Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Everyday Tank

I have wanted to sew my own clothes for several years now. I always have some sort of excuse, but it really boils down to the fact that 3-D sewing (especially sewing clothes!) scares me!

Everyday Tank by Indygo Junction sewn with Art Gallery fabric

My BQF (best quilty friend) Heather, is always sewing the cutest clothes, and she makes it look so easy! This month's Aurifil Artisan challenge is to sew something seasonal. That combined with our upcoming summer vacation was just the motivation I needed to dive in and attempt getting over my fear of clothes-making!

A few weeks ago, I met Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival and bought several shirt patterns. (Did you see the Craft Industry Alliance's report on how Prym Consumer USA bought the Indygo Junction pattern company?) I bought the Everyday Tank, the Raglan Top, and the Gathered Back Top & Tunic. (All available on their website.)

Patterns by Indygo Junction

Also at the KCRQF, I bought two different fabrics from other vendors at the show to use for making the Everyday Tank pattern. I felt like that would be the easiest one to start with since it didn't have sleeves - and it would be perfect to have some tanks to wear on our summer vacation!

Riley Blake knit and Art Gallery cotton

One fabric was a knit by Riley Blake Designs from the "On Trend" collection. (I LOVE this fabric!! It is getting hard to find! But I did find it still on Etsy!) (I may be hoarding some of this fabric in the quilting cotton weight too...)

The other was a quilting cotton fabric: Nightfall by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I did not want to risk messing up my good fabrics, so I wanted to make a muslin first. I was given a box of yards and yards and yards of muslin fabric, so I didn't have any qualms about using it up for this!

Instead of cutting out my tissue pattern, I used a Sharpie on the lines I wanted to cut. The Sharpie soaked through the tissue paper and onto the fabric. It worked better than I expected!

Making a muslin test shirt

I only cut out the front and back pieces of the tank, stay-stitched (new to-me term!) the neckline, and sewed the side and shoulder seams for the muslin. It only took about 10 minutes to make! And I used up some random leftover Aurifil on bobbins too! (I put a bobbin as my top thread too.)

Making a muslin test shirt

My first attempt was too small around my middle. So I made some notes about what I liked and didn't, and tried again.

The first muslin test shirt was a bit small

The second muslin was better, but I still wanted to tweak a couple things.

The second muslin test shirt still needed tweaking

Third time's a charm!

Three muslin test shirts before sewing the real deal

I decided to make the knit version first. Knit is usually a forgiving fabric since you can just stretch it a bit to go where you want. It also doesn't fray!

Riley Blake knit for the Everyday Tank

Did I mention I don't have a serger?? And my main sewing machine doesn't do zig-zag stitches either (it's straight stitch only). This is why I started with the no-fray knit fabric - I wouldn't have to worry about the raw edges being exposed on the inside of the shirt!

Tracing the pattern

I chose 50wt Aurifil #2783 Medium Delft Blue to sew this one together.

Aurifil thread

Instead of adding bias tape to the hemline, I just folded the raw edge under and top-stitched it in place.

Hemming the Everyday Tank

The final shirt is fantastic!! It's just what I wanted!

Everyday Tank in Riley Blake knit fabric

I actually finished this shirt a couple weeks ago and have been wearing it a LOT! It's super comfortable and is great for the hot summer days we've been having!

Everyday Tank by Indygo Junction made with knit fabric

Next up was the less forgiving quilting cotton version.

I followed the same pattern lines that I had used for the knit version - with one small deviation. The pattern has the back piece cut in two pieces with a seam down the middle. I decided to trace the pattern piece on the fabric's fold line (minus the seam allowance) so I wouldn't have to sew that seam.

I used 50wt Aurifil #5008 Sugar Paper for this one. I thought about a light pink, but decided I better stick with something that blends in better in case I messed up!

Aurifil thread and Art Gallery fabric

When sewing the side and shoulder seams, the pattern suggests zig zagging the fabric edges so it doesn't fray. I thought about it for awhile, and came up with something better! After I sewed each seam, I folded the raw edge under and top stitched it down. This secured the raw edges and made a really nice finished look on the inside of the tank.

