Working with this pattern really drove home how dramatically fabric choices can affect the fit and overall look of a pattern.
Believe it or not, this is my third iteration of the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studios. My first version was bordering on disastrous. I made it out of a lovely, floaty rayon challis from Stevie Saint Fabrics (beautiful fabric, I may try to salvage it, or get more for another try). But I didn’t account for the fact that rayon is a slippery little bugger, and that it will stretch out with handling and hanging (and yes, I forgot to stay stitch, big mistake). So when I finished it all up, the neckline was scandalously low. It is still salvagable for winter layering, and I might keep it around for that.
My second attempt was much more successful, and I will blog it here eventually 🙂 That one I made with a swiss dot chambray from Michael Levine. The fabric behaved beautifully and the fit was great. But, I used a storebought bias binding to finish the neckline and armholes, and the binding was stiffer than my main fabric. As a result, that tank sits a little funny in the neckline. But I still wear it quite a bit 🙂
This tank, however, was the perfect combination of pattern and fabric! My fabric is a gorgeous, floaty double gauze from Imagine Gnats (similar). I didn’t have enough fabric to use my double gauze for binding, and I wasn’t about to repeat my earlier mistake and use storebought bias binding. So instead, I opted for a very moveable fabric, and used strips of white bamboo jersey knit to finish the neckline and armholes of this top.
And it worked like a dream! The knit is soft on my skin and moves and stretches with the main fabric of my top. Therefore, no pinching and the neckline sits perfectly!
I’ve fiddled around with a few different woven tank patterns (Eucalypt and Wiksten) with okay (Eucalypt) to horrendous (Wiksten) results. I had high hopes with the Tiny Pocket Tank because, unlike many woven tank patterns out there, it has a bust dart. My girls may not be the biggest on the block, but I firmly believe that those of us with anything bigger than an A cup benefit greatly from the shaping we get with a dart.
I was not disappointed! Once I got my fabric figured out, the pattern fit great with no adjustments. Not even for my sloping shoulders — maybe Grainline patterns take that into account?? Come to think of it, I’ve never had to make that adjustment with Grainline.
I did raise the neckline on this tank by about an inch, so I do think that the tank as drafted is just really low-cut, at least on me. I’m very happy I made that change and will continue to make it on all my Tiny Pocket Tanks. I have some plum double gauze sitting in my stash for another Tiny Pocket Tank. Now that I know the tricks, I’ll sew that up so I can wear it before summer is out!
Cost: $12 USD
Fabric: Pink dot double gauze from Imagine Gnats. The pink is sold out, but she still has a great selection of double gauzes that would make beautiful tanks!.
Difficulty: Adventurous beginner.
Techniques required: Fitting and alterations if needed, topstitching.
Modifications: I raised the neckline about an inch. Otherwise, none.
Fit: Really, really good once I got my fabric situation figured out. The neckline and armholes lay nice and flat, and I love having the bust dart for some shaping.
Pattern Format: PDF. Jen from Grainline is in the process of releasing all her patterns in paper, but currently this one is still only available in PDF. If you’re a paper-only person, just give it some time.
- Easy construction. I’m all about more complicated garments, but sometimes a simple sew is really nice.
- Bust darts give shaping to what would otherwise be a fairly shapeless tank. They also help give a good fit.
- Great wardrobe staple.
- The neckline is really low, at least on me. I raised it by an inch and it’s still about as low as I would want it. It does cover my bra at least, but I couldn’t go any lower.
Overall Grade: A+. I love wearing tanks in the summer. Ah, who am I kidding? I wear tanks year round, and just throw a sweater or jacket over them in the winter. I’ve been searching for a well-fitting woven tank almost since I started sewing women’s clothing, and am thrilled to finally find it!