Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cool Summer Tank

Perhaps the most versatile and well-loved pieces of our summer wardrobe is the tank top. We see them everywhere! They are made in every conceivable color and in a wide variety of styles. Historically, the sleeveless shirt had been worn by both men and women, and really started out as an undershirt or an athletic top.

Showing arms for women is verboten in some parts of the world. Those who travel know that you can't even step into a church in Europe with your shoulders bared. But yay for us, we live in California, and all manner of sleeveless tops and tanks are considered acceptable attire for our warmer climate.

But have you noticed that as we women get older, we tend to get a little sensitive about our upper arms, especially if we're not very dedicated at those pesky biceps curls! We loved Bette Midler's mermaid character tweaking her extended underarm in the air with a "how old of a woman do you think I am?" Wry wit.

But as some of you get to "enjoy" that 100+ California heat, 
we say let those arms show and make yourself a tank top! 

For our tank, we chose Burda Easy's Top #7645.

The fabric that I chose was a popular silk knit, evidently, as all that was left of the entire bolt was a 7/8 yard remnant.  But what better way to utilize a small piece of fabric than to make a tank? Plus, it's good to know that at Stonemountain, we love remnants.  Nothing goes to waste around here, so you can find the nicest fabrics in our remnant bins!

Laurel also wanted to make a tank for herself.  She choose a heavier Lycra and poly double knit, just because she loved the black and white graphic print. This knit has a two-way stretch and could even be used for making a great swimsuit as well! ( After sewing on this fabric,  Laurel reports that the fabric is totally a swimsuit fabric, and if she'd figured that out earlier, she'd have a nice little "tankini" top for pool-side lounging!)

Making my tank out of this lightweight knit was a lot easier than the heavier knit Laurel chose.  Our Burda top called for a folded fabric strip to be sewn to the neck and armhole edges, and then turned to the inside and stitched down.  However, we finished off the edges with a decorative edging of sorts, letting the fabric strip frame the neck and armholes.

Laurel's double knit was much too heavy to use an extra layer of fabric, so she created a facing which followed the contours of the neck and armhole edges, then attached it. Trimming these curved seams is very important for the top to lay correctly...not to mention removing bulk from the garment.

Turning the facings and stitching them down keeps the facings in place.  Laurel allowed a tiny edge of the facing to show, for added interest. She had to stitch the facing in place with two rows of stitching.

The second row of stitching is in the "ditch" of the facing edge.
No serging needed on this fabric - just trim the edges.

Both of our summer tanks turned out great 
and will be a welcome addition to our summer wardrobes.  
Bring on the heat!!

This tank top will be perfect to take with me on my buying trip to New York city this Friday!
It's been a while since I was able to go to visit my friends in the garment district...
What should I buy for you? What are you looking for?

Creatively Yours,


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