Is there anything more luxurious than a silk tank? It's easy to wear and comfortable for hot weather, but instantly dressy enough for most any occasion. You generally have to go pretty high end to find silk in RTW, like this Cynthia Rowley Printed Silk Tank ($275).
Mine was a little easier on the wallet. I got this silk print from Fabric Mart for $9.99/yd several years ago. I made it into Vogue 2858, but I never got much wear out of the dress. It had a dropped waist which just does.not.work for me, and I made it when I was still learning fitting (well, I'm still learning--I guess I mean earlier in the journey) and it was slightly too tight at the ribcage; I was afraid a deep breath would split the fabric.
So after years of not wearing it, I finally took it apart and salvaged the fabric from the skirt. I had just enough to make this top (the hem is a serger rolled hem because I didn't have enough length for a real hem).
In my previous iteration of this top, I used a self-bias tape to bind the neckline and armscye edges. For this one I decided to finish with foldover elastic. Who says it's only for knits?
To start, I staystitched the neckline and armscye. I was happy with the neckline where it lay in its raw state, so I stitched just a little in from the edge (retaining the seam allowance in the final garment).
For the armscye, I staystitched at 1/2 inch, 1/8 inch shy of the 5/8 inch seam allowance. This was to prevent stretching and to mark my line for seger finishing.
Serge both the neckline and armscye to prevent fraying.
When I went to Golden D'Or in Dallas over the winter holidays, I was hoping they would have foldover elastic. They had some, but the choices were kind of weird and the only thing that appealed to me was this black and copper elastic. When contemplating this tank top, I thought it would be perfect.
When I showed my sweetheart tee finished with FOE, Country Girl Couture asked that I share my two-step process for application. My previous attempt to apply FOE by sandwiching the edge of the fabric had been a disaster. Maybe I don't pin well enough, but the odds of me catching the fabric were about even with not catching. So here's what I do instead.
First, stitch the FOE to the wrong side by putting the FOE underneath the right side up the fabric, against the machine bed/feed dogs, keeping the fold at the edge. This was kind of difficult as the fold was not easy to see on this particular FOE. It's more obvious on most, I think.
If I had been doing this for a knit, I would have used a wide zigzag here, but since I didn't need any stretch I just used a straight stitch.
Here's the view from the wrong side (you can see the right side with overhanging elastic here).
The next part is really easy. Just fold the elastic over to the right side and stitch in place.
For a knit, I would use a narrower zigzag and stretch the elastic slightly as I sewed (just because a narrower zigzag looks nicer, in my opinion).
I had a bit of a tough time getting an accurate straight stitch on this pass; the stitch wanders a bit. I think I would have done better with an edgestitching foot and adjusted needle position.
It makes a nice and easy finish without too much bulk. So think outside knits for FOE--it's a great substitute for bias trim.
Here's the finished elastic from the inside.
Because I was sewing with silk, I used French seams throughout. The only exposed edge is at the hem, where (as mentioned) I finished with a serger rolled hem due to lack of length in the fabric.
As in the previous version, I left off the zipper. The top easily pulls over the head.
You can see that my only real issue with this top is that the print is slightly offset at the CB seam. I didn't have enough fabric to match it exactly.
I had in mind to bring this top to keep at work to match a suit I have there. Right now, I don't have a top for under the suit so I'd be sort of stuck if I actually needed to wear it! (I also have about 5 different blazers, enough to match just about anything I might wear.)
But it turned out so cute I don't want to banish it to work! So now I have to figure out a boring top to make that I won't be tempted to keep at home. Heh.
Cidell took the photos for this so there are some great ones! All photos are here and the pattern review is here.