The Greenwood Tanks

Hullo everybody! I feel like I have been trying to write this post for days, and it just hasn't happened. Writer's block or laziness? I'm not sure. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes, and it seem that the blog gets sent to the back burner. But I have been finding lots of time to sew, and to fit so I have lots to share. I have been going further down the rabbit hole with fitting, and having some success in some things, not so much in others. But with every step, and every thing I try, I learn a little bit. Not just about sewing and fitting, but also about myself and my shape. I'll save my introspective findings for another post though. For now, let's get on with the Greenwood tanks I recently made.IMG_7062Have you seen this pattern yet? It's a great wardrobe staple from Straight Stitch Designs. I first spotted it on Meg's blog, and then my good friend Katie recommended it to me too, so I had to give it a shot. I'm not really one for tank tops on their own (I usually use them as a layering piece), but we've been spending a lot of time in BC this summer and it has been really hot. Heatwave anyone? Anyway, a simple tank really fits the bill to stay cool - well that and air-conditioning. The pugs and I could not live without it. And slurpees, let's not forget about slurpees. But I digress.... IMG_7063I quickly whipped up a size 12 tank based on my measurements, and discovered (of course) that it was too big in the shoulders and pretty much all over. It was okay across the chest, but it just didn't feel right. The straps kept sliding down - not cool. So I took your guys' advice from my post about my shingle dress, and decided to do some adjustments to make this tank fit right. I chose my bust size (an 8) based on my high bust measurement, and then I graded to a size 14 from the waist to the hip based on my waist and hip measurements (also I didn't want a super tight fit across the belly fit). Then I did an FBA of 1.25". But doing the FBA created a dart, and I really didn't want to have a dart so I used this tutorial by Maria Denmark to remove it. Sounds a bit tricky, but really it's easy. It just involves a lot of cutting and taping.

IMG_7064Then I did some alterations to the back piece. I should mention that I chose the scoop neck, scoop back version of this pattern, and it uses the same pattern piece for both the front and the back. But if you are like me and you need to do a bunch of alterations, you need separate back and front patten pieces, so trace/print two. Anyway, for the back I did a 1/4" high round back alteration, and I also did a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment, both which I learned in the book Fit for Real People. Also, because I am short, I shortened it by 3 inches. Phew, seems like a lot of alterations for a knit tank doesn't it? But I'm pretty happy with the results. And now I have a solid TNT staple tank pattern. I used some black cotton jersey from Girl Charlee that I had in my stash for this version and I know it will get lots of wear. There still seems to be a bit of pooling in the back, but I'm not sure if it's just hung up on my bra, or what going on. Your guys' advice is always welcome there, but I'm not really losing sleep over it.

IMG_9863So that's what my two pattern pieces look like. Pretty cool right?

Before I made the Greenwood tank, I took a shot at the Aurora tank from the June issue of Seamwork. I did not like the construction of that tank at all, in fact I found it incredibly frustrating, and in the end I didn't really like the style on me. (What is up with these Seamwork patterns? They really seem to be hit and miss for me - anyone else tried them?) It looks so good on a lot of people, but I found the gathers a bit bulky and I think the instructions and the construction of it just left a bad taste in my mouth, so I just didn't want to like it. I did however like the curved hemline and the way it fell away slightly from the body. John agreed and said, "well why don't you just combine the two?". So that's what I did. And I made 4 more tanks just like that.


I may have gotten a little carried away and made them a bit too short, but I'm still quite happy with them anyway. See what you think:


Hello! Everybody needs a super bright tank top right?





IMG_7069See the back doesn't look nearly as bad here. Maybe it's still just a little bit too tight, and that's why my bra line is so obvious, or maybe I'm just being too picky now.


IMG_7056So I think that's enough photos of me for now, don't you? All of the striped fabrics came from Fabricville in Montreal (I'm not sure why Fabricville always seems to have a lot more and nicer knits than Fabricland in Calgary when they are the same company, but they do). I think they are all a cotton/rayon jersey blend, but I'm not 100% sure. They have great horizontal stretch, but not much vertical stretch. They worked perfectly for these tanks and I have a bit more left over for t-shirts too! That's another great thing about this tank: it doesn't require much fabric, especially when you're short like me.

I just realized that I didn't get any photos of the skinny striped one I made, it's made from a remnant I got from Marcy Tilton's website, and it's super comfy, but not the easiest to photograph. Those mircostripes always look a bit funny on a computer screen.

Hope you all are having a lovely summer, and for all my fellow Canucks out there, Happy Canada Day!!