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Jun 24, 2014

Wiksten Tank - It fits!

Jun 24, 2014
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When it comes to sewing garments, I am a complete novice.  I can follow the instructions just fine, but it's getting the right fit that completely baffles me.  I've decided to try up-ing my handmade obsession a notch (from quilts and bags) and try to successfully make some garments for myself.  Wouldn't it be grand to wear stuff you sewed yourself?
To date my attempts have been...... well, attempts...

Confession - I haven't worn my Staple Dress in public. 
And let's not forget the pj pants I made that only fit the babysitter.
Well golly moses, guess what?!?!?  I made a Wiksten tank AND IT FITS!!!  Pure luck.  Yep.  I'm not too proud to say it.  Cristin mentioned she was going to make a few tanks to take on our trip to Sewtopia and I totally jumped on the bandwagon.

I know I'm supposed to make a muslin first.  Like I often do, I jumped right in with this Nicey Jane print that I had lying around prewashed.  Literally.  It was lying on the floor in a puddle in my bedroom, for like 8 months.  I had been ignoring it and the pillowcases I was supposed to make.  But now it's breathed new life...
I knew the tank was supposed to be boxy, so I took a gamble and made an XS.  It fits well in the shoulders and neck.  Perhaps a wee bit tight in the bust.  I'm small on top - but wouldn't normally wear an XS.  Any suggestions how I can make the bust just a little bigger?  This tank was a dry run for the pricey voile I'd like to try next.
Special note:  I actually wore this.  All day.  This same day I had my 7 year old take these photos.  I wore my fancy new top to hike out in the woods with my kids for a nature program about butterflies.  Slightly overdressed for bug spray and woods.  But I felt so dang special in my new tank.  :)
I'm thinking that tops and tanks are a good place to begin learning about how to get the right fit in garment sewing.  I hope I'll be showing you more of these.
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18 comments:

  1. That's adorable! I love your fabric choice. You could add darts to the bust to give yourself a little more room.
    I really want to see the rest of your haircut, the bottom half looks great!

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  2. it doesn't look like there's any shaping to this, so i think the easiest way to make it bigger across the bust the next time you make it is to cut the pattern pieces just under the armholes a bit wider than the pattern you're using. grade down to nothing as the seam progresses. adding a quarter-inch to each seam will add an inch of extra width all around.

    it also looks like you may have stretched the neckline out of shape ever so slightly, which is why it's kind of flopping down. anything cut on the bias (like necklines, armscyes, etc) will stretch as it's handled. you can avoid this by staystitching before you do anything else. just sew a straight line of really small stitching around the neckline just inside the seam allowance. if the pattern calls for a 5/8" allowance, sew your staystitching at 1/2", for example.

    but all in all, great job! i love making clothes for myself. i can make much more interesting things than i'd ever be able to find in stores.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh - THANK YOU SO MUCH for this advice!!! Exactly what I need. I will definitely try your suggestions on my next tank. I had no idea why the neckline was turning down like that. Sounds like a very simple fix. THANK YOU!!

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    2. I haven't heard of staystitching either! Or maybe I just didn't know what it meant. Thanks!

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    3. I was going to say the same, I also used smaller seam allowances by the bust while I was nursing. http://grainlinestudio.com/2012/02/15/sewing-tutorial-getting-flat-bias-necklines/ is a good tutorial for the neckline, or Google stay stitching to help prevent the neckline from stretching out.

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  3. The tank looks great! I'm a quilter who also recently made a wiksten tank myself, but had a bunch of fit issues (nothing wrong with the pattern - I think the fit and my body type just didn't mesh as well as in my head!) I'm working my way through a Collette pattern now. I think they're a great way to move to the next level!

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    Replies
    1. I've only sewn quilts, never clothes or bags but I also have this pattern. Do you think it is easy enough for a true beginner at garment sewing? Thanks! I thought it took something crazy like 4 yards so didnt want to waste the fabric if it was a complete fail lol

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    2. This pattern takes 2.5 yards of 44" wide fabric or 2 yds (I believe) of 54" wide fabric. Not too much. I would suggest making a muslin first to avoid wasting fabric if it doesn't fit. Like I mentioned above - I completely lucked out that this pattern flattered my figure. I consider myself a true beginner with garment sewing and was easily able to follow the instructions. I hope this helps!

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  4. Woohoo! You go girl! This is beautiful. So... it's quilting cotton? You're inspiring me to finally finish the garments I've started.

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    1. Yes Jessica - it IS quilting cotton. Definitely not ideal for garments, I know. But it's working I think! I definitely want to try this tank in voile and chambray.....

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  5. Nice work! It fits beautifully. I have made myself several tops and not worn one of them yet! I know my fit problem (broad shoulders) and don't know how to modify patterns to fix that. It's very frustrating. I'm sure there is a class I could take, but somehow I'd rather quilt! ;)

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  6. As a lifetime garment sewer whose just started quilting, welcome! Great top!

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  7. it looks great! Makes me want to make one! :)

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  8. Well done my dear! Looks fabulous! We'll both be rocking handmade clothes at Sewtopia - cannot wait!

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  9. I have not been successful making clothing but I do love this tank and it looks simple enough too!! This is something I'd love to make and wear on our holidays in two weeks... Think that is possible?

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  10. This has been a favorite tank for me too but I think I've made mine too big each time (went with the S). I had trouble with the neckline too but practice makes perfect. Keep at it. Can't wait to see the next one!

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  11. Congrats! you are more successful than me to date

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  12. I think you did a fine job with the tank. Love your choice of fabric, too. It doesn't look like you need too much "fiddling" with the bust area if you want it a little roomier. Try tapering the seam allowance from 5/8 to 1/2 or less as you approach the bust-line. Remember this will increase the size of your arm hole opening by a bit, but its not a big deal since you have no sleeves to worry about. I usually use an old sheet or muslin to experiment with, then once I get it where I like it, I save that muslin as my pattern. Very nice, though. Good job!

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