Spoiler: This is not my perfect summer tank.
In fact, I had enough issues with this pattern as a tester that I almost didn’t blog about it… but several people have mentioned the pattern to me, and I thought I might as well point out what alterations I needed, and who might actually love this pattern!
Now, first things first, I clearly got totally wearable tanks out of this pattern… and the other testers seemed happy! This was my first time testing for Itch to Stitch, and it was very thoroughly organised. The window for testing was very short, which I knew beforehand… what I didn’t realised that the window for re-testing and shooting photos of a second version would be quite as tight! Oh well. Live and learn.
My overriding concern with this pattern is that in size 10 and up, the armsyce got increasingly low and oversized. Since I sewed a size 20, the largest size, the problem was really pronounced! On my first version, I shortened the arm bands as I sewed, but the underarm was still low enough to show bra as I move around. I also had pulling from the bust and pooling at the lower back, so I ended up removing 2″ of length in the horizontal seam between my shoulder blades. This pulled up the underarm and helped a little with the pooling.
On version 2, Kennis raised the underarm a 1/4″ in the larger sizes (not nearly enough to solve my issues!). This time, I shortened the whole front 1″, below the neckline and removing length through the armscye. In the back, I shortened it 2″ in the racerback section. With that 3″ removed, the underarm fit is great! The back also fits much better with that asymmetrical adjustment.
During testing, we wondered if all my fit issues were due to me using rayon… but let’s be honest, I use rayon ALL the time, and I never make adjustments this significant. It’s not because I’m short, either… I rarely shorten patterns and have a very regular length back with very stubby legs!
That said, this is a very long tank! It has a straight hem which hits me at the widest part of my hips, so as soon as these photos were done, I gave it a curved hem like I’d already done to the blue version. Thanks to Jalie for that nice curved hem shape!
Eventually, we decided that I would have had a better fit straight away if I’d chosen a size based on my high bust, and done an FBA. I believe that’s what is now recommended in the instructions… and certainly several other busty testers had better success when they sized down 1 or 2 sizes.
But friends… this is a simple, free tank. A pattern aimed at beginners. Who the heck wants to FBA it?
I’ve sewn other tanks that fit straight away, including the Mission Maxi, Jalie, and every sleeveless dress I’ve ever made. I made adjustments to the bands, side seams, length, front/back balance and hem, and then it was fine. Can you tell how hard I’m working in the photos to make it look good? Hips never shown straight-on, hand on hip or in pocket, hem tucked or tied… and with all those tricks and beautiful morning light, yeah, I think it looks good! I’m not usually that conscious while taking photos of trying to get the camera to flatter.
So, who would love this pattern? People in size 14 or lower, people with shallow busts, or people on a budget.
I wish that this pattern had been designed with Itch to Stitch’s signature cup sizes – that would have eliminated my sizing issues and given first-time customers like me a taste of what the rest of her patterns would be like.
I hope I’ve been fair in my review – Just because this pattern isn’t for me doesn’t mean it’s not for you!
(On a lighter note, I took all these pictures with my fly down! Did you spot it in one photo?)