Silk Tank Pattern in Need of Fitting Advice

Thanks to a little time alone at home, I’ve been able to get most of the patterns for my project traced, cut and prepped. I’m still waiting on the Sewaholic pattern, which is in the mail and will have to lag behind the others. There is just one pattern left that is causing me a little bit of head-scratching–the pattern for my white silk tank top.

Here was my initial version, back in May, in a red silk charmeuse.

The pattern started out as Kwik Sew 3795, which I chose for its a-line tent shape, but I wanted my tank to be 1. much shorter, and 2. have higher armholes.

Once sewn, I also realized I wanted a deeper “u-shape” to the neckline. It is a bit too wide for me and makes me look rather broad shouldered, which I am. While I’m at it, I may make the straps wider, but before I do either of these design changes, the fit needs to be better.

Now that I have worn my red tank about 10 times, I know it is too tight across the upper bust. It has almost no ease and is so tight that the front hemline creeps up about 1 1/2 inches higher than the back. To me this says I need more length and/or width for the bust. I’m guessing that by raising the armhole, I removed some of the necessary ease that was provided by such deep revealing armholes.

The horizontal line is where the tightness is happening, and the diagonal lines highlight actual draglines from the front being pulled up. I’m too lazy to take a better picture of me in this, but hopefully this makes sense.

Any fitting experts have some advice on this? I could just go with a bigger size, but then I would have to redraft all my armhole changes. That really isn’t a biggie, but if you have some advice on this, I’d love to hear!

Oh, and this top has no darts.


  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    Man, I wish I had any advice. Non-stretch, no-dart tank tops are completely beyond my experience. Widen a little bit at the side, right under the arm? Cut on the bias? What do I know. Good luck, though, I’m sure whatever you do will end up smashing! 🙂

    • Amy says:

      I have an awesome silk tank that fits me perfectly and it is cut on the bias. I’ve yet to make bias anything because it kinda scares me! But I know it’d solve some of the problem.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I have three letters for you- FBA. Full bust alterations add length to the front, remove drag lines, and re-shape the arm opening so it fits better. You may or may not sew the darts created by an FBA, but you should have one. If you want a dartless look, you’ll have to rotate out the darts to the side seams, and it won’t be as flattering on your figure as darts would. Hope that helps, you can always email me if you want.

    • oonaballoona says:

      so, is it possible to need an FBA when you don’t have a full bustage? i mean, i’m a 34B, but it’s all in my bod, not my boobs. i have this armhole thing happen all the time too!

      • Amy says:

        same here! Not in the boobs, in the bod. I never would’ve thought to do an FBA–I’m always thinking SBA, or usually trace the smallest size around the chest. I’m a 32B. Perhaps the issue for us is in the relationship between the upper bust and armhole. I’ll try to do this alteration so you can see what happens… wish me luck!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks Steph, I was thinking FBA, too… I’ve never done one. Simply because if this is not going to stretch as Tanit suggested, I think I’m going to have difficulties with the armholes.

  3. Sherry says:

    This will be great to get ‘just right’ so you can whip up one in every colour!
    A side bust dart should solve the problem – it will give you more length at the CF between the bust points, yet keep the side seam the same length. Then add whatever extra width you need across the bust/overbust area.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks so much Sherry. Y’all have convinced me of the need for a dart to give more room. Off to the drawing board…

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