Sewing Projects

GRAINLINE TANK IN FOUR PLY SWANK

There is some kind of jedi force you start to feel tapped into the longer you’ve been sewing. Maybe it’s the days you spend reading about sewing (guilty), or the hours you lose shopping for fabric online or in person (*sigh* guilty), but I think many of us we can start to identify fabric from a mile away. Especially when that fabric is sumptuous 4-ply silk crepe.

Lauren was the first person who peeped me to this stuff. It’s not widely available in Montreal except for one insanely expensive couture fabric store in the ritzy part of town that gave me serious wrong side of the tracks/Pretty in Pink anxiety the one time I went there (I see $120/yd pricetags and I’m terrified I’m going to leave greasy fingerprints all over everything).

So this stuff. It has the same hand as regular crepe, that sort of rough texture that helps it cling together when you’re matching seams, but it has a weight and a palpable luxury that turns the silk crepe knob to 11. I found it last year in San Francisco at a place called Fabric Outlet . They had a huge table piled with silk for under $10 a yard and I think I terrified the staff and customers with my rabid dissection of its contents. I knew this was 4ply the moment I laid eyes on it, and clutched the scant yard to my chest like a toddler with a security blanket. It had a slight faded line on a portion of it (perhaps sitting in the sun for too long at some point in its lifespan) but I didn’t care. It was $8 and one of my favourite colours and I would Make It Work.

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-5 Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-3
Fast forward a year later. In dire need of some breezy summer tops, I bought the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank with the intention of hacking a high-low hem to cover my butt for lazy legging days. I was sure I could squeeze the pattern out of my remnant, but quickly discovered this was not the case. A quick search of the pattern stash revealed that I didn’t own a single top pattern that can be made for less than a yard and a half. After futilely moving the pattern pieces around in abject misery, trying to will more fabric into being, I realized I was only going to Make It Work by getting creative with the shears.

I dropped the back hem by about 5 inches and cut the back piece into two parts. This created two additional seams – one running across the small of my back, the other running vertically to my butt. Breaking up the pieces let me eke out what I needed; I only had a few measly scraps when I was through. I honoured this noble material with french seams throughout and a tiny rolled hem, along with the suggested bias tape at the neck and arm openings.

grainline-tank1

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-2

The fit is divine. Perfectly drapey with my favourite scoop neckline, it is flattering while giving my chocolate belly a little room to breathe. I didn’t even have my usual back neck/narrow shoulder gaping, probably due to the drape of the fabric. A summer workhorse staple!

Grainline tiny pocket tank by Closet Case Files-4

Photos by Guillaume Gilbert

 

  • Samantha Lindgren

    luscious…..

  • devra

    perfectly acceptable pattern hack, with delicious results! and i can see why you love that colour – it suits you devinely!

    • Thanks my love. I gravitate towards it like a magnet to a fridge.

  • This looks awesome, and I’m loving the seam details in the back – hooray for creative cutting and piecing! Gorgeous colour on you too!

  • Ooh, so lovely! That color is fantastic!

  • Sew Little Time

    it’s a beauty. you definitely did your lovely bargain fabric justice!

  • sewinsteady

    beautiful!!

  • The fabric is awesome, and I love your alterations. Lovely!

  • Helen McFadyen

    This is beautiful. That colour!!!! It looks amazing on you and it looks divine to wear. And I love the back detail. Presume you didn’t have enough to make self bias binding too? I’m sure I have squeezed a Scout tee out of a metre (which I realise is more than a yard, but only just) before, but maybe that was a wide fabric.

    • I had juuuust enough for the bias. It was a perfect moment when I managed to cut everything out.

  • Oh man, I can see why you would nab that fabric; it’s gorgeous! And that pattern tweak totally ads a nice detail. This tank is perfect! Those “imperfections” just make it more so.

    • Thank you sweets! So jealz you can go to that fabric store whenever you want (btw we are totally hanging out if I ever make it to SF again….)

  • I love the colour and this pattern. I really love what you have done with the pattern as well. I have also just started sewing with silk. Too expensive in these parts as well!

    • That’s why when you find it on sale you BUY ALL OF IT!

  • mokosha

    looking fab, girl.. i love what you did at the back, love the extra seams..

    • Hvala (puno)!

      Yes, I just looked up how to saw thank you in Serbian. The things I do for love, I tell you.

