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!!