Tank top made by shortening Dress No. 1

I’ve made a few more things, but today I’ll bring you the starry tank top I made, and just LOVE.

The fabric is Cotton + Steel’s Starry Seashell. I bought mine on fabric.com. It’s $9.98 per yard right now. I’ve been feeling like I needed more pink in my life lately, and this is perfect. Also, once again, I’m so impressed with Cotton + Steel fabric. It has a beautiful hand, it’s so soft and has just the right amount of weight. A lot of fabrics will say “for apparel” but really aren’t good for anything but quilting, because they’re too stiff. Cotton + Steel isn’t like that. The fabric is a great quality, great for quilts or truly great for apparel. I swear, they aren’t paying me to say this. Although if they read this and think, “Hey, let’s send that cheerleader some free fabric,” I would happily be sponsored.

Last night I was washing the fabric I’d bought, and this sweet pink stuff was one of the first to emerge from the dryer. I’d really wanted to make a Dress No. 3, I hadn’t tried that one yet. Unfortunately, when I laid out the pattern, it didn’t fit on the fabric. I tried folding it the non-traditional way: still didn’t fit. I was trying to make a 4x, which is one size larger than I really need (have been making 3x in everything so far, but I decided I wanted this one extra baggy), but it didn’t look like the size was the problem. Even the smaller sizes wouldn’t have fit well. I’m not sure what to do here. Maybe I’ll send an email to Sonya Philips and ask. Perhaps I’m supposed to be using fabric that’s extra-wide? I didn’t see that in the description.

Faced with this roadblock, I opted instead to try something I’d been wondering about. The Dress No. 1 pattern fits me so well, if I cut it off at the waist, would it make a cute tank top?

The answer is yes!

front_normalIt’s funny, now that I’m trying to actually show off my creative efforts, I want, you know, GOOD pictures. I’m asking my daughter or my husband to take them for me. They really don’t have the same aesthetic for photos I do – my husband Greg was taking these today and you should have seen the first few. He’s like, “I’m done!”, and I look at them and it’s as if I’ve just rolled out of bed (I had) and was coping with a major hangover (I wasn’t – I was coping with fibromyalgia, which is a bear in the morning). Let’s not look at those photos.

Let’s instead look at the ones he took when I was trying to do my “don’t smile too hard look” and he started telling me to say “smorgasborg” every time he took the photo, to which I replied, “shut UP!”

smorgasborg1 smorgasborg2

This is me laughing like a hyena. Greg says these pictures are far better than the rest, and I think he’s right.

Oh, but also, people usually take a photo of the back of their stuff, so here we go:


Greg didn’t seem to care that my bra strap was showing in EVERY SINGLE PHOTO, because classy, that’s how we like it around here. I tells ya. He’s getting a photography lesson from me later. “Make sure I look normal, not drunk. Make sure I don’t have any underwear showing. Make sure you can’t see down my shirt. Make sure there isn’t anything weird in the background, like a broom.” He did move the broom out of the way.

How I did it:

I wore my sloth dress. I looked down, and estimated where I would like it to end if it were a tank top. I measured. It was about 10″ up from the bottom. I measured twice more to be sure. I marked on the original pattern copy I’d made, where that would fall.

I used my Swedish tracing paper and made another pattern, this one cut off at the mark I’d made on my first pattern. I just eyeballed the gentle sloping curve of the bottom, mirroring the bottom of the original tunic. I marked where the fold went, etc. I’ve also already modified the original pattern to have narrower shoulder straps.

Then I cut out the new pattern, and used it to make the top.


I LOVE IT! It’s so comfortable! It billows nicely without looking hugely oversized. There isn’t any spots where it feels tight or cramped. The smaller pattern means I bet I can make this with scraps. I’d like to try one that’s split horizontally, with a cute print on top and a solid on the bottom. I think I’ll be making lots more of these!


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