Monthly Archives: February 2016

Interlock version of Otto Tank

I used to love the Otto Tank (#01 in issue 2007/02).  It’s not quite what I envision when hearing the word ‘tank’ but it is a very good summer top.  It offers enough coverage so that underwear will not show yet  is skimpy enough for the occasional triple digit temperatures we get in South Dakota. I think refining this pattern now while it can be used as an undergarment is a good idea.

Although the pattern calls for rayon knit, I’m using a cotton interlock. I know the two fabrics will not act exactly the same. I’m hoping that the end result will be close enough that only minor tweaking is needed when I change fabrics. Truth is, I was looking for a test fabric and this white interlock is just the right amount and age. Ok, well aged. And, this fabric I will model where as the nylon knit previously used was far too revealing.  I cut the front and back on fold adding 2″ length at the hem. I also  cut three 1.75″ crosswise strips to be used as ribbing.

I decided to add an embroidery using my 2016 Spring colors. Just because it is boring to make the same garment over and over. Yet that’s what you need to do. Or I need to do. I need to know how the pattern will work with various fabrics and finishes especially after I tweak said pattern for my bodily flaws unique body shape.

This was really quick to sew together. I serged the armscyes and then basted in the neck binding. Once I was sure it was correct, I serged the neck and armscye bindings before serging the side seams. Pictures below were taken before I used a 3-thread serger stitch to finish the hem edge.

I had altered the pattern to achieve Zero ease i.e. the pattern measurements equal my own. I wasn’t delighted to see my rolls, but not particularly surprised. I was most curious about the shoulder slope as I’ve not made any correction. The shoulder straps are so narrow, I wasn’t sure how much or even if I should try to introduce a slope.

The side view tells me I really should. I should increase the shoulder slope and move the armscye  because I’m seeing multiple side-swags.

The other thing I’m seeing is that the armscye bindings make the shoulders too wide.  I need to either wrap the armscye thereby not adding any more width or trim the armscyes even deeper–deep enough to offset the width of the binding.  I do see that the front hem is doing its normal rising. Again something that I have made no effort to correct but will not.

So it’s not the perfect summer top but I can tell you when the temps get high enough, if this is the only thing clean, I will be wearing it in public. For now, it’s good enough to be a camisole.



Tank as Camisole

I’m eager to start using my Otto patterns again.  They too need to be refit because of my changed shoulder slope and of course the asymmetrical thingy.  I also still need camisoles. 5 is good but still short of my ideal 8. I chose to work with 2/2007 #1, a tank top  pattern for rayon jersey. Far to cold for me to be wearing tanks but I could work on the fit now if I wore the resulting garment as a camisole.

Fitting has become a much longer process. First I compare the given measurements of the body to mine and selected size 46. Otto provides a lot more measurements. Which is a relief, I knew without a doubt I needed to make a 1.75″ back waist length adjustment (BWL) instead of my standard 1″.   I then measured the pattern across the bust, waist and hips. To my surprise, this pattern has  negative ease .  From the pic in the magazine (above) I did not suspect negative ease! I rarely like to wear negative ease.  My ideal silhouette skims not hugs the curves. So I added 1/2″ at the pattern side to bring it up to ZERO ease and then 1/4″ all around for seam allowances.

I did not add embroidery or other embellishment. Well, outside the shell hemming on neckline, armscyes and hem.

I love the shell hem. It’s so easy.  I do serge the raw edges first which helps me turn the edge a consistent 1/4″

This is one of those garments I’m unlikely to ‘model’ for you. It is a nylon tricot knit. Standard fabric for slips and camisoles but kind of transparent.   I was really anxious about the fit and have already worn the cami. Nylon tricot has a more stretch than rayon jersey so I expected it to be comfortable. I did not expect the ease I experienced. I added ease to the pattern to bring the final garment up to ZERO ease.  On the pattern I trimmed 1/2″ off the front underarm and 1/4″ at CF. Both are wedge trims which taper to nothing a few inches down.  That’s all the changes I will make for a camisole.

For a tank top, I’ll need to consider a few other things.

  • I’m still not sure that the ease is correct.
  • I’m hoping that the depth of the armscye changes when using the recommended rayon jersey because it is far too deep for a wearable tank top. Maybe adding binding to fill in??
  • I want another 2″ length to wear in public. Maybe more if I’m altering the length of the straps.
  • I made no allowances for shoulder slope or length.  That will have to be addressed for a public garment.