This is the kind of project that I usually dismiss from my project list. It was simple, it was fast, I learned no skills, I paired no fabrics. But I have been drowning in a sea of huge goals lately. My wardrobe plan for the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest was very involved. Of course I love to push myself for contests, but the fact that I only finished 3 items (one turned out to be a wadder) and started one more reveals the unrealistic hopes I had.
My sewing philosophy is thus: Why sew items that I can readily buy in the store? I am not a hard to fit size and I can go purchase items I need. I sew for the creative outlet, the challenge of skill, and to play with pretty fabric! The question of why do you sew is such an interesting one; I will certainly be exploring it more in my upcoming podcast!
But I was suddenly struck with a thought. I could just sew up a dress quickly (still carefully, of course) and perhaps finish it all in one Sew Sunday. That would feel so great! I’ve had this really lovely, soft jersey for a couple years and I wondered if it would make a good tank dress. Spoiler alert – it did!
The McCall’s 6559 is a great basic pattern. I cut a size 10, which 2 sizes smaller than my measurements, and brought up the neckline by about an inch. Then I simply basted it together at the shoulders and side seams, after I staystitched the neckline and armholes so they wouldn’t stretch out. I tried it on, adjusted the fit so there was just a little more room in the tummy area so I wouldn’t have to suck it in, and then took it to the serger. I also left about 18 inches open at each side for walking and I really like how that turned out.
The neckline and armholes are finished with fold over elastic. I recently tried this on a knit dress I made for my daughter and I love how smooth and strong the edges are. On a dress of this length, it is very easy for the neckline to get stretched out as it holds all the weight of the long fabric. This finish helps keep it snug, and I love the contrast. It was the only detail I added to the dress, too, which I think showed so much restraint! A special thank you to my Instagram friends who helped me decide on an elastic color! I loved getting your help.
Here’s the bullet points:
- Just a soft, comfortable tank dress. 2 pattern pieces. Very easy. Against my nature.
- Cut a 10, but added a little room by taking a smaller seam allowance in the tummy
- Fold over elastic is a smooth, strong finish to the neckline and armholes, helping them keep their shape as they hold up the long, heavy jersey dress