I am scared of sewing clothes for myself. I can’t explain this fear, because it doesn’t make any sense. I used to sew apparel all the time when I was a 4-H member. I made skirts, tops, dresses, and suits (I only made pants once, and that was hard). I sewed knits and used a serger. But I did all of it under the watchful eye of my mother, who had a lot of expertise in the area and could help me figure out the hard parts.
My last attempt at sewing a garment for myself happened back in 2010, when I tried to make a blouse from a Colette pattern. It turned out ok, but I didn’t have a serger at the time and was dissatisfied with the interior seam finishes and the quality of the fabric I had chosen. I never wore it in public. It was discouraging.
I got the itch to sew garments again after sewing the ultra cute Tiny Pocket Tanks made by talented ladies with sewing blogs. The examples from Pink Chalk Fabrics were particularly motivating. So I jumped in. I downloaded the pattern, used some Anna Maria Horner Little Folks voile from my stash, and sewed myself a tank top.
The pattern was so simple it was almost astonishing. I used french seams for the sides and shoulders, because I am not quite mentally prepared to tackle the serger yet. I followed the neck and armhole finishing instructions to the letter, and I am grateful, because the outcome was lovely. I have never had a curved edge lay flat like that before. Neat!
I did made a tiny alteration to the directions. Instead of using a straight stitch for the under-stitching, I used a narrow three-step zigzag stitch. Nancy Zieman recommends this for under-stitching, and back in my 4-H sewing days I always relied on the three-step zigzag stitch to help my facings lay flat. It still works!
(Can you see my zigzag stitches? I think I need a better camera.)
Here’s the finished garment on me. There are some minor fit issues around the bust, but I don’t have the confidence yet to do pattern alterations…
…so instead I will cover it up with a cardigan! This is how I would have to wear it to work, anyway.
The minor success of the Tiny Pocket Tank has inspired me to try some more garment sewing. Nothing too fancy, just a few other tanks that can be sewn with french seams and worn casually. Next up is the Wiksten Tank. Then I have my eyes set on the Eucalypt Tank. Brianna and apparel sewing – a saga to be continued…