Summer temperatures have officially come to Portland, and I’ve developed a need for clothes that don’t cling to me at all. I don’t like the feeling of snug t-shirts and tops when it’s warm out. I want something that’s airy and breezy so that I feel like I can breathe.
I’ve needed new summer clothes for… 3 years? I like to wear things until they quite literally fall apart. I recently went thru my wardrobe and got rid of anything that that was in sad condition or that I didn’t love. Everyone has staples in their closet that they reach for over and over, and I’ve found that mine tend to be looser fitting garments made of thin fabrics, so that I can layer them.
I’ve seen a lot of Wiksten tanks online, and I really liked the idea of a flowy woven tank top. However, I wanted one that was bit slimmer thru the sides, and that had side bust darts. I needed a pattern that would come in under my bustline ever so slightly, because woven tops that fall straight off of my bust tend to make me look 10 pounds heavier. It’s not really a look I’m in to. I also have narrow shoulders and a prominent back hip line (baby’s got back, y’all), so a sway back adjustment is almost always necessary for me. I knew that if I purchased the pattern, I’d spend the same amount of time making a muslin and adjusting it than I would if I just used my basic 2-dart bodice block to make my own pattern. It didn’t take much time at all, and I’ve been wearing my results nearly every week.
I chose a lightweight Anna Maria Horner voile from Modern Domestic because I couldn’t resist the fabric print. It’s also nice that I can wash this top, and after putting it out on the clothesline in the sun for about 10 minutes, it’s completely dry….. so I can put it right back on. I made a trip to Bolt and picked up another lovely voile from Amy Butler, and this is now my favorite version.
I kept the curved hem of the original inspiration pattern. This hem is great because it doesn’t have to be quite the circumference of my hips, because the side seam is short enough to rise above the hip line. This also helps so that I could add a bit more shaping to the side seams of the top. The side dart worked perfectly to add a bit of shaping to the front of the shirt.
I have two tiny darts on my pattern back (at the shoulder seams) to accomodate my rounded shoulders. Usually a pattern such as this would have some gaping around the armholes or back neckline because of my shoulders, but I was able to eliminate that because my patterns are made for my body. When I have correct posture, this top also falls down my back well, and I don’t have any fabric pooling above my hips.
Would you be interested in learning more about making patterns for a few simple garments from basic blocks or slopers?
UPDATE: You can find the instructions for making this tank top for yourself here!