20 January 2007

Tanks for the Memories (Butterick 6886)

Pattern: Butterick 6886 - vintage pattern - no date

View C is a pretty basic tank top pattern. It is sleeveless and has a scoop neck. There is a bust dart that extends from the side seam and a waist dart that starts at the hem and ends just under the bust.

: One size in package - bust 30"

This is a black netting that has a flocked lace pattern on it and a sprinkling of glitter. The netting is affixed to a brown knit backing. The fabric, purchased at Fabricland, is very stretchy. Although it is a knit fabric, it is quite rich and dressy looking. I also used a black rayon/Lycra knit from Wazoodle to line the tank top from edge to edge.

Recall that my inspiration for this top and the black silk skirt, that is already completed, was this outfit from Darius Cordell. The simple, elegant lines of this ensemble appealed to me when I first saw it. I also like that I can wear the two pieces separately or together. As any good SWAPper knows, the pieces you make should result in multiple wearing options. Although this outfit is not actually vintage, it had a vintage feel to me. To stick with the retro theme of my SWAP, I made both pieces using vintage patterns.

Project Photo
The tank is on the hanger over top of the black silk skirt - you can see the black at the bottom of the photo. The black at the top is the back lining.

I was concerned about using a pattern that had been designed for wovens to create a knit top. I also had misgiving about all the darts in this pattern - although the waist shaping is necessary for me, the bust shaping most certainly is not. Also, I did not want all the darts to chop up the continuity of the paisley and floral pattern on the fabric.
  • Dealing With the Woven vs Knit Dilemma - Since the pattern was designed for a bust of 30" and I normally use a bust of 31", I had hoped that this would reduce the downsizing that would be needed to use a knit instead of a woven. However, I still needed to remove a bit of width across the upper back, so I wouldn't have any gaping at the neck.
  • Dealing with the Darts - I simply ignored the bust dart and eased the excess fabric in the bust area of the front when the front and back pieces were sewn together. As for the waist dart, I measured the dart width at several intervals along its length. This amount was removed from the side seam to give the waist and hip area shaping. Oddly enough, when I had completed this, I had basically reproduced my favourite tank top pattern , Kwik Sew 2948.
I decided to create a "reversible" tank top. I cut the front and back pattern pieces from the fashion fabric and the lining. Lay the fashion fabric and lining pieces for the front on top of one another, right sides together. Stitch along the entire length of the neckline and both armholes, leaving the sides and shoulder seams open. Turn the front right side out and press. Do the exact same thing to the back, but do not turn it right side out. Slip the front strap into the back strap on each side (be sure it's fashion fabric to fashion fabric and lining to lining) and stitch the two pieces together in a circle. Next, open out the sides and pin the front pieces together and the back pieces together on each side. Sew one long line of stitching, from the hem on the front, up to the armhole and then back down to the hem on the back. Press this seam open and turn the garment right side out. I chose to leave the hem unfinished as the knit fabrics will not ravel. Also, since the top is meant to be tucked into the skirt, I don't want a bulky ridge, caused by the hem, showing through the skirt.

This is such a simple top. It looks great with the previously completed skirt. Now, all I need to do is find or create a belt to link the two together. This is the third completed item for my SWAP - 8 to go!


Linda L said...

Lovely blouse/top. I really like the fabric!

Marji said...

That is so elegant looking.
Isn't it amazing too, the same tops, from diff eras, are illustrated so very differently? Fashion illustration and the psych behind it - didn't Erin on Dress-A-Day do a series on that?

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Shannon - I was looking through my sewing book library and "remembered" these two books that have a lot of pictures of vintage type clothing - well they were written in 1959 and 1962 - anyway, have you heard of Edna Byte Bishop? I have two books of hers - The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction and Fashion Sewing by the Bishop Method. Both have great pictures of finishing details on clothing. Ran across them today and thought of you!

Summerset said...

The current Threads has an article on making belts! You should be able to find a lovely buckle for it, too, or order one online.