For such an easy pattern, I’ve had a dilly of a pickle sewing a version of Grainline Studio’s new Willow Tank pattern that will last. I’ve gone through three versions and two different sizes to finally get a version that looks fabulous. I sewed with rayon for the first time and was completely disappointed with the results, hence all the trials and errors with this pattern. Even though I had fabric issues, the pattern is awesome. I only had to make one small adjustment, otherwise the pattern is nearly perfect! I was worried that the tank would be boring, boxy, and look awful, but I was wrong. Grainline Studio has given us another solid pattern that I will return to over and over again.
I always sew a muslin when trying a new pattern. ALWAYS. I have never had a pattern fit straight off and I find my sewing skills improve the move I sew the pattern. I’m all for muslins. For my muslin I cut out a size 12, because everything I’ve sewn thus far from Grainline Studio, Lakeside PJs and Linden Sweatshirt, have all been a solid size 12. The muslin fit great, expect that I needed to complete a ½” forward shoulder adjustment. I hate that I have a slouch despite 10+ years of yoga. Sigh.
For my final version, which actually turned out to be the penultimate version, I sewed my tank using Robert Kaufman’s Ranchero Rayon in Denim. I had never sewed with rayon and I tried to follow all the tips ‘n trick mentioned on Indiesew’s website. The pattern came together without any issues, but I was not liking the look of the fabric. No matter. I hand washed my new Willow tank in cold water and lo and behold, it shrunk so bad that I could no longer squeeze into the top. I thought rayon “grew” and the tank would be all stretched out, but apparently rayon can shrink. Who knew?
Change of tactic. I have been eyeballing the Nicole Miller collection at Joann’s for months now. I love big bold colors and crazy patterns. Because I wanted my tank to be lightweight and airy, I decided to go with a stretch chiffon fabric. Since I had such bad shrinking problems, I also decided to go up a size just in case. I cut out a size 14 and again just did a ½” forward shoulder adjustment. The pattern again came together with no issues and going up a size didn’t end in disaster. I’m a bit confused though, because with this stretch chiffon it feels like if I went any smaller it would be too tight. Weird. I was super nervous about washing the shirt, but took the plunge and again hand washed in cold water. Luckily this time there was no shrinking issues! Whew!!
Too bad summer is nearly gone here in Utah. This summer tank is perfect. It’s lightweight and flows really well and luckily for me, isn’t see-through. I still might sew some more tanks, just so I’m prepared for next summer. No harm in being prepared. Grainline Studio did it again with another solid pattern. I was afraid it was going to be a boxy dull looking tank top, but with the right fabric, this pattern results in an awesome closet staple!
Here’s a video if you need to know how to make a forward shoulder adjustment:
Both your tanks look great! Too bad about the rayon one, but the Nicole Miller one is very cool!
I haven’t had a problem with my rayon clothes shrinking, but I do prewash all my fabric before sewing. I’d never take the time to hand wash anything, so all my apparel yardage goes into the washer and dryer first. 😁
I definitely wash and dry fabric I know will shrink or change, but I didn’t think rayon would. Ugh. Thanks for your kind words!