I was super excited to be chosen as a pattern tester for the recent release of the Tank Dress: 3-Ways by Pattern Emporium. I’ve used Pattern Emporium patterns before and found them to be quite well designed so I was looking forward to seeing the testing process and being involved in making one of her patterns happen. The experience was great and I got to meet a ton of great folks, but now let me tell you more about this pattern.
The pattern I tested was a sleeveless knit dress with cut away armholes and a high-ish neckline. First, let me start by saying, I love this pattern and this is likely to be a go-to pattern for me just because it a) fits so nicely b) is secret pajamas and c) is so easy to get a professional look on. I wasn’t expecting to like the neck/arm shaping as much as I do since I have to wear a racerback bra with it, but I do like the way it looks and it’s flattering on almost all of the tester photos I saw.
Here’s a close up so you can see how sleek it is. It uses a foldover binding technique that I wasn’t previously familiar with, but combined with my coverstitch machine, gives a very finished, professional look to the dress. Also, the instructional video that comes with the pattern makes is super easy. You don’t actually need a coverstitch — a zig zag will work just fine. In fact this whole dress can be made without serger or coverstitch if you wanted/needed to, but I enjoyed the chance to work with my machines.
There are 3 skirt options — gathered, a-line and full circle. For the dress pictured, I made the full circle skirt. It’s very twirl worthy. I’ll be posting another version of this next using the a-line skirt where I did some hacks (coming soon!). The a-line is great if you don’t have as much fabric or if you’re going for a more polished look. I might make an a-line one out of ponte. I also saw someone who made the full circle out of scuba and the extra body of the scuba gave it a super fun adorable look that would be great for a party.
I made a size 8 based on my upper bust measurement without any additional grading at the waist or hips although I did make 2 alterations at the waist. The first was shortening the waist by 2 inches. One inch was my standard waist shortening adjustment and then the second inch was because my fabric was super drapey so pulled the bodice down quite low.
The second alteration was a slight swayback adjustment where I removed 1/2 inch at center back and graded out to nothing at the sides. This was actually done after the waist was sewn in addition to the second waist shortening above so I just did those together. The first inch was removed the “standard” way by adjusting the pattern though I’ve since updated my pattern to reflect these changes because I know I’ll be making this again.
The fabric is some rayon jersey from Califabrics. It’s super soft and flows beautifully. Like always, Califabrics got me the fabric super quickly so I was able to use it in time for the pattern test. This particular fabric was very easy to work with and the classic design will work just as well for work as for a nice dinner (whenever things open up again).
The pattern was just released so it’s currently on sale for 15% off through Sunday. It’s perfect for summer so now is a great time to grab it.