I can’t do without tank tops during summer, and since it is almost here I thought I would try and replicate my much-loved racer-back tanks from Max – that are now limp, faded and strictly relegated to the painting and decorating wardrobe!
Plus, can you believe I don’t actually have any white tops?!
I used my knit top block – you can use a tried and true knit pattern too and follow what I did. I scooped the front neckline and cut away the back armhole so it was a similar shape to my Max tanks, added a bit to the hip side seams just in case….
…cut a mock-up in my white viscose/elastane knit…
…and tried it on… (with my black bra – cringe – please ignore!)
I am happy with the neckline and armhole, but I do need a sway back adjustment!
Here is a view of the cut away back for the record…
Do you know how hard it is to get a back shot of you in the mirror without liveview? I had ten tries until I finally got both shoulders…!
I cut the top double thickness, with the hem as the fold line, and all the remaining neck/armhole edges were bound.
This is what the top looks like cut, and you just sew the inner and outer side seams in one long seam.
Make sure you have a little notch at the hemline so you know exactly where to fold:
This hem fold trick is a favourite of mine because
- no hemming to do – yeh!
- hem is nice and flat with no visible stitching
- the double layer adds opacity and extra body to my fabric, which being white is a little sheer and flimsy for my liking. Increased quality factor is always a plus!
I pressed the side seams open…
and if you fold the seam allowances together at your hem notch…
and stitch them together…
your hemline will stay in place..
Then I tacked the two layers together around the neck and armhole at 3mm (1/8″) so they were ready for binding. If you have cut and sewn the two layers accurately, they should be flush with no bubbles and puckers – if not, fix it now – before it is bound!
For the binding I used my cheat’s method which is good when you want to reduce bulk, as only three layers are involved instead of the usual four. Although it is not the prettiest method as overlocking is involved. I don’t know why I call it my cheat’s method – maybe because it is too easy and I feel like I am cheating?
- I cut the binding strips 2.5cm (1″) wide and overlocked one edge.
- Stitch the binding to your neck or armhole at 6mm (1/4″) with right sides together…
More on binding:
Have you ever seen bound necklines that are out of shape – assymetrical even though they should be even? Or binding that looks like it is gathering the fabric up, or causing the neckline to waver? Obviously these are things we want to avoid, but how exactly do you get perfectly fitting, evenly distributed binding?
Here are some tips to try:
- Add some notches at critical points around your neckline and armhole – ie CF, CB, F armhole, B armhole, even more if you have complex curves to bind.
- Measure between these points and the existing seams, exclude the seam allowances.
- Test your binding length and width on a scrap. Admire or adjust.
- Make a pattern for your binding with your new measurements, hopefully you can see my example here!
Now you can cut and sew with confidence, knowing that your binding will fit and be distributed evenly.