Monday, July 15, 2013

Split hem tank

Do you have trouble naming your me-made items? I'm not sure why I bother, I guess the only reason is because my blogpost needs a title. This tank is made from 1 metre of Amy Butler cotton. By means of some ingenious piecing of pattern pieces both along and across the grain, I managed to make do with the Amy Butler fabric and didn't have to resort to the contrast fabric as originally planned. Don't mention the dry leaves on the ground, I would rather sew than sweep the yard. And I just noticed that my hair is an awful mess. But never mind all that, just look at the tank top.

The pattern started out as Sorbetto, minus the front pleat. I raised both front and back necklines. Then I followed Grainline's tutorial for a full back adjustment. Not to self: if I have more fabric, I can afford to make it fuller. I didn't have enough length in my fabric so I had to shorten both the front and back bodice pieces. To achieve the much-needed length, I added a hem, cut cross grain, with the front piece shorter than the back because that was all the fabric I had. Let's just call it a design feature. The tank would have looked odd if I had simply sewn the hems onto the bodice pieces, so I borrowed this faux layered hem idea. Are you still with me? Never mind if you're lost, this tank is really a mish-mash of borrowed ideas, born of necessity due to my fabric limitations. Thinking through the various options took way longer time than the actual sewing. But I am glad that everything fell nicely into place and I have a wearable tank.

As my previous blog photographer (my daughter) has flown over land and sea to another continent for further studies, I now have to impose on my son to take photos for me. He's very sweet to oblige even though he is currently at the age where it must be embarrassing to take photos of your mum in the front yard and you can only hope your neighbours are not watching and your friends do not happen to pass by. The faux layered hem doesn't show up well in the photos above due to the busy-ness of the floral print so here's a close up view. In retrospect, I think a contrast hem would have looked more striking. Oh well, there's always next time.

I'm really pleased with the inside (or should it be called the wrong side?) - there are no exposed raw edges. I used french seams and bias binding. I ran out of the dark pink binding so I had to use a peach coloured binding at the hem. As I was not following any pattern, I had to think through the steps myself, which was no mean feat because I'm the plunge right in, sew first, rip later, type. I am writing down the steps below for my own reference should I ever feel the urge to sew something like this again. Since I kinda really like this tank, I might very well sew another one. Although I shouldn't, simply because there are many other lovely patterns that I would like to sew.

  1. Sew darts, shoulder -french seams and sides -french seams
  2. Fold the bottom of the bodice up on wrong side by 1 inch. Pin the hem pieces to the bodice following the faux layered hem tutorial. Hand sew both side edges of the 2 hem pieces. Machine sew the faux layered hem. Bias bind the raw edges of that seam.
  3. Bias bind the neckline, armhole and the bottom edge of the hem pieces. Done!

Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in Heaven
Lamentations 3:41 


  1. Lovely!
    And it's nice to have a garment "finished" on both sides!!! Love these tiny details like french seams and bias binding on unlined tops!

  2. Beautifully sewn and finished top! Love the stylish simplicity of this look...J

  3. This is such a pretty top, wearable and perfect for hot weather. I really like your work on the bias binding. Happy sewing!

  4. What a pretty tank! I really like the unique split hem detail. That's the beauty of sewing for ourselves - we can work with what we have and make it work anyway.