Sunday, August 28, 2022

Oh Cecilia

woman stands against a fence in the cecelia tank
If you're looking for a tank top/dress with skinny straps and the option of a built in bra or not- Cecilia from 5outof4patterns *affiliate link* is your girl.  As with so many of 5outof4patterns *affiliate link* , there are so many options, you could use this one pattern for a dozen makes and no one would know they are from the same source!  

Cecilia *affiliate link* comes in many lengths from just a bra, to a crop top and all the way to a maxi length dress with other lengths along the way.

I thought I had enough tank tops but looking through my closet, what I don't have are many tanks with built in bras that I might wear under something in the winter and on its own in the summer.  The few rtw that I do still have are close fitting and if I'm going to wear one as a stand alone tank, I like a little flow.  Close fitting is fine for yoga or to keep warm, but if it's hot enough for me to go sleeveless, I need flow.

The flow was easy to achieve with the tank.  Because I'm so short in my torso, I always shorten 5outof4patterns *affiliate link* 3 inches.  There isn't as much of a curve to this pattern as with some of the others so I didn't shorten it for the first one I made.  I didn't like how it looked right under my arms, so I went ahead and shortened the torso my usual 3 inches and I like this result a lot better.

The pattern has options for two widths for the binding and straps.  I made my first one with the wide bound straps, but I didn't feel like it had enough support.  I added elastic but overall, I didn't like the result. 

For my next one, I went with FOE- fold over elastic.  Until recently, fold over elastic was truly my foe.  I didn't like using it.  I had a hard time manipulating it and getting everything in the foldover.

With this top though, the fold over seemed to come together and was so much easier than the bound straps. Because it's already elastic, I didn't need to add any and I also didn't need to do any ironing- always a plus!  Word to the wise- you need 1 inch FOE elastic.  I bought 5/8 inch online and it was definitely not going to do the job.

I zigzagged the FOE with a similar color thread so it doesn't draw attention and I really like how stretch it is.  I cannot make my stretch stitch on my Bernina actually behave like a stretch stitch, so the zigzag is my go to in this case.

I used 2 layers of powermesh and a layer of the same fabric for the underlying bra.  I debated adding liner pads and in the end decided it was more work than I wanted and didn't seem to do much to improve the look.  This is NOT a top I would exercise in except maybe to do yoga but it's a little prettier than my usual yoga tops.  Even with the 2 layers of powermesh, I don't find it that supportive.

One of the things I struggled with when I was making the Virginia Tank was trying to decide if I am an A/B cup or C/D.  I had the same problem here where A/B was going to be too short but C/D did nothing.  I folded the link halfway between those 2 lines and I like the depth.  I would not make this as a stand alone bra for myself but I like it a lot under this tank and it's made me want to go back and do a shelf bra in the Virgina Tank now that I have found the right depth.

For the tank, the lines make it a little closer fitting than I'd like but the lines go out a lot as it becomes a dress.  I stayed with the close fit through the ribs but then pulled it out as I got to the bottom to mimic the longer lengths and for me, it's exactly what I like.  It's casual but put together, I don't have to suck anything in and it's breezy for the really hot days of August.  

From the center of the front to the bottom of my hem is 17 inches and hits where I want a tank to land.  Sometimes, when I take the 3 inches from the torso, I don't need to add those 3 inches back at the bottom, but this time, I did.  I'm not sure what the original measurement for the tank was meant to be but I always feel like that's a matter of preference, anyway.

The back dips lower than a lot of tanks, and I like it.  I do not like high backed tanks at all, especially in hot weather.  This is meant to fall just at the bottom of the shoulder blades, which, if you had any visibly toned muscles in your back, will feature them nicely :)

The fabric is a fairly thin knit that I got in a mystery box.  I am not a purple/lavender person at all but this is OK in a tank.  I couldn't do a whole sleeved shirt or dress out of this.  I also really like how the FOE in the purple from the little flowers really pulls this together.  I couldn't use my double needel for the hem because this is the exact fabric that my machine and the double needle don't get along with, so I used a zigzag here as well.

I have another in black in a little bit heavier fabric that a) was dirty when I went to write this post and b) has tighter elastic and there are more bulges in the armpit area than I'd like, but the support is a lot better.  Fabric really will make a difference in your support and also your flow.

When I was making these and modifying the pattern for myself, I kept thinking about a dress length.  I would never wear it to work, and in the summer if I'm at home, I don't really wear dresses, so I'm not sure it would really get any wear.  There's also a tunic length which I toyed with to wear with cropped leggings but that's on hold for now.

Like so many 5outof4patterns *affiliate link* this is just a great pattern to use as it's written or to play with on your own.  With all of the length options, you can use it as a base for so many things.  There's also a nursing option, like so many of their patterns!

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