Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Love Affair With the Greenwood Tank

It's been so hot and humid for the past few weeks, sewing hasn't really been something I've wanted to do even though I've had lots of sewing plans on my radar.  The very same sewing room that freezes me to my death in the winter is nothing but an oven after 12 pm most summer days.

However, desperation and a slight dip in humidity and temperatures brought me to the Greenwood Tank which I had bought but sort of forgot about.  After making a series of chitown chinos shorts and skirts, I realized I didn't have any summer tops that really go with them.  Not too smart on my part.

I have the Just A Tank pattern that I used to draft these dresses, but this wasn't the neckline I was going for.  And then I remembered the Greenwood tank from straightstichdesigns

I've always been worried about this kind of bound edge because I am very bad at catching both the top and bottom when I topstitch.  But, as I went, I got better at it.

I bought some knit fabrics from imaginegnats in the spring, and they've been burning a hole in my sewing table all summer.  One of the reasons I've waited is because my serger thread was pink and all of my knits are dark so....

I used it for the first tank I made since it was my muslin and I figured I'd wear it as a workout top, so who cares.  Then I bit the bullet and rethreaded that effing machine with dark thread since I also plan to make a couple of dark colored skirts when I'm done.

What's nice about this tank is that it's literally just a front and back piece and 3 strips for the bindings.  There are two views of the neckline and I chose to use the same piece for the front and back because I just don't like high backs on tank tops.

These two tops are VERY different weights and I especially love the lighter blue on the left.  I thought that was going to perfectly go with the denim rose shorts I just made, but it didn't look right, so I had to make one more!

This darker blue looked much better with the shorts.  But this one gave me fits.

While this one has the best top stitching and hem, there's something wrong with either the neckline or the binding on one side and I spent an entire day pulling up the strap to cover my bra strap.  The other two are not like that, so I am certain it's operator error.

Speaking of hems, I have a very hard time with hems on knits.  I've tried double needles and just one needle.  I've watching a million videos.  And I was convinced it was my machine the other day when I tried and tried and could not get a hem with any give, no matter the needles, the tension or the stitch.

It pushed me to tears because the hem is necessary to look finished but the thread kept popping!  How can I make a nice piece and then not hem it or hem it by hand????

Then I watched one more video about double needles and decided to try rolling my hem up twice to give it something to actually sew through.

That's the inside with the double needle and that seemed to be much better.    With a loose dress bottom it's not such a big deal because the dresses is flowy and not tight but when you're wearing a shirt, putting it on and taking it off puts a lot of stress on that bottom hem.

I need a coverstitch machine to solve all of my problems, obviously.

But even a coverstitch machine would not take the dimwit out of my sewing room.  Lately, I've been putting my labels in my clothes, but remembering to put them in before I finish them is quite a challenge.  These labels need to be sewn into a seam, not applied afterwards, so if I miss my window, I can't put them in.

I was really good about putting them in and then I did this.

I put it in backwards.  And upside down.  But I really liked the topstitching so I wasn't willing to undo all of my good work.  No one will see it anyway.

And this was the shirt with the strange one side, which part way through the conference I was attending I turned around, thinking maybe my other side might be a different shape and work better.  It did fit slightly better, but I knew the tag was in the front for the rest of the day.  And it distracted me.  A lot!

I definitely like this pattern and it gives you enough space with the binding that you can catch both sides if you pin it and go slowly.  Two things I don't love to do.

Bo is ever so helpful while I sew.  He doesn't usually do anything except lay on what I just cut out, but taking a cue from Daisy, he decided to sit right on my arm as I was trying to make the first tank.  At one point, his tail was wrapped around my arm.

I'm a little late to the Greenwood Tank party as I look at all of the posts on instagram and they are from last year, but if you're looking for a quick and easy tank, this is it!

Linking here:


  1. Great job you definitely have more patience for sewing than I do. Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Pinned! Have a great week!

  2. Great Post! Love the information and the details! So helpful and I am glad you shared it at Country Fair Blog Party! Jan


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