Project Sunny Days Tank

By Patty Young

Skill Level: Beginner  

Sunny_Days_Tank.jpg
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This adorable tank from Modkid and Patty Young is made with your favorite knit fabrics and uses two techniques that add lots of flair to your garments: shirring and lettuce edge rolled hems. We will take you step-by-step through both of these techniques, so you can easily complete this project in one afternoon. Download printable instructions, sizing chart and templates.

Materials:

  • 1/2 yard of knit fabric (SUGGESTED FABRICS:knit fabrics: cotton interlocks or jerseys 56" - 60" wide)
  • One spool of elastic sewing thread for shirring
  • Madeira Aerofil all-purpose thread
  • Textured thread of contrasting color for the rolled hems
  • Sewing pins, cutting tools and steam iron

Tools:

Steps:

  1. Fabric cutting guide:

    1. Cut your half yard of knit fabric into four pieces (2 straps and 2 main bodices) according to the attached pattern for the size top you are making.

    2. The two bodice pieces will fit side by side along the width of the fabric, while the two strap pieces will fit lengthwise on the end.

  2. Using a water-soluble marker, mark a straight line down the lengthwise center on the right side of each strap.

    1. On both front and back main pieces, mark in from each side edge along the top of each piece according to the attached chart.

    2. Note: all seam allowances are 1/2".

  3. Pin the front and back main pieces right sides together and serge the raw side edges. Press seams to one side.

  4. Using the rolled hem setting on your serger and a textured thread (like wooly nylon) in your upper looper, create a contrasting lettuce rolled hem along both long edges of each strap.

    1. Also, create a lettuce rolled hem along the top and bottom raw edges of the Main piece, fig. 3.

    2. To give it the “lettuce” effect, slightly stretch your knit fabric as you are feeding it into the serger.

  5. Load your sewing machine with coordinating regular thread on the top and elastic thread in the bobbin.

    1. Create three rows of shirring down the center of each strap using the center line as a guide.

    2. For the first row of shirring, line up the edge of your presser foot with the center line you marked in Step 1, and stitch 1/4" away from that mark.

    3. Trail off slightly at the end and stitch your second row of shirring now directly over the center line mark.

    4. Trail off the end again, then line up the edge of your presser foot with the second line of stitching (also the center line) to make your third row of stitching.

    5. Backstitch at the end to reinforce. Shoot each strap with a little steam from your iron and watch it shirr up completely.

  6. Attach the straps to the main piece by turning the main piece inside out.

    1. Place a strap 1/4" down from the top edge of the Main piece with the wrong side of the strap facing the wrong side of the main piece.

    2. Line the outer edge of the strap with the mark you made according to the chart in Step 1. Pin in place.

    3. Stitch 1/4" in from the raw edge of the strap. Fold the strap up and stitch again, 1/4" from the folded edge. Repeat for each strap, both front and back.

  7. Shirr the top of your tank. With the tank right side out, start at the left side seam (viewer’s point of view) of your bodice.

    1. Stitch your first row all the way around the tank, stitching over the areas where you stitched down the straps.

    2. . Once you’ve made a full circle and are nearing the left side seam again, begin stitching at a slight downward angle, lining up your presser foot with the first row of stitches.

    3. Keep sewing around in a spiral fashion until you have made the desired number of shirred rows (5 to 8, depending on the size), and backstitch at the end.

    4. Leave your thread tails long and, using a hand needle, bring the front thread tails toward the inside of your garment. Tie off the tails and trim the excess thread.

    5. On the outside of the garment, topstitch along the side seam over the shirred portion, to reinforce further.

    6. Use the steam from your iron to shirr up the tank completely.

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Or, If You'd like to improve your skills,

we have great classes to help you take your sewing to the next level.

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