      • mokosha

        hehe.. you crazy thing! love ya!

  • stevie

    That looks amazing! Clever adding the panels and just talking about that silk made me want to pet it…

    • Hahahah its super pettable! My new favourite fabric ever.

  • Sophie

    Oh man, totally luscious. This is one of my absolute favourite colors too. Love the ‘pretty woman’ treatment you’ve given it…a basic tank into major luxe!

    • Totes Pretty Woman! This is the beige polka dot dress of tank tops.

  • Gorgeous. That colour is amazing on you and I love the seam details on your hi lo hem! Totally looks like it was a design feature from the start.

  • Wens

    Brilliant fix! The seams are a nice detail! And that colour! Awesome 🙂

  • I love this! Such a great hack. And I actually really like the back peplum?(for want of a better word) DB seam. I think it makes the top even more interesting. Glorious colour on you.

  • Rosi

    Great top! The colour is beautiful. I’ve never heard of 4 ply silk crepe but I’m pretty sure I need some.

  • Jen

    Soooo good, also I totally thought the back was just a really cute design detail before I read the post! Also yeah to 4 ply silk crepe, we used to use it a lot at my last job, it really is a beauty!

    • How you would not “accidentally” take some home with you every night is a mystery.

  • kristin

    oh i love it! i thought the piecing was a design element too – bravo! first time commenter here – i’ve been seeing your patterns pop up all over blogland and thought i’d come read about the lady behind the scenes. 🙂

  • CapitalChic

    Gorgeous! So drapy and flowy 🙂 This is one of my favourite colours as well…. may have to come over to Canada and steal it from you.

    • Only if I can steal stuff from your closet too….

  • Amanda Adams

    This is spectacular!!!

  • The colour is amazing! nice going making it WORK!

  • The color looks so good on you and the top! Wow, it’s just divine. It’s good to know I’m not the only person who spends too much time on coming up with a solution because I am just too damn stubborn to give up on my vision.

    • Stubbornness can occasionally be a virtue.

  • Hélène

    This top is a total success. You got out of trouble brilliantly, girl! Now I need to put my hands on some 4-ply silk crepe!

    • Fabric crack. Hard to go back to the regular stuff.

  • Giselle

    Very nice! What a gorgeous colour, I adore it.
    Isn’t it so very satisfying when you can use up most of the fabric you’ve got? I’m a great fan of piecing. I was even wondering if I could insert a ribbon in between, or perhaps a strip of airy lace to make more of a feature out of pieced segments? It could look really good.

  • This is amazing! You really made the most of that beautiful fabric. I have got to get myself to Fabric Outlet more, I have no excuse…

    • Dude, it’s rad. I also got the linen from my Katy & Laney shorts there…. as well as 3 yards of silk jersey for $12 a yard. UNHEARD OF!

  • http://prettyflorals.co.uk

    Lovely colour!

  • Fabulous!!!!

  • Bravo on the fussy cutting!! The seams look like a design element and not a frugal act of “SAVE ALL THE FABRIC!!” lol. That’s totally your spirit color, btw. Love it.

  • Kelly

    Wow, way to get creative- the seaming/piecing turned out to be such a cool detail! I am filing this idea away for the next fabric puzzle I am trying to work out. I’ve totally been hoarding silk lately but the price of the 4-ply has kept me away…I would jump all over a deal like that!

  • OMG, I love this. This is a great color on you and I am loving the shape on you. Great job at Making it Work, cause you are working it.

  • justine

    I really love the seamlines you added. They give a lot of style to the top. Great save!

  • Sara

    Gorgeous! That colour looks fabulous on you, and the seamlines look totally deliberate & ~design feature~ Love it!

  • sallieforrer

    This looks so lovely and luxurious!! That color!! Sigh. 4ply crepe!!! Sigh. And a GREAT pattern hack! (Love your ‘making it work’ design details) All in all this silkiness makes me want to declare SUMMER 4EVA!

  • So beautiful!! I just made this top too but I’m worried I like your version much more!

  • This is too, too fabulous!

  • I’ve petted a few 4 ply silks in my time… and they really are in a class of their own. I would never have thought to sew something like this with it though, which is silly now I see just how well it translates into a deliciously floaty singlet top! Oh, it’s divine, Heather. Next time I pet a 4 ply silk, I may just bring it home with me instead of leaving it to languish…