Summer is the perfect time for experimentation – new hairstyles, new skills, new styles! Through the school year I sew lots of TNT patterns because sewing is my outlet for stress, but in the summer holidays I’ve got time to have fun.
Which is a long way to say: I cut up the Plantain t-shirt pattern and made two different-but-similar swingy tank tops!
Whatdya think? It’s a totally new shape for me – so much volume isn’t usually my thing, but I’ve been pinning lots of similar shapes. The rayon jersey (same as K-Line used here, I think) was only $5/m, so no pressure if I messed it up.
(Enjoy – this is the only pic where I managed to get my feet in the shot!)
#1: The Ruffled Tank
The blue tank came first. The neckline is finished with folded bands, and the ruffle is left unhemmed. The first time I did the ruffle, I only used one width of the fabric, and it came out totally wimpy and barely ruffled. I cut it off and used 2 widths, one for the front and one for the back. It’s better now, but I wonder what it would be like with even more fullness?
I gathered the ruffle with my serger, and then serged it on… but no matter how I cranked the tension, it still stretched out the seam and left things a bit wobbly. Should I have reinforced the tank top edge, or gathered the ruffle in a less lazy way?
See where there’s a seam down the centre back? The neckline turned out totally huge, so ta-da! Design feature!
Here’s the good and the bad about this design experiment:
The low neckline is fun to wear, but it’s pretty darn low and I think it would just keep getting lower through the day with the weight of the ruffle pulling things down. I like the idea of the wide ruffle, but it does tend to bunch up in the back where it catches on my jeans. I think the proportions of a top like this matter a lot – it would take lots of experimentation to get the depth of the ruffle and the length of the hem *just* right!
(I got so excited by the beautiful red door behind me that I didn’t stop to think what pink-on-red would do to the colour meter in my camera. Forgive me!)
#2: The Double-Layered Tank This is the same slashed-and-spread-Plantain pattern, but this time it’s a short and a long tank nested together. The neckline is just the two pieces serged together. The only trick is to make sure the lower tank doesn’t have any exposed seams as it hangs down.
For a little more fun and volume, I tried out the “lettuce leaf” edge on my serger for the first time. I really like it the look! How fun would a dress length version of this be? I like the texture it give the solid knit – otherwise the two layers would just hang as one.
(Feet! My kingdom for feet in this photo!)
The Good and the Bad: I like this top better! The neckline is a little less worrisome, and I like how the two layers float around in a breeze. This one also catches on my jeans a bit, as you can see in the pic above, but I guess that’s just life! I think the slight high-low hem works better in this design.
(Oh, and the pants I’m wearing aren’t Ginger jeans, for once – these are my Cake Espresso leggings-turned-pants that I sewed back here! The rise is crazy-high, which I think is why they look saggy in the crotch in a lot of shots. I might reattach the waistband down lower, because otherwise they make great comfy “skinny” jeans! I wish I could find more of this stretch twill, because it’s great.)
Which do you like better? Have you been pinning/eyeing any new shapes you’d like to try this summer? Jumpsuits, rompers, culottes, midis, crop tops… are they calling your name?