I’ve been incredibly busy in the last month with my makes for Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. It’s no surprise that I’ve got behind with my posts. I made the Myla tank during June and even posted about it on The Monthly Stitch, but unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get my buttons until recently and I wanted to post about it here only once I’d completed it properly.
The fabric I used for my tank top is an organic peace silk from Organic Silks. It is grown and woven in the UK (in Hertfordshire, to be precise). I shibori-dyed the fabric at a workshop run by Botanical Inks, that I attended back in April.
The fabric drapes well and feels very light, and but I only had 1 metre to play with. Fortunately, this was jsut the right amount for the Myla tank. I love the split back feature and the idea of the buttons on the front.
When working out the fitting for the Myla tank I made lots of changes to the pattern to the point where I had changed virtually every part of it. First of all, I have quite a short body, so the length was shortened….by loads. I had to completely re-design the armscyes as these were completely the wrong shape. I’d been reading DixieDIY’s post about making the Myla top and we are fairly similar is terms of general body shape (I think, or perhaps I just flatter myself!) Anyway, Dixie mentioned that there was quite a bit of gape around the armscye and suggested that a remedy would be to change the shape of it, so for smaller busts make the armscye flatter or less curvy. I did this and finally after a lot of messing about got an armscye that I was happy with. This problem is something that I have noticed on ready-to-wear garments. Sometimes the arm hole gapes so much it looks indecent and the tank is one of those garments that in the past I have tended to avoid.
In addition, to the armscye gapiness, I also found that the neckline plunged way much too. Even the smallest size didn’t really give me the decency I prefer! So, although I had to completely redraft the neckline, I hope I still caught the spirit of its shape. It isn’t really a straightforward scoop, it’s more angular than that.
Finally, the whole body ended up being thinner than that in the pattern too. Now this gave me some real headaches. The one criticism I have of this pattern is that there are no notches. And yes, it is a simple pattern, so you could get away without them. But, with all the changes I made to the pattern I suddenly realised I really didn’t have a clue how the two lower back pieces overlapped. Anyway, I had to do a pile of measurements on the pattern back pieces to work out the intended overlap on the pattern as it was, and then translate this to my own version. By which point there was lots of sighing about my weird body shape!
Anyway, with my fitting problems out the way, the construction was quite simple. I used French seams throughout. The silk wasn’t too difficult to sew. Strangely, it was a good deal easier than the cotton/silk blends that I’d used before. I didn’t have any problems with creating self bias-binding. Previously I found with the silk/cotton blends that I couldn’t get a crease to stay on the fabric for more than a few seconds. This silk could be pressed quite easily and it kept the crease applied to the fabric. The fabric though is very light-weight, so much so that the top turns out rather transparent and I will need to find something better to wear underneath. Actually, it does make me realise that this fabric would make some rather lovely underwear.
The only fiddly bit I found was creating the decorative placket at the front. I had to be very careful using pins with the fabric as they left holes in it that showed. This wasn’t too much of a problem with cutting out, as I just placed the pins within the seam allowance so any marks wouldn’t be seen. However, this did create a problem when sewing on the decorative placket. In the end I tacked it is placed with very small stitches and hoped it wouldn’t move too much when I sewed. Of course, it did a little and it isn’t completely straight. It would have, I’m sure, ruined the garment if I’d unpicked and tried again, but with the addition of the buttons it isn’t too noticeable.
The buttons are small porcelain buttons from Poppy Ceramics. These are created by Jo just down the road from me; I’ve finally found at least something super-local to use for the #1year1outfit. I think they are really cute little buttons and surprisingly strong. Jo challenged me to try and break one of them and it is completely impossible! I think they’ll be fine in the washing machine!