Friday, 4 September 2015
Third time lucky? Tiny Pocket Tank
Ah the perfect tank top [skirt/shirt insert your own favourite garment type here] pattern, have you found yours? When I saw the Cali Faye basics dress I could imagine it as a tank, my perfect tank. I was all set to hit purchase when I remembered just how many patterns I have that haven't been used and realised I couldn't justify buying another at the moment, especially when I have the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank. The things I love about the Cali Faye dress are the scooped out lower armholes and the lower back so I set about trying to adapt the tiny pocket tank pattern.
I've made the tiny pocket tank before - my Lush Life tank, and an unblogged Betty Jackson striped pink one but the pink one is too big and the Lush Life one is now too tight under the arms. And I couldn't find either traced pattern so I had no idea which sizes they were - arrgh!! Time to start from scratch then!
The black and white fabric is from the Man outside Sainsbury's ages ago - I bought 3 metres, planning an Anna maxidress but then realised I'd need to line it and gave that idea up as I'm too lazy/have never lined a skirt before. It's lovely and soft which is why I bought it as usually I wouldn't go for anything with black in it, and it was only £2 a metre - perfect for experimenting with.
I cut out a size 8 but then added length to the straps. I held the traced pattern up and approximated a 1.5cm increase would make it a bit more roomy under the arms. However I then added 1.5cm to both front and back pieces which of course made it far too long. I also forgot to raise the darts, raise the neckline or lengthen the strips of bias binding - a true catalogue of errors. Of course I didn't realise any of this till I'd sewn it up, with french seams, so by then it was too late for major alterations. I decided I could live with the low neckline, just. I used the Colettte tutorial for piecing bias binding and attached it using the Sorbetto instructions (links to PDF) where you cut the binding to size once you've pinned it to the garment. However the straps were still too long and it was hanging ridiculously low under the arms. So, I just cut the straps down a bit and resewed them! Definitely not the most sophisticated way to deal with the problem but it still looks neat, and best of all it fits great under the arm. I also sewed the under stitching too close to the seam line so when I folded it under for top-stitching it didn't sit right and there's a few spots where the binding isn't caught all the way under. Luckily not moving the bust darts doesn't seem to have been a problem - obviously gravity is helping me out there now, boohoo! I bought the PDF of the pattern and have managed to lose the instructions somewhere along the way. I'm sure if I'd emailed Grainline with my receipt they would have sent me the instructions but to be honest, using Jen's tutorial meant I didn't need them.
Putting aside all these mistakes I absolutely love this top and have already had lots of wear out of it, it's so nice and soft and looks great on. On holiday (in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, France where these photos were taken) I wore it with this skirt and it also looks great with jeans. I will make it again, to try and perfect it. I plan to get the length of the straps sorted, raise the front neckline a bit, lower the back neckline (like this gorgeous Eucalypt tank by Charlie), and slim it down a bit at the sides. Here's a question though - if I slim it down at the sides will this make the armholes tighter?
Sorry for the lengthy post on a relatively easy garment but I thought it would be useful to document the changes I've made. Do you try to alter existing patterns if you see a new style you like, or would you buy the new pattern?