Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Virgina Tank Hack

Virginia tank front view

This post contains affiliate links.  When I do yoga, I like a top that can be somewhat close fitting but also flowy, depending on the moves.  I've seen a lot of yoga tops that tie in the back and I tried a few patterns but they weren't quite right.  Then I saw Loni at post something similar to the back I was looking for so I asked her how she did it.  It's a very simple hack, so I will share what I did, based on her suggestion.

I like the Virginia Tank by 5outof4 Patterns (affiliate link) so I took that pattern and adjusted it to make it a tie back.  Find your favorite tank pattern, or use the Virginia Tank like I did, and follow these steps.

You only need to adjust the back.  Most backs have one piece you cut on the fold. In order to make this work, you need to cut two pieces, not on the fold, so you'll have a back seam.   I did not add any seam allowance to mine because I serge it pretty closely, but you might want to calculate in some seam allowance if you think it will make a difference.

Pattern pieces for Virginia tank hack

Trace the pattern onto some paper that is longer than the current piece.  When you get to the bottom,
you're going to want to extend it so you'll have the tails.  I chose a length that seemed like it would let me have the tails to tie it back, but they wouldn't hang too long and be in the way.  The longer you go on the bottom point, the longer your tails will be.

If you look closely, I made a mark that says "sew to here".  You need to stop sewing to allow the tails to hang freely for future tying.  I found the spot on my back where I wanted the tie to sit and determined my stopping point there.   There's not a lot of math to this.  It's something you need to feel out for yourself.

Once I serge the back piece and stop at the indicated stopping point, then I treat the back as thought it were the original piece, cut on the fold.  I do not change the length of my neckband.  

Once I've sewn the front and back together and added the neck and arm bands, I do a narrow hem on the front and back and also up one tail, to the center of the back and down the other side.   

And that's it!  I don't tie it all that tight so when I want to release it if we are doing poses on our backs, it's easy to just untie before I lay on it.

I sometimes wear these tops on super hot days when I don't want anything confining and I don't tie it, I just let it flow.  Try it out and let me know how it goes!  

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