Woohoo, more sewing for me! I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve decided to not use the term “selfish sewing” when I sew for myself. Although that is essentially what it is, the word “selfish” has such a negative connotation and I just feel like we shouldn’t feel bad about sewing things for ourselves. I think sewing for ourselves is good for building skills, it’s practical, money saving and it’s not always easy! The fact that it’s fun and often rewarding is just an added bonus!
I got the idea to make this tank after seeing this one from Old Navy. I copied it almost exactly in style except I made an inverted pleat instead of a box pleat at the neckline. I don’t know if it’s the most flattering top because it doesn’t have a tight fitting bodice. But it’s comfy and I know it’ll fit for awhile, possibly through my pregnancy.
The fabric I used is Star Pods in Green from designer Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller. I got it from Modern Domestic when I was up in Portland for Quilt Market. It’s a lovely chartreuse color and is really lightweight, so I thought the drape would be perfect for a top. I used the Wiksten Tank pattern as a starting point and I’m going to show you how I adjusted it to make this top. The Wiksten Tank is a great, simple tank top pattern that anyone can sew (you can see my previous versions here, here, and here). I recommend you add this to your pattern collection if you don’t have it. But if not, you can probably draft a pattern for this top using another pattern or a tank top you own with a similar cut. The only extra material you’ll need is some 1/4 inch wide elastic for the bottom of the tank.
Alright, so using the directions, figure out your size and cut out your pattern. There were several adjustments that I made to my pattern. First I added 1.5 inches to the front piece along the “folded” edge. This will make the pattern 3 inches wider and give you room for that growing belly. I also raised the neckline an inch because I felt like the original was a bit revealing.
I added about 4 inches to the length of the front piece, but kept the curved hemline the same.
For the back piece, the only adjustment I made was lengthening it enough to match up with the side seam of the front piece (the 2 pink lines). Then I made an ever-so-slightly curved line for the bottom of the back piece.
After you cut out your pieces, mark the center of the neckline on the front piece and then 1.5 inches on either side. These are your pleat markings.
Bring the two outer markings in towards the center, pin and press. Sew a basting stitch across the pleat to hold it in place.
Once you’ve made your pleat, follow the pattern directions for constructing the tank. Sew the shoulder and side seams and finish the armholes and neckline with bias strips.
For the bottom, to make a casing, fold the hem up about a 1/4 inch, press and then fold again about 1/2 an inch. Sew along the folded edge all around the hem, but leave about an inch open to thread the elastic through. Measure your elastic and trim – it should fit comfortably but snuggly around your hips. Using a safety pin, guide the elastic through. Sew the ends of the elastic together and sew the rest of the casing closed.
And you’re done!
Here’s what the bottom of the tank looks like when it’s on. You can see the slightly longer length in the front for extra belly coverage.
Ooh, by the way, thanks for all the sweet comments about the two “maternity” dresses I made and all the great suggestions for other maternity patterns and styles to try. I seriously feel like I want to make myself a whole new wardrobe now, I’ve never been so motivated to sew for myself!
I feel so weird with so many pictures of myself up on the blog, but I suppose it’s only fair since I’ve put my daughter through it for the last couple of years. And I’ve still got more “me” sewing on the horizon, so I hope you’re not too sick of it yet. I’ll try to spare you and sprinkle some non-“me” sewing once in awhile too 😛
Thanks for visiting!!
I don’t think it’s selfish at all. I think it’s wonderful!
Fun stuff! I want to sew more for myself but by the time I finish making “enough” clothes in a size for my children they grow out of that size! And now I have a third on the way any week now….lol, I’ll never finish sewing projects enough to sew for myself!
i love all the adult sewing (esp the tutorials :))! it’s great to embrace your changing body vs. ignoring it. i know it probably feels weird to change the content of your blog, but your readers love it for your creativity and projects, not just the cute pics of yuki (though that’s obviously a bonus). keep the grownup projects coming!
Such a gorgeous top! And so brave of you to sew maternity clothes… I don’ have the courage for making something I know I’ll outgrow soon. 😉
Is that an announcement, An…???? 😀
Wait, WHAT!? Reeeeeally!??
I am so enjoying the beautiful pieces you’re making for yourself throughout your pregnancy! (It makes me miss having a little “bean” in my belly!) You look positively radiant, and the clothes look so comfy and stylish. Wishing you all the best!!
For the best of all possible attitudes on selfish sewing, you must visit Elaine’s (now rarely updated) blog – http://selfishseamstress.wordpress.com/about/.
There’s never a reason to be anything other than proud of sewing for yourself. Hand-made, custom-fit garments? We are worth it. Why not?!
First of all, there’s a difference between selfish and self-care. Selfish is ‘all about me-your needs are not important’. Self-care is ‘showing love for self so I can share this love with others’.
The top is beautiful–thanks for the tutorial.
Sewing for yourself is exactly the right thing to do for so many reasons. You do not need to apologize. Your clothing is adorable!
Great mod to this tank! I have the Wiksten tank pattern too but my belly is already WAY too big to fit into it anymore. This might last you till the bitter end (or at least pretty darned close)!
Cherie, you are so adorable! What a comfy and stylish top for maternity and beyond! I love everything you’re making for yourself – keep ’em coming!
It looks fantastic! I love the look of this pattern, just wish I didn’t have to increase the bust. But you’ve convinced me to try it. Thanks!
The amount of support you’re being shown is beautiful. And of course I wholly agree with all of the above commenters — you sew what you want because you are such an artist! Your works is fan-tab. Love it!!
I think it is wonderfull. I love it ❤
what a great tank! that fabric is perfect. and you look adorable!
Ha! I agree with you regarding the word of “selfish”. It’s funny today I posted my blouse, used the word of “pampering myself” and then I read your post, just learned that you avoid that word too. I like your photo pose (2nd from last) and the top looks comfy on you, you’re smart to add pleat. I made top tank too (earlier blog post) but mine with dart.
Amen sister! (to the selfish sewing bit… I totally agree.) You are making some really cute stuff for yourself! Keep it up. 🙂
Such a great top! And you look fantastic.
Cutest preggo ever. Agree that we SHOULD probably stop calling it “selfish sewing,” and I’m right there with ya on liking to put myself on the other side of the camera and try to give my kids a break. Though Em doesn’t mind too much – she’s a pro. 😉
That’s funny, I hadn’t really heard the term “selfish sewing”. I was just thinking about what to title my next blog post of a garment for my self, and I came up with a word: Selfie or Selfy? Selfie n. A garment made for one’s self by one’s self. You made a selfie! And it looks great! Beautiful work!
It looks great. Wished I knew how to sew! Cheers, Dragon Boy and Mom
I am 20 weeks pregnant with my 5th and am loving all of your inspiring maternity posts! Keep ’em coming! 🙂
This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really pleassant to read all
at alone place.
Thank you Cherie for those detailed instructions of how to alter the wiksten tank top into a maternity top ! It is really useful and I am going to sew one/two/three ? tops for my DIL who is exptecting in Jan. 15. All the best for you. M.