This new pattern for summer from McCall’s looked like a great collection of basics – tank top, short sleeve, mid-length sleeve, and long sleeve with V-neck or round neck. I love wearing sleeveless tops in the summer and thought I’d give this one a try. If the fit was good, I could use this pattern in the cooler months for basic tops.
Normally I cut a size 14, but for a close-fit top, I chose to cut a size 12. The finished sizes are printed on the pattern, so it was easy to feel comfortable cutting the 12.
The pattern consists of 4 pieces – front, back, neck binding, and sleeve bindings. For any of the other tops, just replace the sleeve bindings with the sleeves. This is a Palmer Pletsch pattern, so it is chock full of fitting suggestions. I didn’t use any of them and went straight to construction.
The top is extremely easy to construct – sew front to back, sew ends of binding together to form a loop and apply bindings. I have made a V-neck binding before with my favorite Kwik Sew batwing top, but I think the pattern piece and instructions for this pattern were better.
When you form the neckband binding loop, you don’t sew from edge to edge of the binding, you leave a little opening. The little opening makes it much easier to apply the binding to the neck line, particularly at the “V”. It’s hard to explain in words, but just follow the directions and your neckband should sit quite nicely when it is finished.
I made this top from an ITY knit I purchased in Chicago last fall from Vogue Fabrics. I used a stretch needle, size 70 and a small zig-zag stitch on most seams.
I think this is a great basic tank top. It’s a longer top than I usually make, but it is easily shortened. The armholes are a little small and I suspect that the upper sleeves may be a little tight without modification. This is just something to keep in mind when sewing the top with sleeves. For now, I don’t worry about anything showing under my arms!
This pattern seems to be a great starting point for getting that perfect T-shirt fit. The instructions are full of generic fitting hints that are targeted for wovens. Unfortunately, there are no instructions for enlarging the armhole or widening the upper sleeve cap to compensate for the new armhole. Any good pattern fitting book should address this problem. And I’m sure that the Internet is full of helpful advice!