Tank Week: Lago Tank by Itch to Stitch

The Lago Tank is a free digital pattern from Itch to Stitch; grab yours today and follow the tips below for an easy knit summer tank.

Kate’s Take on the Lago

IMG 2967 225x300 Tank Week: Lago Tank by Itch to Stitch

Cotton knit galaxy print

I haven’t had the Lago tank pattern very long, so I’ve only had the chance to make one of them, out of a great galaxy knit I recently found. It’s a very simple pattern — shoulder seams, side seams, neck and arm bands and hem. To get a better fit, I used the very cool feature where you can print only the size line or lines you need to print the size 16 line (for my bust) and the size 20 line (for my hips) and blended them together.

Despite its simplicity, I struggled with this pattern a bit. After stitching my first arm band, I found that it was gaping really badly — I was convinced I had stretched it way too much while sewing. I pulled it out (which was terrible, because I had serged it on) and cut a new band. In the meantime, I did the second arm band very carefully, stretching just enough… and it still gaped. A lot. So, after I redid the first arm band, I put the tank on, grabbed a few safety pins and pinned out the extra fabric in the underarms.

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The red lines indicate the final side seam.

Now, I have a small bust, I admit. Most patterns are sized for a B cup, and I don’t quite meet that requirement. Still, especially since the pattern calls for fabric with 50% to 75% stretch, I didn’t expect to need to take 13” out of the side seams in order for it to fit my body — 3 1/4” on both sides of each piece. I marked the seam I ended up using on the pattern for future use; you can see a photo of the markings at left. Once I made that alteration, the pattern fits very well and I like it a lot. I’m not quite sure why it’s patterned so the sides are so very loose, though.

Even so, I do recommend this pattern as a basic tank, especially since it’s free, provided that you’re willing and able to make a few alterations to the tank and then the pattern (you don’t have to do the latter, but it does make reusing the pattern easier). I like the neckline — it’s low enough for summer, but not so low that I feel exposed. The racerback isn’t too severe; I can wear it with a regular bra. I like how it fits loose and long, though if that’s not your style, this pattern probably isn’t for you. I, at least, do plan to make a few more of these in the coming months.

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lago with contrast pocket

Amanda’s Take on the Lago

I had similar fit issues with this pattern. I cut a size 12, which is down from my usual size, based on the measurements provided. The 12 still seemed large on me, so I very unscientifically stitched the side seams in until the tank fit. I’m a stickler for neckband length, and I’m happy to say that this one seemed about perfect – just the right amount of stretch to support but not create wrinkles in the neckline. I picked a fairly standard (aka boring!) heather grey jersey – it’s laguna knit from Robert Kaufman which is probably my favorite jersey! To spice things up, I added a contrast pocket and left the hem raw (after cutting 2″ off the bottom – the tank was almost a tank dress on me!). Like Kate, I’m a fan of the neckline height and the slight racerback effect in the back. Now to remember if I prewashed this fabric or not…I suppose I’ll find out soon when I wash it! I think I’ll probably make this tank again and I recommend it, especially if you’re willing to make a muslin first.

 Tank Week: Lago Tank by Itch to Stitch
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Tank Week: Ella Top by Liola Patterns

My love for the Ella Top by Liola Patterns is, at this point, well documented. That’s what happens when you make a pattern 5 times.

This tank pattern was probably my first tried-and-true basics pattern. It’s perfect in so many ways, starting with the fact that you can make it with 1 1/3 yards of fabric. The back yoke is faced – perfect for scrap busting and using directional prints in unique ways. The tank sews up nicely in a variety of fabrics, and the french seams keep the insides nice and fresh. The fit is generous and easy – the pleat at the center back offers lots of breathing room. I made several of these while pregnant last summer. My plan was to come in on the side seams but I like the swingy, loose fit. I could literally go on and on and on…but instead, here are my makes!

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stripey linen – probably my most loved!

