Necklace: Pearl Cluster DIY, $5 materials
Pants: LOFT Gray Cropped Pants, $15 (final sale find!)
I'm going to try another retroactive tutorial with illustrations so please bear with me :) Today's tutorial will focus on how to make a basic tank and then embellish it with a bow ruffle as pictured above.
Instructions after the jump...
To create your own basic tank pattern is rather simple. The first thing you need to do is select an existing tank from your wardrobe that you know fits your body well. Another thing to consider is stretch - if you are using a non-stretch fabric for your tank, make sure the tank you choose to pattern is also non-stretch and vice versa.
Most of the things I make use a non-stretch fabric like cotton broadcloth, chiffon, silky polys (yes I know polys are evil but I'm not confident enough in my sewing skills to buy silks nor do they even sell silks around here) so here I've chosen an old Ann Taylor shell in XS to pattern off of. Fold the tank in half the long way and align the fold with the edge of some tissue paper (or any other large sheet of paper you have around the house).
Trace the outline of the tank from the front and from the back. For the front, make sure you tuck the visible parts of the back in (top photo is untucked and bottom photo is tucked) so that you are getting an accurate tracing for the collar.
Once you've finished tracing, cut out your patterns and you have something that looks like this. Make sure you label them Front and Back to prevent confusion.
When it comes time to cut the fabric, fold the fabric and align your pattern edge (the middle of the shirt) to the fold. Always allow about 1/4" extra for the seam when cutting the fabric.
So that's essentially the basic tank portion after the sides and shoulder have been sewn together and the tank has been hemmed. For finishing the collar and armholes - you can either do it like your hem (fold inwards and stitch) or you can make a facing. A facing is like a mini lining that you sew for collar and armholes so that there is no visible hemming. To make a facing, re-trace your front and back patterns but this time you will only need the top portions as indicated by the red dotted lines below.
Now for the bow ruffle embellishment, you will need to cut the following:
- 2 pieces of 7x7.5"
- 4 pieces of 6x6.5"
- 2 pieces of 6x8"
- 1 piece of 1x5"
For items 1-2, pair up the matching pieces into sets of 2 with right side of the fabric in the middle. Sew three out of the four sides together and flip inside out. This will give you a rectangle with an open top. Do this for all 3 pairs of ruffles.
For item 3, you can essentially do the same as above but you'll want to at least partially sew 3/4 of that open top before you flip it inside out. Then you'll want to blind stitch the rest of the top. Here's a nifty video on how to blindstitch.
For item 4, fold in half and sew the long side. Flip inside out (using a chopstick or something similar).
Time to attach the ruffles! Use item 4 to wrap around item 3 to make a bow. Secure the bow by stitching item 4 into a loop around item 3.
Then affix the bow to the shoulder aligning the middle of the bow to the shoulder seam. Use the rest of item 4 to wrap around the shoulder and stitch in place on the shoulder's underside.
Next it's time to attach your first descending ruffle. Pin it approximately 1 inch beneath the bow and pin in some pleats so that the top will be narrower than the bottom matching the width of the shoulder.
Do the same thing for the remaining 2 ruffles and voila, you're finished!