drape in a french dart.  I have traced off a paper pattern from the knit but I've not tried it out on another knit.

Edited to add that I tried this on one of my multiple knit muslins.  This test garment had no sleeves but I'd rejected it because it had too much excess fabric around the armhole and little bits wanting to be darts.  I unstitched the shoulder seams and put it on my dressform.  I smoothed the back up and then the front up over the shoulder.  I repinned the shoulder seams.  In this case they did actually meet at the neck edge but were offset at the armhole edge of the shoulder seam.  I needed all the length in the back but the front was shortened about 1".  When I tried the pinned changes on myself, I was amazed that this simple change removed all the problems and the garment fits smoothly above the bust.  I had expected that there might be some excess fullness moved into the neckline but in this case there was not.  I still have a french dart in this one but I was able to reduce its size.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 11:45:30 PM by Susan in Saint John »

Offline Elona

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2012, 09:25:00 PM »
That's a very nice summary of Gale Grigg Hazen's 'hookEdo' alteration, Susan!

Offline Threads

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2012, 03:51:12 PM »
I can't tell you how happy I am! 

I don't have a lot of experience with manipulating darts, being spoiled by either using knits or finding patterns that fit with just a little fiddling on the sides.  But I do wear tank tops of all descriptions year-round, and like having a use for leftover fabric.  So this time I decided to really make an effort altering the kwiksew pattern to work with wovens.  First versions were tweaks in length and sides, but the armscye gap was still a problem.

On version 4 of the top (in a cotton lawn, "London Calling") I followed the instructions from various sites and pinched out the dart in the armscye, then rotated into a french dart because it needed but not too much shaping.  And voila - it worked!  Incredible.

Offline LyndaC

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2012, 05:23:57 PM »
An armsceye dart is NOT a make-shift solution.  It is the PERFECT solution, and has been used for ages until the manufacturer dropped that step for economical reasons about 15 years ago.  You can add you own.  Just pinch and fold out the fabric from the armseye to within an inch of your bust point, and sew it.

My go-to T-shirt pattern is Jalie.   I make it without the sleeves for a tank top.   It already has the forward shoulder that fits better, slight side shaping, and good shaping at the bottom.  It has excellent written and pictoral instructions for the overlapped binding or other choices for the neck binding.  Of course, I do not use darts when I use the sleeves. 

Remember that Jalie is drafted for European fit, which is skin tight.   I go up two sizes.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 05:27:59 PM by LyndaC »

Offline Threads

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2012, 06:06:48 PM »
A problem I would have with an armscye dart is the way I have been finishing off the neck, hem and arms.  These are all lightweight fabrics, so I narrow hem everything - using the same foot that I use for hemming dress shirts (like a rolled hem but with a slightly bigger bite).  So far it has been great for cotton lawns, cotton voile and silk, although it might be a problem for the heavier weight of a linen. 

The narrow hemmer foot works best with linear fabric (in the round it gets a little funky at the very end).  To avoid anything in the round and changing feet back and forth, I sew one shoulder seam, and then the side seam on the opposite side.  Then narrow hem the neckline, each of the arms and the hem.  After all that's done, swap back to the regular foot and do the remaining side seam and shoulder.  It's very fast, and gives a clean look. 

But I don't think I could narrow hem the bulk that would come from a dart - better to have it in a side seam.

Offline LyndaC

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2012, 07:23:52 PM »
Yes, that would be a challenge.  I often use a folded bias strip to edge my raw edges.  Years ago Threads magazine had a great article on the couture method that ends up with a teeny strip folded to the inside with only one line of stitching showing.  I still use that method.  I see it often on high end RTW.

Offline Deirdre

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2012, 07:44:58 PM »
I love the Margarita tank. I made it from a wool/silk print fabric in combo with a solid wool jersey, and the fit was great, right out of the box.

Kathryn

Kathryn,

Very nice; I bet it looks great on you!

Deirdre

Offline rhodeanie

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2012, 10:08:13 PM »
Can anyone supply the Issue# for the article in Threads that shows the couture method that LyndaC describes for folded bias strip to finish raw edges?

Offline Linda 75142

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2012, 10:48:43 PM »
I use the method in Issue 145; not sure if that's the one to which she was referring.
Linda T

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Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2012, 01:20:18 PM »
Thank you all so much for your compliments on that Margarita Tank that I made with leftover fabric from a Christine Jonson Swing Jacket project. The design of that tank allowed me to use up remnants and substitute a contrast piece at the center front. It's really a lovely pattern, and I highly recommend it.

I've posted the link to the Threads method that Linda and perhaps Lynda C use elsewhere, but here are a couple of photos of the very narrow seam finish for sleeveless garments:





The method was described in Threads #145, November 2009 by Susan Crane.

Here's the finished blouse:



You may have to be a Threads Insider member to view the content of this page that describes the method, but here's the link FWIW:

How to Sew a Bias Edge by Susan Crane

Kathryn
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 01:41:22 PM by fzxdoc »

Offline rhodeanie

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2012, 08:16:08 PM »
As a subscriber to Linda Lee's Sew Confident, I just received this month's post--a 26-page Power Point entitled "Tanks A Lot."  It does not address the subject of fitting a tank, but uses the tank pattern in Sewing Workshop Ann's Cardigan to illustrate the versatility of the garment.  Lots of ideas for finishing.  Lots of creative variations.

There is another thread in Patterns & Instructions on the Sew Confident project, if you are interested in learning more.  In the meantime, I think I'll make a tank to wear in this steamy, hot Texas weather :-)

Anne

Offline Kuby

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2012, 12:08:29 AM »
I'm so happy to say I'm back to my sewing again after a bout with Gout...

Here on my blog I kinda tell about these tanks along with my adventures with this awful condition.

http://kuby2u.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/tank-top-dreams-and-gout/

Two of these tanks were drafted in PMB and one is Kwik Sew 3254

I made rolled hems with decorative thread on my serger. More about that on my blog












Offline mcgintie

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2012, 07:14:26 AM »
The Loes Hinse cap T (see her thread) has pattern pieces for stretch and wovens (the latter has a gusset- a triangle- inserted.Just be careful that you measure the pattern for each type of material-you will probably need to cut a larger size for wovens.

Offline blue mooney

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Re: Tank Top Patterns
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2012, 12:00:37 PM »
Kuby, I hope you get to wear your cute tanks for awhile before cooler weather arrives.

 

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