tank top

Flowy Tank Top and Me Made May

Do you follow along with Me Made May at all? It’s a challenge to wear something handmade everyday for the month of May. I’ve done it before, but honestly, I’ve rarely committed to wearing solely handmade the rest of the year. My body has changed a lot over the years (hello, five kids will do that to a girl ;) and I’ve gotten rid of many handmade that just didn’t fit my body well anymore. This year, I shared in my Instagram Stories about how I decided to wear almost completely handmade this May, so that I can really see the holes in my wardrobe and finally commit to a handmade wardrobe. 

Of course, there are a few caveats: I only have one or two pairs of handmade pants that fit my body well now. That’s on the list of things to sew, but obviously they’re a little more time consuming, and this season of my life has been all about quick sews. I also don’t currently have any handmade pajamas.

Since I’m home with my boys all day, homeschooling and doing all the mom things, I wear a lot of knit shirts. I’ve already discovered that I need to sew a few more short sleeved T-shirts, since that’s what I tend to wear the most.

This tank top and cardigan have been in regular rotation for awhile. The cardigan is a free pattern here on the blog from awhile back, and I wear it several times a week.

The tank top is a modified version of this free dress pattern from last summer. I cut the back yoke on the fold instead of adding the keyhole to the back, and I actually love it even more than the keyhole version! Plus, it’s really fast.

I had a remnant from Joann’s that I absolutely loved and have been hoarding for awhile now, and it was the perfect size for this top.

The fabric is flowy and super comfy, though the color hasn’t held up incredibly through many washes, which is a bummer. I think I made this one at the end of last summer, but never blogged about it, so it’s been worn quite a lot already.

The thing I love the most about Me Made May is that it challenges me to look closely at my wardrobe. Even though I’ve been making myself clothes for years, all the body changes have made it difficult to fully commit to a mostly handmade wardrobe. But maybe this is the year?? You can follow me on Instagram to see all my handmades this month.

If you make your own clothes, how’s your handmade wardrobe coming along? Happy sewing, friends!

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Surfer Tank – FREE tank top pattern!

Today I’m over at Our Chez Nous, helping Julie celebrate Boy Sewing Week! We all know how much I love sewing for boys, so I couldn’t pass this one up. Head over there to hear my thoughts on summer wear for boys. And as part of Boy Sewing Week, I have a free tank top pattern to share! The Surfer Tank is available in sizes 3-6. While it’s drafted for boys, you may find it appropriate for your girls too!Surfer Tank

The Surfer Tank is a pretty quick sew. I sewed these three tanks, as well as the three pairs of shorts in the picture, in a day and a half (while somehow managing to not ignore my children in the process ;)

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It’s been pretty warm lately, with a few really HOT and humid days, so my boys have been in need of some more tank tops.

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For this pattern, you’ll want to use a knit fabric that isn’t super thin. While that’s comfortable to wear, that can make the binding trickier to sew, so I don’t recommend it. Because the tank is a slightly looser fit, you can use a knit that has between 10-30% stretch. You can use ribbing for the bindings, but I like to use a fabric that’s similar to what the tank is made of.

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Are you so excited to sew a Surfer Tank?! :)

Download your FREE Surfer Tank Pattern here

1.Cut out the front and back of the tank top – these will use the same pattern piece, but the front of the tank will use the lower neckline.

2. Put the front and back pieces right side together. Sew the shoulders together.

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3. Sew down the side seams.

4. Cut out the binding pieces. Measure around the armscye/neckline. Take 85% of that number to get the length of your binding. The stretch of the fabric should go lengthwise. (If your fabric is super stretchy or a lot stretchier than the main fabric, you may have to use 80%) Each piece should be 1 1/4in. wide. Take the bindings pieces and fold them right sides together, sewing the short ends together.

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5. With right sides together, pin the binding to the armscye/neckline. You will slightly stretch the binding.

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6. Serge or zig-zag the fabrics together.

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7. If you are not using a coverstitch, you will bring the binding to the wrong side of the dress, folding the raw edge under. Use a double needle to stitch it in place.

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If you are using a coverstitch, it’s not necessary to fold the raw edge under.

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Repeat these steps with both armholes and the neckline.

8. Hem the bottom of the tank top using a 1/2in. hem.

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And show off those pipes!!

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My boys are ready for summer fun in their Surfer Tanks!

Download your FREE Surfer Tank pattern here

Striped Birthday Tank

Boy number three turned four yesterday. To celebrate, I made him a striped tank.

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The tank is self-drafted and upcycled from an XL men’s tank top.

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The stripes on this tank are so rad. I love finding t-shirts on clearance to use as fabric, because sometimes you can find some fabulous prints that you can’t find elsewhere.

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Tanks are quick and easy; I made this one in less than 20 minutes – including a serger re-thread!

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He loves this tank so much, he insisted on sleeping in it as well. Point one for mama-made!

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I used ribbing for the neckline and coverstitched the armholes. You can get this same effect with a double needle.striped tank 8
I love four. When they’re really out of toddler-hood, but not quite a kid. You can reason with them, but they still curl in your lap and need you to kiss their owies. So perfect. :)

Happy sewing, friends!

 

Striped Tanks

I’ve been trying to beef up my boys’ summer wardrobes. My oldest has grown out of most of last year’s shirts, and my almost two-year-old doesn’t have quite as many hand-me-downs as his older brother did. These boys are pretty tough on their clothes.DSC_0345

So I sewed up a couple tanks. Similar to this tank and this one I made last year.DSC_0385This one even uses the same fabric.DSC_0353The neckline ended up a little big on this neon one [um, neon stripes?! love.] But it’s still wearable. Just a little breezier… ;)DSC_0329This one started out as a T-shirt, but my boy had other plans. He asked for a tank top with a pocket. Well, how could I deny this adorable face?DSC_0397I may have a slight stripe obsession. Maybe. I’m not admitting anything.

The Slim Fit Tank

The weather around here is not quite summer… or even spring, really. But eventually summer will come, and a certain four and a half year old doesn’t have any tanks.

Well, thank you Kids Clothes Week Challenge, we now have the first tank of the season.

This is a self-drafted pattern [that I’m hoping to make available to you soon!] that I’m dubbing the Slim Fit Tank. It reminds me of the tanks from the late 70s/early 80s. The hubs even said, “I wore shirts like that when I was little” when he saw it.

*Edited: I originally called it the Throwback Tank, but then I remembered Rae’s Flashback Tee, and suddenly my name sounded like a cheap knockoff. And no one likes a copycat. ;)

The shirt is made of a striped jersey knit that I’m kind of in love with (purchased from fabric.com but no longer available), with the ribbing up cycled from two different tees.

It’s perfect for my super skinny dude.

Yes, yes, there will be more Slim Fit Tanks in my future. And goofy four-year-old photo shoots.

Linking up to:

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The Southern Institute