Summer is coming. Well, it should be anyway…
(was it really only in the 40s in Chicago and northern Indiana last week?)
And you probably want to make your little one a tank top. Or yourself. So you head over to your computer to check out the selection of PDF patterns for tanks….
Okay, so you can buy a new pattern. I like new patterns and have made patterns, and have friends who make patterns.
But you don’t have to buy a new pattern just to make a tank top.
You can draft a tank top from any t-shirt pattern.
I used the Birdsong Not-So-Basic Tee pattern to draft mine from (yeah, I know, shameless plug, but it’s a good pattern, I promise!).
First – it helps to have made the pattern before, so you know what needs to be altered.
And then – be willing to make a test tank top from your altered pattern. I’d call it a “muslin” but that sounds too woven to me, and this is knit fabric ….
…so “test tank top” it is. Use old fabric, fabric you don’t like, new inexpensive fabric, or an old shirt. Just don’t use your new, fancy, more expensive fabric until you like the pattern you’ve re-drafted.
I wanted a scoop neck on my tank top, and my pattern doesn’t have a scoop neck.
So I used a french curve (a special ruler with a curve; the link is from my Amazon affiliate) to draw a lower neckline and make it a little wider as well (first photo, though I adjusted the curve so it’s more gentle at the shoulder area than here).
Next, I decreased the width of the shoulders and dropped the armscye (armhole) because my daughter wanted “loose sleeves.”
To make sure both the front and back bodice shoulders met after the changes, I transferred the changes onto pattern paper and traced them onto the back bodice pattern piece.
After making the changes to the pattern, I tested it, and realized I didn’t like the large armscyes…(see how droopy they are?). The Birdsong pattern has fairly “close” armscyes at the bottom of the curve, so could have been kept as they were drawn in the original pattern. Most aren’t, though, and in general the armscye needs to move up when making a switch to sleeveless.
Learned my lesson – for women’s patterns, the adjustment upward could be about an inch, according to Maris of Maris Sews. (thanks Maris!)
So I re-drew the armscyes and the final pattern worked great for my daughter!
With just a little bit of work and testing, it’s easy to draft a tank top from any t-shirt pattern. And…if you’re like me…that test tank top never goes to waste.
…my daughter and I going to tie dye it together. 🙂
Deanna McCool writes for SewMcCool.com. To make sure you don’t miss any fun tutorials, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! 🙂