Top Dog Top: The Vienna Tank Waits for You

Pattern: Itch to Stitch Vienna Tank

It’s fall in New England, but currently it still feels like summer. Since I didn’t have much time for my blog this summer, I thought I would take the opportunity on this hot sunny day in September to write about some of the summer projects I worked on.

I’m extremely proud of this tank top, which uses the Vienna Tank pattern from Itch to Stitch. This pattern was intriguing to me because it uses both knit fabric and woven fabric and I had just the knit that I wanted to use. I found this great wiener dog fabric at Fabric Place Basement in Natick, MA and I thought it would make a cute animal-themed top. I found some soft black cotton for the yoke and ruffle to complete the garment.

This pattern required knit interfacing to stabilize the arm holes, as well as some stay tape for the pleat down the middle. I knew the interfacing would work well since I had successfully used this technique when sewing up another tank I had made.

Fusible knit interface helps stabilize the arm holes

No crazy twin needles this time, and that was okay by me. I just used a zig zag stitching on the hems. The knit was pretty stable and not too stretchy, so it worked really well with the woven back.

This tank got a lot of use throughout the spring and summer. I got to first break it out this past May when I was living in Gloucester for the month. The fabric is a bit on the thicker side, so its actually great in-between seasons and not especially great for the dog days of summer!

So hopefully more to come on these other summer projects as I wrap up the season. I feel like my summer sewing was extended with this crazy warm weather that we still keep having up north. Hoodie season is around the corner I’m sure, but for now I am enjoying my exposed shoulders in the sun.

Tanks for everything: the Aurora top

Pattern: Aurora tank by Seamwork

Skills acquired: 

  • Double needle for knit
  • Installing a walking foot

Hello sew blog my old friend.

This past summer, running was my life as I was training for my first marathon (as seen in my other blog). It was almost impossible to find time to sew. The good news is that I’ve been sewing quite a lot in the last month, so I’m hoping to be able to carve out some time to write about my projects.

Amidst all the training, I was actually able to complete one project over the summer – the Aurora tank top by Seamwork patterns. On top of everything else, I also got a new job this September, so I never got around to writing about this project. I had picked this particular pattern due to it’s simplicity – only 3 pieces to cut out and Seamwork patterns are known for their quickness to assemble. All are supposed to take under 2 hours. I worked on this in pieces of time that I could find here and there, but I’m pretty sure the 2 hours is accurate.

The walking foot! It was kind of a pain to put on as I had to take a few things apart to install, but worked pretty well in the end.

The only thing that was really challenging was trying to use a double knit needle. I had threaded a double needle before when I was making my corduroy pants and I remember Continue reading “Tanks for everything: the Aurora top”

Tank Finished

Wait, is it After Labor Day?

Pattern: Simplicity 4127

IMG_1368It’s pretty bad when your summer projects don’t get finished until the fall.  It’s even worse when they leak into the wintertime as well.  Okay, so I am running a little behind on my projects.  But I wanted to finish this top, since I had already made the muslin (see blog post) and I didn’t want to forget all the knowledge I gained.  Especially since this was the most expensive material I have bought to date.  But of course it’s white, and you know what they say about wearing white…seasonably I mean.  Not the virgin thing.

 

 

This project went very well – I was able to get the straps right and had some soft white cotton that worked great as a lining.  Again, I installed an invisible zipper instead of a regular zipper, which the pattern called for.  My new invisible zipper foot has been serving me well – definitely worth the money.  I also made sure to cut the bottom section 2.5 inches shorter than the pattern, which gave me the length I wanted.  For the straps, I used a textured trim I found at the fabric store.  I wanted a contrast for the waist, so I picked a satin yellow ribbon.  I’m wondering if white would have been a better choice.  After I stitched it together, I realized I still had an issue of the bottom blousing out more than I liked.  I didn’t want the illusion I was Tank1expecting…so I knew I would need to do some adjusting.

I took in the material in two sections around each side seam.  Because of the gathers, my alterations are not too obvious….I don’t think.

Taking in the garment

I’m not too impressed with the way the bow came out – I’m never good at those little decorative things.  The bow on my muslin came out a lot better, probably because my mom helped me out with Continue reading “Wait, is it After Labor Day?”

Okay…I did it…

Pattern: Simplicity 4127

In case you were wondering, that vague post title refers to the fact that I made a muslin, which is something I pretty much never do.  I just don’t have much patience when tackling new projects.  But, I have also noticed that being a newbie, I tend to make a lot of mistakes.  And I also notice that the second time I make something, I make less mistakes, soooo….yeah you see where this is going.

Making a muslin refers to making a “trial” garment out of some inexpensive material.  Traditionally these were made with muslin, hence the name, which is a really plain cotton fabric.  But now the term “making a muslin” is used for any fabric that may be used.  This is my understand at least, from reading many sewing blogs.  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

I bought a wonderful white material labeled “as seen in J Crew” at the Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA.  I bought it because it reminded me of this cute summer top I used to have when I was much younger, that showed off my midriff.  I’m not at an age where I can show that much skin, but I did want another cute summer top, so I splurged on it (it was pretty expensive) and then bought this pattern:

Simplicity 4127

My mom gave me some brown-ish printed cotton that was leftover from a quilting project.  So I got to work. Continue reading “Okay…I did it…”