We had a ridiculously warm May up here in the Puget Sound region–quite a few days that were 80+–which meant that I spent at least a week trawling through Pinterest for tank-tops. Mostly I wear pretty simple scoop neck knit tanks in the summer, but I decided to branch out this year and develop a pattern for a few dressier tanks. I found this Anthropologie layered tank (maybe from last year? not really sure when this came out). There are quite a few variations of it around, but I love the fitted bust with the ease through the waist, and also the potential for mixing very different fabrics.
It's a pretty simple design, although interestingly I can't tell from any of the pics if it has bust darts. At any rate, I scrabbled around online looking for a likely pattern to hack and finally decided on Burda 4/2013/109.
There are quite a few tank patterns that could easily work for this adaptation, but I liked this one because:
- it has bust darts that angle down, which means it's quite fitted through the bust but then flows loosely after that
- it already has narrowed shoulders and a slightly scooped neck, making it easy to shape the straps for the tank and to scoop out the neck just a bit more
- it has the option for a side zipper
This was an easy pattern to play around with, and I made the following adjustments:
- shoulder straps connecting the front and back of the tank; the straps are 5″ long and 3/4″ wide.
- scooped out the neck approximately 1 1/2″ from the pattern
- retained the split back neck even though the Anthropologie tank closes this up
- didn't bother with the back button or the side zip–this slips on over my head without any closures needed
Here's what I ended up with for the first time around:
Not too bad, really! The floral is a quilting cotton I bought years and years ago (actually, one of the very first purchases I made during my annual trips to Osgood Fabrics in Springfield, MA). I never use quilting cottons for apparel, but this is a pretty fine grade cotton and since this was just a muslin I decided to go with it. The “underlay” is a navy voile that was also in my stash. The side view shows how stiff the floral cotton is:
It's okay, but when I do this again it will be in a drapier fabric–likely a rayon challis or voile.
The best part of this top, though, is the back–so fun!
I love the back in the original tank, but I split the top on this one so that I could slip it over my head.
You can create the underlay by just cutting two of the front and back, joining them around the top, and then flipping the “underlay” to the inside, like a lining. I didn't do that, though, because my underlay piece is a dark blue voile and I didn't want it to show through around the edges. Instead, I simply created a facing and then joined the navy voile about part way down the bust and part way down the back (but, obviously, before the split in the back). The only remotely tricky part here is to remmber that you need to join the underlay right side to wrong side. If you join right side to right side then the seam allowance will show where the underlay peeks out at the bottom.
I'll probably make two or three more versions of this–it's a really easy tank to sew and to wear. On future versions, though, I'll need to remember to stay-stitch the neck and armholes, even out the front and back facings so that the underlay can be evenly attached all the way around, lengthen the underlay so that a bit more of it shows underneath, and try joining the top back of the tank and see if I can still wear it that way without a closing. I might also add 3/8″ back to the front armscye, just so it doesn't cut in quite so sharply. Drapier fabrics would also be fun, or perhaps even mixing a woven overlay with a knit underlay. Seems like a good way to use up all those half-yard pieces of light knit I have floating around!