Since I decided to channel Scarlet this week and create a top from draperies, I just had to name this pattern appropriately. Meet the “I Don’t Give a Damn” tank.
As cute as this top it, it’s not nearly as cute as my photographers assistant was. “O” insisted on helping her daddy take the photos this morning and the results were a bit blurry. This was actually the only front view I was able to salvage from the shoot.
Last summer, while I was pregnant with “O”, I purchased two tanks from Wal-Mart that had an amazing fit. They were nicely proportioned through the shoulders and chest and widened to a swingy hemline that was great both for pregnancy and then beyond. When I bought them I intended them only for maternity wear, but found myself layering with them all winter. I knew that was the fit I needed for this summer, so I used one of the tops to slip a pattern from. Then of course I had to add a few extra details.
I redrafted the back of the pattern to include a simple yoke with a sheer back panel. I also lengthened and curved the front so that despite my rather round tummy, the front and back would maintain an even hemline. The entire front and yoke were made with a layer of thrifted lace curtain over a piece of vintage cotton that was given to me years ago. The lower back panel is lace only.
I didn’t bother to line the pattern of the lace up in any particular manner because I love randomness, but my husband believes that was a mistake. Looking at the sheer panel, I can see what he means. The piece is just enough “off” to look like an accidental misalignment. The arm holes are also a bit snug and cause the top to pull a bit during wear. It’s not a deal breaker, but I will fix that flaw before I put the pattern away.
This month I have joined a 1 Project Per Week sew-a-long instigated by the talented seamstress over at bernie and I. She has issued a challenge to other bloggers to try and complete one sewing project every week for the entire month of June. This project completes my first week of the sew-a-long and I have already been rummaging through my stash for next weeks inspiration.
When I found 3/4 yard of 60 wide,quilted rip-stop fabric at the thrift a few months ago, I just had to have it. Initially I though it would become a coat for one of the littles next winter, but as camping season approached I realized it had a much higher calling. “O” is extremely independent and demands her own space at bedtime, so creating a sleeping bag of her very own became a must. With her first birthday coming up, I decided that this would be the perfect gift for our busy little girl.
This project is a blend of thrifted, repurposed, and new materials. Of course, the quilted rip-stop came from the thrift, but then I added a insulated center layer made from a repurposed mattress pad and a cotton flannel lining of new material. On the fly, this looked like a quick easy project. It really was a pretty straight forward, but it was not a project my old machine relished. The multiple layers of thick fabric posed a bit of a challenge on my test swatch, so I had to use a few alternative methods of construction. Instead of sewing all the layers into a sandwich and then simply turning and top stitching as I had planned, I had to size the insulating layer down by an inch on every side and then center it on my lining fabric and stitch the two together. I then used my sandwich and topstitch method. Also, the density of my fabrics and lack of a zipper foot made a standard zipper application impossible. Since I have outstanding faith in my hand stitching abilities, I simply adhered the zipper by hand. That is the method I usually employ in dress making anyway.
“O’s” birthday is still over 3 weeks away, but having this project finished will be a relief to her daddy. Ever since I announced that I was creating this sleeping bag, he has asked about it almost daily. I guess he still isn’t completely familiar with the Ames family genetics that allow me to do amazing last minute work. Just wait, I’ll go buy wrapping paper at 1 am the morning of her birthday, while her cake is in the oven.
Looking at this last photo, I know I could have done a better job presenting the project for photographing. It is so bumpy that it almost looks as if a little person has just crawled out of it! I really wanted to get this blogged yesterday, so it was do-or-die this morning and with the little red battery button blinking on the camera I was a little haphazard.