Okay, I’ve got one more (for now) Tank Dress: 3-Ways by Pattern Emporium for you. In my previous post I go into how much I love about the pattern. But now I want to show you some of the extra fun things you can do. The dress above — right, I know my dog steals the show, but this post is about the dress, not that furry cuteness — is the a-line version of the Tank Dress 3-Ways.
One of the things I mentioned in the previous post about this pattern, was that I don’t love wearing a racerback bra, so the first thing I definitely wanted to do was add in a built in bra. This was really easy with this pattern because of the way the binding works.
First I made a “second” bodice using the same pattern pieces but chopped off about 4 inches at the bottom. I sewed it together just like I did the normal bodice. I used some nude perfotek compression fabric from Mood.
Note: In this picture and the one above it only shows 2 inches chopped off. I chopped the other 2 inches after I saw where it ended up on me and realize it needed to be higher. I hadn’t done a built-in bra before so I was being cautious with my chopping.
Next you’ll pin bra and bodice wrong sides together, matching notches and then apply the binding to them as though they were one piece. You do wrong sides together because the binding will cover their edges and it both looks and feels nicer to have the smooth side against your skin.
You’ll want to try it on at this point and make sure the bra hits you at a good point. We’re going to stick elastic on it so you want it to fall just under your breasts.
Cut a piece of elastic that fits snugly under your breasts and stitch it together in a loop. Then pin it with about a 1/4 in overlap to the right side of the bra fabric. It should be right side of the bra facing wrong side of the elastic. Then using either your zigzag stitch or your coverstitch (I used a zigzag stitch on my normal machine) stitch the overlapping area.
And there you go! That’s it for a built-in bra! Now you have one less thing to pack for that weekend getaway. ?
The other hack I added was pockets because — do I really need to explain? Well, at least in my case, I wanted to wear this to work and I really need both a place to clip my badge and somewhere to put my phone when I go to the bathroom that is not the floor or on top of the toilet paper dispenser. Both ewww.
I haven’t had much luck with pockets in knit garments before. They end up hanging open and looking like all together sad. But I had some new tricks to try.
I was using a fabric called liverpool. It’s got a good amount of stretch horizontally but not as much (maybe 20%?) vertically so I thought this would help reduce the stretching/gaping issues I’d previously had as well. Turns out my tricks and the fabric worked. If you look in the photo above, you can barely tell there are pockets!
First off, I interfaced the sides of the skirt where the pockets would go using knit interfacing.
Second, I used a very light nylon lycra for the pocket itself. I also got this at Mood at some point for one of my running costumes and this was some scrap (yay for scraps!).
Third, I made sure the top edge of the pocket was caught in the waist seam to give it a bit of extra strength in holding up the pocket and when I put something heavy — like a phone — in it.
I first attached the pockets to the skirt sides using the stretch stitch on my regular machine. Then I used my serger to stitch the pocket edges first, and then the sides together. I did have to clip the back skirt and pocket right at the corners so I could get the layers to lay correctly for serging. After stitching the sides together, I went back with the stretch stitch and reinforced the edges, also making sure none of the pocket was visible at the seam.
And now I have pockets and a great dress that I can wear to work or for vacation!
And one more gratuitous pupper photo because she was being so cute during photos.