There are SO many tank top pattern out there. So many, in fact, that Indiesew has decided to host the Great Tank Bonanza! Allie is having a 20% off sale on all tank top patterns in the shop using code: GREATTANK. I had a hard time exacting which tank pattern I wanted to do. I knew I wanted a simple silhouette that was practical and had plenty of coverage. I talked to a few VERY trusted sources and the Gemma Tank was a consistent thumbs up from everyone. After making my first one, I understood why is came so highly recommended. It’s a great pattern!
The number of tank patterns available is rivaled only by the number of different ways to bind armholes and necklines. Rae of Made by Rae and Allie both have really great methods of binding armholes. Rae has three separate tutorials for binding here and Allie has a really good one here.
However, my preferred method of bias binding is the method described in the Trevi Top. I take a piece of 1.25″ wide bias strip. Press it in half lengthwise and sew both of the raw edges to the raw edge of the neckline/armhole. It just seems less finicky to me to have less folds on the bias strip and it sews up cleaner for me. I under stitch the 1/4″ seam allowance to the binding and then press the rest of the 3/8″ to the wrong side and topstitch.
I sewed this up in three different substrates: a cotton gauze, a rayon crepe, and a cotton double cloth. For all three of the tanks I made a Size Small with the A/B cup option and scoop neckline. My measurements are 35″, 28″, and 38″
The first one I sewed up was the blue Japanese gauze. I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern except added 1″ to the length.
As you can see, the bust dart is a little high on me but other than that the fit is spectacular! There is really flattering and comfortable ease throughout the bodice and the scoop neckline has just the right amount of the width and depth for me.
For my next one I decided to lower the bust dart by 1″. This modification didn’t turn out as planned but I think this is due to the shifty, fluid rayon crepe that I used. As you can see, it’s well below where it needs to be. It’s still wearable and not THAT far off (but kinda). It’s still wearable but I learned my lesson to pay closer attention to the the different substrates before making changes to the pattern.
I paired this Gemma with my new No Sweatpants and a refashioned-shirt-turned-smock. I really love this outfit.
The No Sweatpants were a quick sew and I’ve been wearing them a lot since finishing them. I made a size Medium, but cut off about 6″ from the bottom so that they’d be more cropped. I made them out of a rayon spandex and they are so comfortable!
The last one miiiiight be my favorite, but I’m not totally willing to commit to that yet. You guys, I LOVE double cloth. It allows me to do what I love most with garment-making: Color block!!!! I also really like it because it’s so breathable and light in the summer but has this amazing, cozy texture after it’s washed. I think this will look really pretty with a blazer and scarf this fall and winter.
This fabric does get a little smaller after you wash it, but I ordered exactly what the pattern called for and I had enough to cut everything out even after I pre-washed it.
I decided to stick to my guns and keep the dart lowered by 1″ and it worked much better with this similar fabric. The dart is hitting me perfectly on this final version.
I also decided to play with the print and changed the direction of the stripes at the shorten/lengthen line. I think it adds a little more interest to the top and I love it so much. I did the bindings a bit different on this one and used a 1.5″ bias strip to do a double fold binding.
I hope you have some fun summer sewing plans…..and that they include lots of tank tops!
Disclosure: By participating in this blog tour, I was provided the Gemma Tank pattern by Indiesew at no cost; however, the opinions stated above are my own.