Hoo-ah, this week Austin was really heating up! Seems like about this time every year I come up with gads of strategies to keep me cool and feeling healthy and refreshed (#1: must drink more water). Usually by the end of July I start feeling pickled and strategize all over again. The last three summers I’ve been a bit obsessed with finding the perfect tank top pattern. I really love drapey tank tops and especially woven ones in silk.
Coming up with a perfect tank is a bit like trying to define the perfect t-shirt. I’ve made several different patterns and clearly obsessed about this a bit, but was never completely happy with the fit or style of my previous attempts. My perfect has somewhat narrow straps, a narrow neckline, and a slight racer back. It’s a little bit slouchy and drapes softly just around my hips. This time, I drafted one using my own bodice sloper, something I finally got around to fitting over the winter.
And I think I finally got there! Sometimes the long road is the better one. Drafting my own block taught me some great things about my body lengths and widths and has really been helping me to fit myself better. For example, I’ve used it to adjust my bust length and fullness on this Style Arc shift dress and this Vogue top. I finally feel like fitting myself is starting to click!
Please excuse my rumpled appearance. I’m having a bad hair month (I’m growing out my bangs–argh) and this outfit has been through two hot and busy days (I wore this outfit twice, don’t tell anyone!).
This is a silk crepe I bought almost four years ago from Tessuti. I had it in mind for a sleeveless top back then but feared cutting into it because I just didn’t have the pattern right. And now I do. The print looks like paint splatters but these are actually large pop art flowers that seem to jump out of black negative space. I wish I had more for a drapey maxi dress–because that would really show off their scale.
My favorite, favorite finish for these kind of tanks is an all-in-one neck and armhole facing.
It looks so clean and pretty and turns out miles better than my bias bound finishes. And my favorite tutorial for sewing (and drafting) an all-in-one facing is by Sherry at Pattern Scissors Cloth. She hasn’t been active on her blog for awhile, but don’t go missing out on a goldmine of tips from a patternmaker!
Speaking of which, I’m also a big fan of her method for rolled (aka handkerchief aka baby) hems. My mom asked me about rolled hems recently, so I thought I’d mention my favorite! I think this method is quite easy and ends up less wonky-looking than using a rolled hem foot especially on those evil bias hems, and with every top my hems are getting better and better looking. Alternatively, Jen at Grainline published a roll-hem method which involves sewing a line that you can follow as you roll, until you get used to rolling by eye and learning how to keep slippery fabric from unrolling. (My tip: wet your fingers, roll, stitch a few inches, repeat. It’s weird but it works!)
Floral silk crepe: Tessuti
Earrings: Native Clutter (by Stephanie at Makes the Things – just had to mention because I love her jewelry!)
Jeans: old and much loved