A couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed to sew some clothing right away. This happens to me when I have been dealing with fiddly quilt blocks or need a palette refresher. It seems so satisfying in those moments to cut up large pieces of fabric and sew them back together. Anyhow, I had purchased the Willow Tank Dress pattern by Grainline Studios in the hopes that it would help fill a tank top sized hole in my summer wardrobe. Spoiler alert: it did.
The pattern consists of four pieces – a front, a back and bias strips for the neck and armholes. The sewing is very easy – the directions are clear and concise, plus if you are in any doubt of what to do, there is a sew-along for the pattern that includes bust adjustments and lengthening/shortening instructions. I jumped in without making a muslin because I felt comfortable that I would be a size 12 with the only modification being adding length (2" to be exact).
This worked and then it didn't. My first version (on the left above) was made out of a piece of Nani Iro double gauze that I purchased while in Minneapolis/St. Paul years ago. (The print has been reissued – you can snag it at Miss Matatabi!) I've had it in my stash, waiting for the right pattern as it wasn't big enough to make a skirt or something with sleeves. It's really a miracle that I hadn't cut it up and made a quilt. But back to business…that willow tank fits me pretty well. I didn't make a bust adjustment and I am a C or D cup depending on the bra. The added 2" of length put the hem at the perfect spot and it just skims my hips. The double gauze is soft and floaty and has a little bit of give to it. The second version was sewn the same way – size 12, 2" added for length – but it is a little tight in the bust. I think the difference in fit is down to the fabric choice. The blue floral is a Robert Kaufman lawn and it was a dream to sew up. I love the drape and the weight, but it is a tightly woven fabric that doesn't have the give that double gauze does. I could have gone up a size or done a bust adjustment and had a better fit, but oh well. I will still wear it with the one bra in my drawer that makes it passable.
As I tend to do when I find a pattern I like, I have visions of more, more, more Willow Tanks in my closet. There is even a dress version that I am anxious to try. You can probably guess where this is going…I have ordered more of that delightful Nani Iro double gauze and am hoping to whip a few more of these up as soon as I have two hours to spare.
Also, props to Jane for the photo. I am finally getting the hand of these modeled shots – she gives good direction. 😉