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quilting cotton with linen back yoke and bias trim

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 Tank Week: Ella Top by Liola Patterns
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Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 2: Adding Inseam Pockets

If you’ve been around the Sew News blog long enough, you know we love a dress with pockets around here! Better yet, a dress that incorporates pockets while staying feminine and flirty and NOT adding bulk. Thank you, Darling Ranges Dress! Pattern designer Megan Nielsen joins us today to cover expert tips for adding inseam pockets and sewing the skirt….almost ready to wear this cute number out! (And if you missed week one, read here for tips on setting the sleeves!)

MN2001 sewalong pockets 1a 200x300 Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 2: Adding Inseam Pockets Today we are going to sew the Darling Ranges dress skirt and inseam pockets. Oh how I love pockets! Personally I think the most important thing about including pockets in a dress or skirt is the order in which you do it. I have a specific order that I like to sew inseam pockets so everything is neat and all the raw edges get finished. Continue reading

 Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 2: Adding Inseam Pockets
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Tank Week: Adventure Tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts

Did you take part in Me Made May this year? I did and one of my personal challenges was to pair my me-mades. I think I’ve finally realized that I prefer mixing knits and wovens together – so knit top and woven pants or vice versa. That’s where the Adventure Tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts comes in handy.Tank Week with pink 12 Tank Week: Adventure Tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts

This pattern is really two great basics in once: a racerback tank and a muscle tank, both of which are perfect for summer. The sizing is quite generous on the pattern – I made a straight Large but could have sized down. Both designs feature a curved hem, are beginner friendly and can be made with as little as a yard of fabric (depending on width) – bonus points! It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine when pattern armhole bands and neck bands are super short, requiring a lot of stretching (and causing potential puckers); I’m happy to report that that is not the case with this pattern. There is some stretching involved but the proportions seem right on. Continue reading

 Tank Week: Adventure Tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts
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Tank Week: Willow Tank by Grainline Studio

Kate’s Take on the Willow

When I saw the Willow tank, I was really excited. It looked like a great, comfortable, standard tank that would work in woven or knit. I ran right out and bought three different fabrics to use this pattern for.

Tank Week with pink 12 Tank Week: Willow Tank by Grainline Studio Continue reading

 Tank Week: Willow Tank by Grainline Studio
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Tank Week is here!

Hi friends! Summertime is in full swing, and that means it’s tank sewing season. Looking for new patterns to try? Join us on the Sew News blog for editor reviews of woven and knit tank patterns all week long. Think shark week, but with 100% less baby seals!

Tank Week with pink 1 Tank Week is here!

 Tank Week is here!
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Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 1: Setting Sleeves

Megan Nielsen headshot 200x300 Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 1: Setting SleevesShirtdresses are one of our favorite summertime makes here at SN HQ. And today, you have many design options, including Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges Dress. In flowy or more structured fabrics, this dress is an indie fave, with its modern yet feminine take on the shirtdress. Grab the pattern and join us for a sew along…starting right now! Today, Megan is sharing her tips for perfect sleeve insertion; next week, we’ll tackle pockets and attaching the skirt. Take it away, Megan!

Today we’re going to be inserting our sleeves in the Darling Ranges dress. We’ll be using the inset sleeve method.

MN2001 sewalong set sleeves 1a 200x300 Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 1: Setting SleevesThis method of sleeve insertion will come in handy when sewing my Darling Ranges dress pattern, Sudley dress and blouse pattern or Dove blouse pattern. In this method, I use a single row of basting stitches, which I sew right on top of when setting the sleeve. Please note that some people prefer to sew two lines of basting stitches, one on either side of the final seam line and still others prefer to skip basting all together, and use strategic pinning to distribute the sleeve cap ease. All of those methods are perfectly valid, and you should choose the one that works best for you.

And if you’re wondering why you need sleeve cap ease at all, the reason is simple: it allows the sleeve to conform to your body better. Most patterns include a lot of sleeve cap ease, anything from 1″ to 2″. To be honest, I think that’s why most people find inserting sleeves challenging and frustrating. Too much sleeve cap ease is a pain to work with and I don’t think there is any benefit in it. For my patterns I prefer to include minimal ease, 1/2″-1″ depending on the pattern. I find it is easier to sew and provides ample room for comfort and movement.

Ready for some sleeve action? Lets do it!  Continue reading

 Darling Ranges Dress Sew Along, Week 1: Setting Sleeves
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