Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free-form pattern: Elaine

On Friday, before heading to a Japanese Grill a couple towns away, I hit up a Joanne Fabrics in the adjoining parking lot. Who could resist, right?

There were 50% off sales on all of the fabrics, plus a 10% off your total order I induldged in a couple more jersey knit fabrics for more quickie dresses, a satin fabric, and whatever this fabric is. It's probably polyester. One thing I knew was that this chica was going to fray like no one's business. It's air-light, see-though of course...perfect for wearing over another tank top.

So let's fast-forward to yesterday. I knew that this fabric was going to evolve into a tank top, but I didn't want to stick to a pattern because I didn't think I'd find this sort of shape (and I was pretty certain that I could fiddle around and draw my own pattern).
I grabbed a few sheets of newspaper (I couldn't find my brown packaging wrapping paper which would have been even better) and tapped 4 of them together. I took a tank top with a similar shape to get an idea of what the dimensions needed to be, and left about an inch of extra room for a seam allowance. I cut the front piece out, folded the newspaper hotdog style and trimmed all of the edges to make it more symmetrical than my guesstimates.  Then, I traced out the back, and changed the neckline to be shallower.

I pinned the pieces together, sewed them while really reinforcing the edges. I did two straight line stitching and then a zig-zag along the raw edge to make sure that this sucker doesn't come apart or fray too badly while washing.

Next came the edging. I used store-bought tape trimming in a matching color, and didn't even bother pinning it to the edge. Rather, I just tucked the raw edge into the middle of the tape as I went.
It's not perfect. There were a couple of places where the raw edge came loose from the tape because I didn't shove it in far enough, and my stitching could have been straighter. I was really bummed that there is a little hole starting underneath the armpit. I must have snagged it underneath the footer, or snipped it some how. I painted clear nail polish on it for now, but I'll have to figure out a better way to patch a delicate material such as this.

It's a tiny bigger than I'd like it, but it looks neat. I'm just proud I made my own pattern and it seems wearable and not too extremely "Home-Ec." Plus, it only took me a few hours!


  1. what a great fabric! and the edging you picked is perfect for it!

  2. Thanks! It really caught my eye in the store.

  3. I love this! It is so pretty and summery! I love to wear tops like this in the hot summer!
    Good work