Finishing the inside seams
Finishing the inside seams

And it also added a subtle design element to the right side of the shirt. It's a small detail that makes the tank feel fancy! (See how well the thread blends in?!)

Seams with stitching detail

I made bias tape for the arm holes, neckline, and bottom hem. This was just like sewing single-fold binding onto a quilt! Once I figured that out, it was much easier for me to do!

Adding bias tape hems

This second version turned out just as great as the first!

Everyday Tank by Indygo Junction made with Nightfall fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics

I am so very excited to have two new shirts to wear on our upcoming vacation!

Everyday Tank by Indygo Junction made with Nightfall fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics

My goals for the tank were 1: comfortable and 2: hide my lingering and oddly shaped post-baby belly. I definitely succeeded with both!

I already have the fabric for another Everyday Tank, as well as a couple other shirts too. I'm hopeful that I'll have several more 3-D sewing finishes to share with you in the next few months!

Everyday Tank pattern by Indygo Junction

So many of the skills I use in quilting were also what I needed for this! I realized I know and can do much more than I think I can! 

It sure seems to put a little extra pep in my step when I'm wearing something I made myself!

Everyday Tank by Indygo Junction made with Nightfall fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics

Have you sewn your own clothes recently??

Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday and Put Your Foot Down.

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  1. Your shirts look great. Sewing for post baby and post menopausal bodies is tough. Glad you made the muslins so your final tops would be perfect!

  2. Both of these tops look great! I haven't sewn any clothes in a long time, but I did buy a pattern and fabric a few years ago so I could.

  3. Cute tops, wonderful job on both. I love Indygo Junction. To help cover raw edges on seams consider using Flat Felled seams, like on jeans, or French Seams. Alas, I haven't sewn clothing for me in ages, and not for my girls since they were little.

  4. Nice. If the tank wells well you can modify it a little more as baby grows and even add some sleeves for this fall. I've never sewn my own cloths just coats. To be honest, I rarely mend cloths, lol. Thank you for linking up with me today.

  5. You did a great job and you were so smart to trace the lines onto your fabric!! When I was in school, 7th-12th grades, I made most of my own clothes. 7th-9th grades, my dad went to law school in a neighboring state (driving home every weekend) and we were supporting two households on a school teacher's salary!! Money was tight and it was much less expensive for me to make my own clothes. I also made lots of dresses for my daughters when they were young. Now, I pretty much stick with quilts!! I may have to consider making clothes again.

  6. Your tanks look awesome, I really like the knit fabric! I used to sew a lot for me and the kids when there were little then they grew up and wanted store bought clothes. I still make jackets for me but nothing else clothingwise.

  7. Congrats on expanding your sewing skills. Both tops looks great! I gave up sewing clothes because the patterns just didn't fit well, and I actually threw out several projects in disgust. (This was years ago....) Now my heart lies in quilting and I hate to carve out time for any other sewing! Have a fun vacation!

  8. Your new tops are adorbs, Laura!!! Great patience in making muslins first, until you got the fit you wanted. Have a breezy vacay in your new wardrobe!!!

  9. Your tops look great, Laura! I agree with Nancy, that you had a lot of patience, making three muslins first until you got the fit you liked. I used to sew clothing, but never enjoyed it. I'm tempted now and again to give it another go, but not fully persuaded yet. I do enjoy seeing what others are making, and your tops are no exception! They look perfect for our hot summer days!

  10. Wonderful sewing! I went the other direction...from clothes to quilts. Don't want to spend my time making clothes anymore. But I do make pajama bottoms for the grandsons.

  11. It kind of amazed me, too, how much our quilting skills can transfer to clothes making. It shouldn't be that surprising, though, since both are sewing. Your tanks look fabulous on you!

  12. It looks great. I like how you sewed the raw edges under. Great idea.

  13. I need to do that too. As I got older I got bustier so clothing patterns do not fit. Their darts do not head to where they should (too high up) and clothing shopping is just SO frustrating! Adjusting patterns isn't easy either.


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